Ooh, timely! I just adopted a new dog, and we found out that, like many dogs who had been living in close quarters with many other dogs and poor sanitation (she had been surrendered to the rescue by an animal hoarder), she came with some uninvited intestinal guests. So I have just been through all of this.
First thing: Talk to your vet. If your dog has another type of infection like giardia, your cleaning options will be different, as giardia is way more hardy than most types of worms. Your vet may also give you specific cleaning/disinfecting instructions.
Second: Pick up after your pet! Since worms are transmitted primarily through feces, you greatly decrease the risk of re-infection if you pick up after your dog and dispose of everything outside of the house. If the dog hasn’t gone to the bathroom in the house, the risk of hookworm eggs being present is greatly decreased, although not non-existent.
Third: Yes, smaller Rug Doctors exist. However, the contract you sign, I believe, specifically tells you not to use bleach in the machine. As Rug Doctors do not actually produce steam, use the hottest water possible and an EPA-approved cleaner.
Bleach will discolor most carpets, and unless you own your own carpet cleaner/steamer, you shouldn’t use bleach in carpet cleaning machines, for reasons not least of which include the fact that the next person to use it may inadvertently bleach out their carpets, and you’ll be on record as the last person to have used that machine. I own a vacuum-style carpet cleaner (with dogs, it comes in handy a lot), and I have used bleach in it, but my carpets are off-white (not my selection).
If you own a steam mop or hand-held steamer, you can steam the carpet. It won’t lift out dirt, but with constant steam exposure of several minutes, you can sanitize one small area at a time of your carpet. Important here is actual steam, and prolonged constant steaming of one area.
Fortunately, with good household hygiene and a thorough cleaning, your home should be hookworm-free when your dog is.
Run an empty load with hot water and use a cup of vinegar instead of detergent. Make sure you clean out the detergent cup and around any seals or gaskets. Once the cycle has run, wipe out the inside of the machine with a water/vinegar mix, and let it air dry with the door/lid open. Vinegar’s safe for clothes, so you don’t need to worry about rinsing or re-cleaning it before your next load of laundry.
If you try all that and it doesn’t work, repeat using half a cup of bleach instead. As always, I think bleach is generally overused and underdiluted, so save this only for if the vinegar doesn’t work. As bleach will discolor your clothes, either run another empty load or one with whites when you’re done.
Comet is bleach (technically cyanuric acid, which is a component of bleach), and BKF is oxalic acid, which is primarily used for removing rust and other stains on metals. Short version: Comet is good for scrubbing and bleaching, and BKF is good for stubborn stuff on metal and non-porous surfaces.
I’m not a chemist; I was trying to break it down into the basic differences between the two. I apologize that I didn’t get the chemical name correct based on the information I was using from the MSDS and allowing myself to be influenced by the marketing that put “with bleach” on the front of the Comet can and didn’t research more thoroughly.
Someone just steered me to a Jezebel post about a TLC program about a woman who bleaches everything in her house (and in other people’s houses), including food and, well, everything. My two strongest reactions:
1. Holy fuckballs, does Gawker’s commenting system blow goats; and
2. You do not ever need that much bleach. Even in sterile lab settings, you’ll almost never need a bleach/water ratio any stronger than 1:10. And most of the time, bleach is overkill. I’m (obviously) not a scientist, so I’m not going to speculate on breeding supergerms or whatever, but it’s not good for your skin, not good for your respiratory system, and generally unnecessary unless you’re dealing with biological hazards. Bleach has its place, but it is way overused, and please don’t bleach your food, people.
Is the blue thing actually bleach? If it is, you don’t really want to use anything else until it’s gone. You could always speed up the process by putting some gloves on and fishing whatever’s left out of the tank. Once it’s gone, a few days’ worth of flushes should clear it out just fine.