Carpet takes a lot of use and abuse and is usually not maintained as properly as it should be in most households. For the most part families only clean the carpet when there’s a spill or a stain, and a lot of people don’t even know how to do it properly and therefore have to hire a company to come into their house and do this for them. No one wants strangers walking through the house, but if you cannot clean your carpets then you need to have people come in and do it for you. If I can instruct you how to clean your own carpets then there’ll be no need for strangers in your house, or paying a big company to come in and do this task for you. You can do it yourself and feel confident about it just by following this simple how-to article.
Below are instructions to follow to give your carpet a nice and thorough cleaning:
- Move the furniture into another room – I know that it is a hassle, but how often do you actually shampoo your carpets? You might as well get the whole floor.
- Vacuum – We are going to talk about cleaning your carpet with a carpet cleaner later, but first let’s talk about vacuuming and some proper practices that should be taking place in your household to keep your carpet clean. Carpets need to be cleaned at least once a week and even more often in areas of your room that you walk on frequently. Vacuuming may not be the most fun thing to do in the world, but it does help prolong the life of your carpet. Also, there is a lot of nasty stuff that hangs out in your carpet so think of vacuuming as another way to protect your family and keep them out of harm’s way. Vacuuming can be done the most efficiently by splitting the room into the three or four different areas and just going over those areas until you feel like you have them clean, and do not be afraid to go slow. Vacuum the entire area before moving on to the next area.
- Get a carpet cleaner – If you do decide that you are up to the task and you would rather complete this job yourself then to hire a professional or crew, then you need to be sure to remember a few things. First of all, make sure that your cleaner is strong enough and has enough vacuum to allow the carpet no more than 12 hours to dry, or you may be permanently damaging your carpet because of all the moisture. One thing that I try to do is have as many doors open and fans blowing as possible. The reason that I do this is because it allows the carpet time to dry quicker and the quicker the carpet dries than the less chance there is for bacteria and mold to be growing underneath your carpet from the excess moisture. WARNING: If your carpet stays too moist for longer than 24 hours then there is a chance that harmful bacteria and mildew could grow, and that is one thing your household does not need. One way to feel totally confident about the machines vacuuming power is just by going to the local store and renting one. Cleaning carpets is a lot of work, but it is not necessarily all that difficult. It is something that can easily be done and dried in the matter of 24 hours.
- Pick your soap – Okay, if you have yourself a machine and you are ready and willing to put the work into cleaning your carpet, then the very next thing that you will need is a cleaning solution. You want to choose a cleaning solution that has a pH 10 or less. I find that it is very necessary for you to understand the basics of pH and how they pertain to carpet care, so put your “science hat” on. Each full pH number increase represents a tenfold increase of that acidity of the solution. Basically, a pH 1 is 10 times more powerful than pH 2 and pH 2 is 10 times more powerful than pH 3. In order to prevent carpet damage than the carpet cleaner solution should be as close to pH 7 as possible. If a cleaning solution of higher than pH 10 is used it will void your carpets warranty from its manufacturer. It’s never a bad idea to recheck any warranty that your carpet and a have and make sure that the product that you’re going to use to clean your carpet is not going to void any warranty or guarantee given to you by the company.
- Remove the plastic container – Now that we got everything that we need it’s time to actually go ahead and clean the carpets. Take off the plastic tank that holds the water and shampoo.
- Add recommended soap and water – Make sure to put the proper amounts of each into the container and then reattach it to the unit. If you do not have proper instructions a general rule of thumb is 1 cup of cleaner to a full tank of warm water.
- Reassemble the container – Just be sure to line the liquid container up properly.
- Turn the cleaner on and operate – After carefully reassembling the liquid container onto the machine you can plug it in and turn it on. Next take a minute to check out the anatomy of the cleaner. When you feel comfortable you can find the switch that lets the water / soap mixture be sprayed on the carpet and you just go back over it until you feel that it is clean. Let off the button and pull the machine toward you. Simply do this over and over again until your carpet is clean. Be sure to refill your tank when it gets to be empty. Just remember to spread the solution while going forward and to extract all the dirt and crud while bringing the cleaner back toward you.
One last tip about cleaning stains out of your carpet. Be sure that you’re blotting wet stains thoroughly before using your chemical solution to clean-up the stain. The reason that you want to do this is because the chemicals in the cleaning solution sometimes remove the stain repellent in the carpet. This is the reason that the carpet will look clean for a while, but then the stain will eventually look like it’s coming back. This is because the area that you treated chemically no longer has as much resistance to dirt and gets filthier easier. The best thing you can do in an area like this is after you shampoo your carpet be sure to treat those spots with some Scotch guard.