How to clean your carpet

Carpets

Cleaning your carpet is a great way to improve the look and feel of your home.  So, many people believe that they can go and rent a cleaner from the local hardware store and then all the carpets will be clean and the house will look a lot better.

This, of course, can be true.

It can also be very, very false.

How to Best Clean Your Carpets

You could, of course, hire a professional carpet cleanerBut if you really want to do it yourself, follow these tips:

First, don’t get the cheapest, oldest carpet cleaning machine that you can find.  Like most other machines, these things break down over time.  Further the engines get dirty and the suction starts to really deteriorate after two to three years.  If the suction deteriorates, then there is a good chance that a lot of the dirt will remain in your carpet.  Even worse, the cleaning fluid will remain in the carpet, which will lead to the carpet getting dirty faster.  It also degrades the fibers of your carpet, which would mean that you would have to replace your carpet much faster.

Second, you need to follow the instructions on how much cleaner to use to the letter.  We see it all the time.  People go out and decide to clean their carpets themselves, which is ok.  However, then they use way, way, way too much carpet cleaning solution.  By using too much solution, the solution does a couple of really bad things to the fiber of your carpet.  First, the solution itself is a solvent.  The entire goal of the solution is to help dirt and other contaminants dissolve slightly, which releases their bond with the fibers of the carpet.  However, the goal of this is just to loosen the dirt’s hold on the carpet.  Too much of the solvent actually starts to harm the integrity of the fiber of the carpet.  Second, by using too much solution, it does not dissolve properly.  This will keep the solution from being released when the carpet cleaner machine tries to extract it.  Finally, using too much solution also leaves significant residue that will attract dirt (remember, the cleaner’s job is to loosen dirt, like from your shoes), which will then sit on the carpet pad.

A professional carpet cleaning company has specific guidelines that they use when cleaning carpets.

Dump out the Carpet Cleaner Reservoir Water – Twice

When you go over the carpet with the carpet cleaning machine, be sure to use warm (not hot) water in the reservoir.  Most of the instructions say that you should clean out the tank once and then use the clean water again a second time to remove the solvent and dirt (plus other contaminants, debris, etc.) from your carpet.  However, we do not believe that this advice is correct.  Most rental carpet cleaning machines do not have the power that a good commercial cleaning machine has.  So, we have determined that it is better advice to go ahead and do this process twice.

Conclusion

You do not have to hire a carpet cleaning company to come in and clean your carpets.  However, there are several things that you need to do in order to make sure that your carpets get the cleaning that they deserve.  First, be sure to rent a good carpet cleaning machine that is no older than two years.  Second, be sure to use the right amount of solvent as too much solvent can lead to problems later, including having dirty carpets that you have to replace sooner. Finally, be sure to rinse off the carpets as least twice with new, clean water to remove the solvent.