Carpet cleaning is something we can all do and without professional equipment. It just takes a little knowledge and planning. Preparation is crucial for a good outcome and using the correct tools for the job makes life so much easier. Treat your carpets as you would washing your clothes. Think of the basic cycle of a washing machine;
Pre-wash, Main Wash, Rinse, Drying (spinning)
The carpet cleaning process I’m going to show you is similar to a washing machine cycle. It is as follows;
Pre-spray, Agitation & Stain treatment, Rinse (extraction), Drying Strokes
Choose a day when the house is empty of people and you won’t be disturbed. A dry day with sunshine helps! Concentrate on 1 room at a time. Empty as much furniture as possible. Large furniture that cannot be moved can stay in situ. Large furniture that can be moved can stay in the room. Simply clean under it and move back into position.
Carpet Cleaning Detergent & Stain Removers
Do yourself a favour and buy a professional carpet cleaning detergent or solution. Google an online supplier or try eBay. Choose the solution according to your needs and the amount of soiling. If your carpets are heavily soiled then you will need a pre-spray for that situation. Adding a few scoops of OxiClean to your carpet cleaning detergent will give it a helpful boost. Remember to make it up with warm water (to activate it).
Also buy a stain remover for non water based stains, such as P.O.G (paint, oil and grease) or try a good solvent cleaner (such as dry cleaning fluid). To clean water based stains you can use biological washing powder. Simply mix some with warm water in a spray bottle.
Equipment for Carpet Cleaning
You will need as follows;
- Vacuum Cleaner. To remove dry soil and particles prior to carpet cleaning.
- Pressure Sprayer. To pre-spray your carpet cleaning solution onto the carpet.
- Long Handle Brush. To agitate the pre-spray. Use a brand new brush with medium stiffness.
- Carpet Cleaning Machine. Either use your own or hire a carpet cleaner. The machine will be rinsing the carpet with clean water and extracting the soil at the same time.
Top Tips for Carpet Cleaning
- Vacuum the carpet thoroughly. Vacuum in all directions and fully cover all areas, especially under furniture that can be moved.
- Make up the carpet cleaning solution, according to manufacturers directions, put in the spray bottle and pump up to pressurise it.
- Spray the entire area thoroughly but to do not soak it.
- Allow to dwell (soak) for about 10 minutes.
- Spray the area again and brush thoroughly in all directions moving backwards and forwards, adding more spray if needed.
- Treat any remaining stains. Some stains might be permanent so do not rub aggressively as you will distort the pile.
- Set up the carpet cleaning machine and fill with hot water ONLY! Work on an area at a time and do 2 strokes with the solution on and then 2 strokes with the solution off (drying strokes). If an area still looks dirty do not keep going over it as you will soak it. It might be carpet wear. If dirt remains then pre-spray and brush again. Rinse with carpet cleaner and do 2 wet strokes and 2 drying strokes.
- Place clean cloths or folded kitchen roll under furniture feet (that could not be moved out of the room).
- Do not place furniture back on the carpet until completely dry.
- Open windows and doors and dry carpets as quickly as possible. Add heat if needed.