Using Carpet Cleaning Equipment
There’s something about carpet cleaning that’s a little overwhelming.
You may be intimidated because the machines are big, and it generally looks like a lot of work.
Hiring a company to clean the carpets costs a lot of money. If you have pets, kids, or a spouse who tracks mud on a regular basis, you could be looking frequent and costly carpet cleaning bills.
So what’s a thrifty owner of a dirty carpet to do? Well, if you don't have a carpet cleaning machine at your disposal, you can rent the equipment or borrow one and clean the carpets yourself.
Follow these steps from Mrs. Clean, and you can have clean carpets that look like they were cleaned by a professional at a fraction of the cost.
So, lets get started cleaning!
After getting your machine home, put on your cruddiest pair of jeans, and read the instructions (or manual) that comes with the equipment. After that you are ready to hitch ‘em up, put on the big, yellow rubber gloves (they always make me feel efficient)and get to those dirty carpets!
Steps For Carpet Cleaning:
- Vacuum thoroughly. Get up as much loose dirt as you can. You’re not trying to make mud. Move the furniture out of the way and vacuum under it. You’ll need to clear the room when you use the carpet cleaner anyway.
- Hook the vacuum hose that comes with the steam cleaner and the line that supplies the water to the machine and the cleaning wand.
- Make up a cleaning solution for your carpet (See the homemade carpet cleaning solution below). Use good, hot water and pour the cleaning solution into the supply tank. Plug that baby in!
- You may or may not have to set the temperature on the carpet cleaner. Turn on the vacuum and the water pump. If there’s a water pressure dial you may have to adjust it.
- Put the wand directly onto the carpet and spray water on your carpet.
- Move the wand back and forth. Every time you go over an area of the carpet, make sure the edges of your paths overlap.
- If you use up the water, throw the dirty water out and mix up another batch of cleaning solution.
- Let the carpet dry overnight or for six or eight hours before walking on it.
- Most carpets will be dry after 24 hours. Berber carpet may take longer to dry completely.
- If you can, open the windows or direct a fan over the area to dry it more quickly.
A Word About Using Soap or Detergent:
Soap and Detergent are excellent to remove grease and we all use it frequently to clean. But it's not good to use on carpet.
Why? Because all soaps and detergents leave a residue that will remain on the carpet fibers. The residue is sticky and future vacuuming will not be able to remove all of the dirt completely.
If you feel like you absolutely must use some detergent, do not use more than 1 tsp per 2 gallons of water. Plan on going back over the carpet and steam clean again with plain water to remove further residue.
Soap is a surfactant, which is helpful to remove grime, but ultimately it is the cause of many "do-it-yourselfer's" dirty carpet to start with.
So, please- do yourself a favor and use vinegar and water to clean. Toss in some hydrogen peroxide if you'd like to brighten the carpet, use some oxy clean if you feel like the carpet is super grungy and you'll say yourself future hours of carpet cleaning in the future.
Homemade Carpet Cleaning Shampoo:
Can you make homemade carpet cleaning solution?
You most assuredly can! Why waste money on expensive “store bought” products when you can put together an inexpensive, environmentally friendly solution quickly and easily?
Household strength hydrogen peroxide peroxide is an excellent stain remover and carpet brightener. Use two, six, twelve, or sixteen ounces of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water; depending on how dirty the carpet is. It is safe, non toxic and non residue forming carpet cleaner. You can use it straight from the bottle on dark carpet stains.
Mix a cup of vinegar with 2 gallons of very hot water. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and a mild antibacterial and antiviral. Any sour "vinegary" smell will dissipate as it dries.
1/4 cup OxiClean, 1/4 cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water works well for heavily stained carpets. Go over the carpet with your cleaning equipment using plain water to rinse.
One tablespoon of simple green per one gallon of water works well to clean carpets. Rinse the carpet completely by going over the carpet with the equipment using plain water only.
So there you go; get to it! No more procrastinating about cleaning the carpet. Now that you know how easy using carpet cleaning equipment is to use, your carpets will be clean and odor free. In addition, you using a homemade solution that is inexpensive and better for the invironment too.