Using a Carpet Cleaning Machine
Carpet is a magnet for dirt, stains and anything else that it can trap in its fibers.
But, before you trade in your carpet to avoid having someone come in and frequently clean your carpets, why not try doing it yourself?
There are a number of different carpet cleaning machines available on the market now that are surprisingly easy to use and are much cheaper to rent than hiring a carpet cleaning company.
Hand Held Carpet Cleaners:
Hand held carpet cleaners are designed to clean up those small stains that happen when kids spill grape juice or a pet tracks in mud that can’t be vacuumed up. While it is great on spot cleaning it is not meant to clean the carpet in large areas or whole rooms.
These machines are small and lightweight enough that you can easily carry them around the house with you and they can get up stains just as well as the larger carpet cleaners. The lightweight also makes them the ideal machine to use when you need to clean carpeted stairs.
I use a small Little Green frequently. Small messes and spills can be easily and quickly removed which will go far in delaying the need for a complete carpet cleaning.
Upright Vacuum Sized Carpet Cleaners:
With all of the advancements in the technology of carpet cleaners, more and more carpet cleaning machines are being sold side by side with vacuum cleaners. These cleaners look just like a vacuum and are designed to clean the carpet of large areas and whole rooms.
These cleaners are recommended for people that have pets or see a high amount of traffic on their carpet and have to clean their carpets often. While the technology of these machines are getting better, most of them provide only a surface cleaning and do not clean down far enough to get a good thorough cleaning.
I use a hoover steam vac for all my big jobs. It comes with a beater brush you can turn off and on, and comes with multiple attachments and brushes for different carpet types and piles.
Rental Cleaning Machines:
In the front of most grocery stores, you will find a display of the heavy duty carpet cleaning machines available to rent. If your carpet needs a good deep cleaning and you don't have your own carpet cleaner, these are the machines that you need.
The downside of rental units is that they are very heavy and to get a good deep cleaning they are very slow to use. If you are not able to pull a wagon with 2 -3 small children in it, then this machine will be too heavy for you to use.
Unless it comes with a good long hose you will not be able to clean stairs or other small elevated areas due to the weight and general bulkiness of the machine.
How to use a Carpet Cleaner:
Before using a carpet cleaning machine, make sure that the machine is clean on the inside and out. You don’t want to place or pull a dirty machine across carpet that you are trying to get clean and you don’t want to be cleaning the carpet with dirty soapy water.
Follow the Manufacturers Directions
Make sure that you read and follow the directions before using any carpet cleaner. Each cleaner is different and the directions are there for your safety and to assist you in getting your carpets as clean as possible.
Use The Right Cleaning Solution
Using the right mixture of soap and water is essential in getting the maximum cleaning for your carpet. Too much soap and you may end up with a residue on the carpet and too little soap may not get your carpets clean enough.
This goes the same with the soap that you use. Regular dish or laundry soap leaves a residue that is impossible to remove completely. This residue will attract future dirt to the carpet fibers so it's important that you use a cleaning solution that is made for carpet, or use a solution of 1 cup of plain white vinegar to one gallon of water to clean and deodorize your carpets easily.
Just remember not to use regular soap!
Extract Every Bit of Water
Always, always, always suck up as much water as you can from the carpet with the machine that you are using. This may require that you go over it a number of times with the machine, but it is better to get all the water up than walk over the carpet and end up with soaked socks.
Also too much water left behind is the perfect growing conditions for mold, which is not good for your health and decreases the life of the carpet.