Thursday, May 27, 2010

Carpet Cleaning: How To Clean Your Carpet

Eventually every carpet needs some type of cleaning to remove soil that sticks to the fibers. How often depends on the amount of use the carpet gets; some areas will need cleaning before others.

Methods Of Cleaning Carpets

Basic methods of carpet cleaning are:

  • Dry absorbent powder
  • Foam
  • Shampooing
  • Hot water extraction.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Costs in dollars, time, and energy vary, as do the skills needed to do a good job.

Carpet Cleaning Precautions

Always vacuum thoroughly before starting any cleaning method. Following are some general precautions for all methods:

  • Pretest on inconspicuous area first.
  • Protect the carpet from rust stains by putting aluminum foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap under furniture legs until the carpet is dry.
  • Follow the cleaner and equipment instructions as directed.
  • Do not overwet the carpet. Excessive moisture can cause shrinkage, streaks, or mildew.
  • Keep mechanical action to a minimum to avoid carpet damage or streaks.

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

Hot water extraction sometimes is called steam cleaning although no steam is used in the process. A hot water and detergent solution is sprayed onto the carpet under pressure to flush out the dirt and soil. This solution is immediately extracted by the vacuum action of the machine.


  • Excellent for cleaning moderate to heavily soiled carpet
  • Can observe when the solution is soil free
  • Drying time is somewhat less than with the shampoo process


  • Possibility of overwetting
  • Most expensive of the methods
  • Equipment is heavy and bulky