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Know 101. Carpet Cleaning Instructions

March 14th, 2012 · No Comments

Know 101. Carpet Cleaning Instructions

Instructions for cleaning carpets using water extractions, including tips from professional cleaners.

Water extraction is a wonderful method for deep-cleaning synthetic carpets. It is the deepest cleaning method available for most carpets. There are two types of water extraction: hot water extraction (often called steam extraction) and warm or cool water extraction.

Hot water extractors should never be filled with water that is hotter than 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius).

Hot water extractors spray a detergent and water solution onto the carpet under low pressure (less than 200 pounds per square inch), and then immediately vacuum out the solution and the soil. High quality extractors can pull 70 percent to 90 percent of the water out of the carpet. The pressurized mist loosens the dirt in the carpet fibers. The vacuum pulls out the dirt with the water.

Some extractors have a special tool called a power head that agitates the carpet before the solution is extracted. This helps increase the amount of dirt that is removed.

Because hot water extraction requires a lot of hot water, it can be hard on some carpets. Often cold water extraction can work just as well and reduce the amount of color fading, running, or shrinking.

Carpets with natural fibers such as wool, flax, or cotton should not be cleaned with a wet process, or the fibers may fade or shrink.
Before extracting a carpet, you will need to have the water extractor, any carpet pre-spotting solution, an appropriate detergent, a defoamer, and a vacuum cleaner.

Begin by moving furniture to expose all areas of the carpet that need to be cleaned.Vacuum the carpet first to get rid of loose soil and to allow the extractor to be as effective as possible.

Spray any heavily soiled areas or stains with a carpet pre-spotting solution. Set up the extractor according to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the particular model you are using. Each water extractor works a little differently.

Plug in the extractor and allow the wash tank to heat the water. Add defoamer to the extraction tank to prevent excess foaming.

Start at the far side of the room you are extracting and work back toward the door or entrance. Inject the steam into the carpet according to the instructions for the machine you are using. Pull the cleaning wand slowly toward you. Many extractors tell you to close the cleaner dispenser valve just before you finish your first line so that the solution won’t “puddle.” Lift the wand and return it to the original position and then pull it again to vacuum up excess water. Begin a new pass with it slightly overlapping the previous one.

Work quickly to avoid overwetting the carpet. Do not let the carpet soak. Excess water can shrink the jute carpet backing or carpet lining, bring some stains from the backing or lining to the carpet surface, and put undue strain on carpet seams.

Also, don’t stand in excess water while you are using the extractor. You could get electrocuted.

Give special attention to the pre-spotted areas. If carpets aren’t cleaned often, heavily soiled areas will require many passes of the steam extractor. Be careful, though, because too much water and detergent can damage the carpet.

Turn off the extractor and unplug it. Empty the dirty water down a drain or utility sink. Check with the manufacturer’s instructions to see how the water extractor must be cleaned after each use.

Allow the carpet to dry completely and then vacuum the carpet again. Some manufacturers recommend using a pile rake to rake the carpet against the way the pile normally lies to set the pile and decrease drying time.

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