How to Deep-Clean Your Carpet

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Vacuuming doesn't always restore a carpet's clean appearance. For heavily soiled carpets, shampooing is recommended, rather than spot-cleaning. Wet-cleaner machines spray and remove hot detergent solution while cleaning the carpet. Here are a few steps to get your carpet looking clean as new.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Vinegar
  • Prespray Carpet Cleaner
  • Vacuum Cleaners & Accessories
  • Wet Cleaner Vacuums
  • Carpet Shampoos
  • Purchase or rent a wet-cleaner machine also known as a steamer, at a hardware or grocery store. When you rent a machine, the necessary cleaning products are usually included or can be purchased at the rental store.

  • Vacuum the floor thoroughly.

  • Spray heavily soiled areas with prespray or traffic-lane cleaner. For really dirty areas, increase the amount of prespray used instead of increasing the amount of carpet shampoo.

  • Fill the machine's hose or reservoir with hot tap water.

  • Use the machine and carpet shampoo according to the steamer manufacturer's instructions.

  • Maximize the amount of water removed from the carpet by making a water-extraction pass with the water spray on, and then again with the spray off. Test the carpet with your hand. If your hand comes away with water droplets, extract again with the spray off; if your hand comes away damp and the carpet feels wrung out, you have extracted correctly.

  • Wait overnight for the carpet to dry before walking on it. To dry thoroughly, open windows and use fans.

Tips & Warnings

  • Special solutions are available to treat pet stains and odors.
  • To help your cleaning last longer, neutralize detergent residue left on the carpet by steaming with a vinegar-water rinse made up of 1 c. vinegar and 1 gallon water.
  • Oversaturating the carpet can cause water to soak through and damage the floor underneath.

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