What’s more overwhelming, having dirty carpets or trying to figure out the best way to clean them? Whether you’re combatting pet hair, spills, pet accidents, or just everyday soil particles, our tips for cleaning your carpet like a pro (without having to hire a professional cleaner) are easy to follow and can be used to get back to that wonderful clean carpet smell and look.
In between deep cleaning treatments, it’s good to vacuum regularly. When you use this cleaning process, do frequent vacuuming, and treat stains, you can extend the life of your carpets! Plus, when you maintain your carpets, it’s easier to treat high-traffic areas and carpet stains, like food stains, wine stains, and even candle wax.
Next time your dog runs through the house with muddy paws, you’ll be able to restore your carpets with ease. Preparing to bring a new baby home? Carpet is great for young children when it’s clean (and before they make it dirty). When carpet isn’t clean, it can become a health hazard. Add these easy steps to your repertoire and you’ll be a carpet-cleaning machine.
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What You’ll Need
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Our Recommendation: Hoover MAXLife
- Cleaning Solution
- Our Recommendation: Ultrapac Trafficlean from Prochem
- Our Recommendation: Hoover SmartWash
- Pump-up Sprayer
- Grandi Groomer Carpet Raking Tool
1. Vacuum your carpet
Thoroughly vacuum all the carpet before you get it wet. Your carpet is one of the biggest air filters in your home. That means it holds all that dry soil, pet hair, and whatever else is floating around in your house.
When you come through with the vacuum, you're getting that first layer of dry dirt and grime off the carpet. Getting rid of this top layer will allow your shampooer to get the dirt and soil that is embedded in your carpet.
2. Pick the right carpet-cleaning solution
There are a variety of soaps and DIY mixes on the market, and some of them work well. However, we highly suggest using Ultrapac Trafficlean from Prochem. At the moment, Ultrapac is being sold in packs of four so if you’re not looking to make an investment in your inventory of carpet cleaning solution, check out ____________. Both solutions give professional results and don't leave sticky soap residue or anything that will attract dirt after cleaning.
3. Mix your cleaning solution in a pump-up sprayer
In this step, you’ll pump up the solution and evenly spray it across the room, about a foot or two above the carpet. Spray the whole room and let it sit for about five to ten minutes.
You can get a one-gallon or two-gallon pump-up spray bottle at your local big-box store, like Home Depot or even Amazon. This step is extremely important to loosen up soil from the carpet fibers. You are essentially pre-treating the carpet which helps give the soap time to loosen up and dissolve the dirt and grime sitting in the carpet fibers.
4. Use your carpet cleaning machine the right way
We like to use the Hoover SmartWash, but regardless of whether you use this, a rental from a big box store like Rug Doctor, or something comparable, these three rules still apply:
- Fill your fresh-water tank with warm water from the sink, and ONLY clean water. Do not add any soaps or any sort of additives to this water. You are rinsing not only the dirt and grime but also soap, so you want your rinsing water to be clean.
- Go slowly. Rinse all that dirt and soap off the carpet and then go over it again with just the vacuum function so that you're extracting as much moisture as possible.
- If an area isn't cleaning up as well as other places, repeat the pre-treatment in step three and then rinse it out again.
Pro Tip: You want to go at it layer by layer as opposed to really saturating an area with a bunch of moisture because it will make it that much harder to pull the moisture out of the carpet.
5. Get the carpets dry as quickly as possible
Minimize the time you have damp carpet and accelerate the drying process by following these three steps:
- Turn on a box fan or even turn on the ceiling fan if you have one in the room to get the airflow moving through the area you just cleaned.
- Make sure the home environment is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit so you can either turn on the air conditioning, turn on the furnace, or open the windows. The key is to make sure the home is around 70 degrees.
- This is our favorite drying option: grab one of these Grandi Groomer raking tools. This tool leaves an amazing finish and stands the carpet strands up so the carpet can dry quicker. Warning, the Grandi Groomer is extremely addicting and very satisfying to use. Before you know it, you'll be grooming your entire house.