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Although vacuum cleaning can remove a majority of the

dry soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet

on a frequent basis to remove the oily, sticky soil

that builds up in the pile as a result of odors and

dirt that is tracked in from outside.  

If you can clean the carpet before it becomes too

bad, the cleaning chore will be easier to do and a

lot more successful.  There is a myth that is totally

false, which states that cleaning the carpet before

it is necessary will get it dirtier faster.  The

carpet with the typical household should be cleaned

every 12 - 18 months depending on the number of

people living there and the amount of traffic that

walks on the carpet.

The choice of the right vacuum is important as

well.  There are some vacuums that will leave

residues behind, which will promote re-soiling and

basically defeat the whole purpose of household


Professional carpet cleaners

It is in your best interest to use professional

cleaners simply because their experience will enable

them to do a much better job than you can do yourself.

The equipment they use has more extraction power

than the units available to you, and the carpet

will dry faster as well.  They know the cleaning

agents to use, and they know the differences in

carpet construction and fibers.

Doing it yourself

If you have made the decision to rent a steam

cleaning machine and do the job yourself, you

should check on several systems before you make a

selection.  Most of the units available for rent

don't clean well enough and may end up damaging

your carpet.  Therefore, you should always consider

the following:

-  Several rental companies offer cleaning

equipment that is similar to what the professionals

use.  The equipment should have enough vacuum

power to allow the carpet to dry within 12 hours

of cleaning.  You should always avoid rental units

found in retail and grocery stores that don't

have the power to extract the cleaning solution

from the carpet fast enough, as it can actually

damage the carpet due to over wetting.

-  Make sure you avoid over wetting the

carpet.  Any prolonged dampness can lead to mildew

growth and bacteria in the carpet, or cause a

seperation of the backing.  A wet carpet that stays

this way for longer than 24 hours can develop

problems.  You can control this by using proper

equipment and the right training.

-  Carpets that have stain resistant

treatments have to be cleaned with products that

are formulated for this very purpose, or the stain

resistance will be impaired and the warranty will

be voided.  Never use cleaning or spotting solutions

that contain bleaches as they can mess up the color

of the carpet.

-  Never use any silicone based treatments

on the carpet.  

-  You can help to reduce the drying time

by using several fans to move the air around the

carpet.  You can use a dehumidifier as well, as

it will pull moisture from the air.  

Hot water extraction

The hot water extraction system is highly recommended,

as it considered to be one of the best methods

for carpet cleaning.  Also known as steam cleaning,

the process consists of spraying a mixture of water

and detergent into the pile and recovering the

water and soil with a powerful vacuum that puts it

into a holding tank.  You can use a truck mounted

unit or a portable self contained unit as well.  This

method is easily one of the best, and is ideal for

soiled carpets or pet stains that you have yet to

get out of the fibers.

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