If you’re going to do your carpets yourself, it’s a good idea to send your family away for much of the day, and keep your pets outside. It’s also a good idea to pick a sunny, dry day to clean your carpets, so you can avoid mud or snow being tracked in after you’ve put in hours of work to get the dirt out!
• Vacuum your carpets thoroughly; the more dirt you can get out beforehand – no matter what method you use – the easier the cleaning will be and the better your results.
• Do test the liquid, shampoo, or process in an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no reaction with your carpet.
• Don’t use any cleaning product that isn’t specifically for the machine you’re using; you may damage the carpet or your machine.
• Be sure to use only the specified amount of cleaning product. Most people think that – when it comes to cleaning – more product is better, but in the case of cleaning your carpets the opposite is true. Using more cleaning product than necessary will only result in more residue being left in your carpets.
• Avoid over-saturating the carpet and padding; extract as much water as possible.
• While it’s easier if you can completely clear the carpet of furniture, professionals use a technique called “chipping and blocking” to raise and hold furniture off the carpet until the carpet is try. Just use small pieces of board to lift the furniture enough that you can get underneath it.
• “Rake” the carpet after cleaning to lift up the fibers and separate them so they’ll dry faster.
• Circulate air through your home to help the carpets dry faster.
• If you like, you can use a protective product that repels stains and keeps your carpet fresher, longer.
Finally, don’t walk on the carpet until it’s completely dry. Go meet your family for a movie and dinner out! You’ve earned it!