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Mistakes Too Many Homeowners Make When Cleaning Their Own Carpets

June 5, 2018

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Are you the type of homeowner who likes to manage as many home maintenance jobs yourself as possible, including shampooing your home’s carpeting? It is true that you can often rent a carpet shampooer from a home improvement quickly and affordably; however, this doesn’t mean it’s actually recommended that you tackle this job yourself, or that using even the best quality machine will get you the same results as a professional carpet cleaner.

To ensure you avoid damaging your home’s carpets while keeping them as clean as possible, and to help you decide if hiring a professional carpet cleaner may actually be a better option, note some mistakes that too many homeowners make when cleaning their own home’s carpets.

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All carpets are not alike!

Your home’s carpeting may be made of cotton, wool, nylon, silk, or a blend of any of these materials. The fibers of the carpet may also be cut, spun, crushed, or looped in a variety of ways.

This is important to understand, as different blends of materials and different cuts of fibers will affect how that carpeting should be cleaned. Using a heavy scrub brush or rotating heads on delicate silk fibers that are looped around the carpet backing can mean crushing the fibers or causing them to become threadbare and shredded, as an example.

On the other hand, if you don’t use a heavy brush and enough pressure when shampooing thick wool or cotton carpeting, you can easily leave dirt behind. Not using the right machine and technique when cleaning carpets can also mean not restoring fibers that have been crushed and worn over the years. If you’re not sure the composition of your home’s carpeting, avoid these risks by leaving this job to the pros.

Not extracting enough water

​Extracting or vacuuming up the water used for carpet shampooing is very important, as wet padding under the carpet can allow mold and mildew to form. Not only do molded or mildewed carpets smell bad, but that mold can also spread to the home’s subfloors and other building materials.

Not extracting enough water also means leaving behind a sticky residue of detergent, which actually attracts dirt! Don’t assume that you can allow your home’s carpeting to air-dry after a shampooing, but keep extracting water until the carpeting is as dry as possible, to avoid mold growth and to keep carpets clean after you’re done shampooing them.

A standard shampooing is not your only option

​Did you know that shampooing your home’s carpets with a heavy scrub brush is not your only option for getting them clean? A home’s carpeting might be better treated with a simple steam cleaning that’s done without any shampoo or detergent, or with a dry cleaning option that uses a powder cleanser and which doesn’t require water for removal.

A steam cleaning can be good for someone with sensitivities to shampoos or detergents, and for delicate carpeting. A dry cleaning might be a good choice for those who don’t have the time to extract all the water that’s used for standard carpeting shampooing. Rather than assuming a shampoo is the only option for cleaning carpets, consider if plain steam or dry cleaning might be a better choice for your home.

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