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How to Use a Carpet Shampooer

Cleanliness keeps your family healthy. Carpets attract all kinds of dirt and dust including pet dander which can cause health problems. It’s only fair to clean your carpet regularly to keep everyone safe. What do you stand to lose? Nothing, but you enjoy immense benefits.

Good carpet maintenance ensures it lasts longer, and this is only possible with regular cleaning and proper care. Deep clean your carpet using a carpet shampooer to remove deep-seated dirt and eradicate the unpleasant smells. It’s a chance to freshen up the carpet.

We are going to take you through the best way to clean your carpet and get the best results. You need patience and the right supplies to achieve professional results. Now that you bought a carpet shampooer, what next? Use the tips below to clean your carpet effectively using your shampooer.

Plan your carpet cleaning time

Pick a time when you have no commitments. Schedule your carpet cleaning in the warmer months to ensure your carpet is adequately dry. Don’t schedule the cleaning as a last-minute decision because carpet cleaning is a big job. You need to focus on the cleaning 100% if you want excellent results.

After washing the carpet needs 5-6 hours to sufficiently dry. It may be good to leave it on the floor to dry out overnight. Prematurely moving your furniture back in will result in damp spots in areas the furniture covers. Plus, it leaves those areas prone to mold growth.

Carpet preparation

Start by thoroughly vacuuming your carpet twice using a powerful and reliable vacuum cleaner. As much as your carpet shampooer has suction capabilities, let the vacuum cleaner remove all the surface dirt, grime, and dust. Doing this leaves your shampooer to handle deep-seated dirt more effectively.

Pay special attention to high traffic areas as you vacuum.  Also, work low-traffic areas such as corners and under the seat. Remove furniture to give you better working space and allow you to clean your carpet effectively.

Read the carpet shampooer manual

It’s tempting to skip this part, but don’t because the instructions may differ from brand to brand and from one model to the next. It helps you understand how the machine works. For instance, the manual has instructions on what soaps to use and the amount.

Furthermore, the manual has instructions on various buttons, settings, and parts which helps you know how to use them to clean your carpet.

Fill your carpet shampooer with the right detergent and amount of water as per the manual recommendations. Resist the temptation to add more cleaning fluids especially if your carpet is extremely dirty as it only leaves you with more soap that doesn’t come out.

Also, don’t overfill your water tank as it makes the shampooer not work properly. Check the instructions manual on whether to use cold or warm water. If the carpet shampooer allows both, then it’s preferable to use warm water as it’s more effective.

Water and detergent

Avoid overdoing the shampoo as it makes it more difficult to cleanout. It’s difficult to rinse out shampoo when you use too much. Besides, it leaves your carpet more prone to attracting more dust than before.

Using enough shampoo ensures you don’t end up with soapy patches or moldy and damp underlay.

Most shampooer manuals will tell you to use microwaved or boiled water because it doesn’t scald you or damage your machine. 

Use cooler water if you are cleaning wool-blend or pure wool carpets. Use only the recommended detergent and avoid improvising because it may be too soapy making it difficult to get the detergent out.

Pre-treat your carpet

Pre-treat those soiled patches using a hose attachment to remove stains and spills. Do this 5 minutes before starting the carpet cleaning process. If you have old dry stains, consider using a stain remover. 

Cleaning method: using the carpet shampooer

Cleaning method using the carpet shampooer

Clean the carpet in straight-line motion

A carpet shampooer works differently than a vacuum cleaner. You can’t use the same back and forth motion used in vacuuming on a carpet shampooer. Why not?  Doing that will only leave extra residue behind.

The best approach is to start cleaning from corners closer to the walls and clean in straight lines up and down the room. Turn around and clean towards the opposing direction. You should be cleaning in stripes like you do when mowing a lawn. 

A carpet shampooer isn’t built to clean in random directions. It ensures you don’t clean an area twice. Besides, it ensures you spend less time on the wet carpet. Overlap the lines a little as you clean to ensure you cover all areas.

Repeat the process with just water

The carpet shampooer is specially designed to suck up excess soap and water. Occasionally, the shampooer may leave some residue behind. 

Running the process a second time with only water ensures you remove traces of soap left behind. 

Fill the shampooer clean water tank with cold water and don’t add a detergent. Start from the far corner as you clean towards the closer areas.  The clean water rinses the carpet by removing leftover soap and dirty water trapped in the carpet fibers. 

Also, the cold water stops leftover detergent from foaming up. Besides, removing all traces of shampoo leaves your carpet cleaner for longer. Empty the water tanks and rinse them with clean water. Place them in a safe place to dry and only assemble the shampooer once the water tanks are dry.

Leave the carpet to dry

You can dry the carpet outside or leave it on the floor. Ensure you open the windows and doors to allow maximum air circulation. If you have a dehumidifier, set it up in that room. Alternatively, switch on the fan.  Leave the carpet in an empty room for 24 hours for maximum drying.

How fast should you clean your carpet?

Use the carpet shampooer at a small pace. The shampooer sprays the carpet with clean, soapy water before sucking it back up. Therefore, if you go fast, you don’t allow the machine time to finish the process. Consequently, you leave dirty water behind or fail to clean a spot well.

The slower you clean the carpet, the deeper the cleaning and the more thorough the process. If you need to rest, just turn off the shampooer, you will start from the same spot.

How do I know the dirty water tank is full?

How do I know the dirty water tank is full

The carpet shampooer will alert you when it’s time to empty the dirty water tank outside. The machine has a float valve that warns you when the dirty water tank is full. Some carpet cleaner models have a light indicator or gauge that warns users. Stop immediately and empty it then refill the clean water tank. 

However, don’t empty the dirty water into your bathroom or sink as it may clog the drains.

Instead, pour it into your toilet or outside.

Final thoughts

A carpet shampooer gives a deeper cleaning than vacuuming. It helps extend your carpet lifespan while leaving it smelling refreshing. Observe the instruction manual to ensure you don’t damage your carpet cleaner or the fabric. Pay attention to the dirty water tank and empty it immediately when it’s full. 

Use the right amount of water and detergent to protect the carpet cleaner. Also, clean your carpet in a straight line direction starting with far-off areas to areas near the doorway. Do your cleaning in warmer months to ensure the carpet dries well.

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