While carpet and rug experts highly recommend that homeowners clean their carpets on a regular basis, it is strongly advised that you give your carpet a shampooing every year. In fact, carpet shampooing should become a part of your spring cleaning routine.
Truth to tell, no amount of regular vacuuming can completely remove dirt, grime and allergens from your carpet. With time, you will notice your carpet becoming darker in color and dingy as well. To give your carpet a brand new lease in life as well as to maintain its longevity, you should give it a thorough shampooing.
The best way to shampoo your carpet is with the aid of a shampoo and steam machine. You can simply rent one from your local cleaning company, especially if you want to clean your carpet yourself. It is important that you ask the cleaners what shampoos and solutions are best for your carpet and the machine that you will be using.
Prior to shampooing the entire carpet, test the cleaning solutions that you will use in an inconspicuous area. In your shampoo, dip a clean white cloth and then scrub it into the area. After a few minutes, dip another cloth into water and scrub the same place until the shampoo is completely removed. Finally, scrub the area with a dry cloth until it is damp. See if there are any discolorations. If the area has faded in color, do not use the shampoo.
If the shampoo you have tested does not cause any discolorations, the next step is to vacuum your entire carpet before you actually shampoo. The more you remove the dirt from the fibers, the easier it will be to wash with the shampoo.
When you start shampooing your carpet, start with high traffic areas. Pre-spray these areas with shampoo in order to loosen all the dirt and grime. Do not put too much water and shampoo so that your carpet is completely soaked. This will make your carpet very difficult to dry later on. When you use the shampoo and steam machine, make sure that you apply even pressure as you move it evenly on the surface of your carpet. These even strokes will ensure that your carpet is thoroughly cleaned and also so that you won’t miss a spot. After you completely shampooed your carpet, switch your machine to steam. The heat from the machine will help in sucking up excess water and hasten the drying of your carpet. Make sure that your carpet is completely dry or else molds might grow on the surface and the padding of your carpet, as well as destroy your sub-floor. Touch your carpet frequently to see if it is dry enough.
To help in hastening the drying of your carpet, keep all windows open or turn on your ceiling fan. Your carpet should be thoroughly dry within 8 to 10 hours.