Means of Using Carpet Cleaner
There are basically two options to cleaning dirty carpet: hire a professional, or rent a carpet cleaning machine and do it yourself. Hiring a professional can be expensive. Fortunately, carpet cleaning machines and shampoo can be rented at virtually any supermarket, hardware store or home improvement center.
Remove all furniture from the room, and vacuum the carpet thoroughly to pick up all surface dirt.
Detach the plastic tank that holds the liquid cleaner, or shampoo. This may involve removing a metal bail that fits over the top of the tank. Instructions for removing the tank will be printed in large letters on the rental equipment.
Carpet Cleaner Process
Pre-mix the suggested green carpet cleaning liquid according to the dilution rate on the bottle. Apply the carpet cleaning solution (pre-mixed) to the carpet area (not more than 1 room at a time or total area of approximately 250 sq. ft. This will help prevent "over-wetting" which increases drying time and can lead to "browning or wicking". Most types of carpet can be cleaned using 1 gallon of pre-mix to cover approx. 200 sq. ft.) Please note: Do not soak or over-saturate the carpet area during carpet cleaning!
Read all instructions that came with the cleaning machine as well as on the bottle of carpet cleaner. Follow all restrictions or precautions concerning children and pets.
Mix the specified amount of cleaner and water directly in the tank. For many cleaning machines it is 1 cup of cleaner to a full tank of water.
Return the tank to the machine, replace the cap and secure the tank. Securing the tank often means replacing a metal bail over its top.
Turn on the machine's power switch. Now find the switch or lever that activates the hose to spray hot cleaning solution directly onto the carpet. Press this switch or hold down on the lever, and slowly run the machine over a 4-by-4 foot section of carpet.
Release the lever that dispenses the cleaner, and then run the machine slowly over the area that you just sprayed the solution on, allowing the machine to extract as much solution and dirt from the carpet as possible. It's best if you pull the machine toward you while it extracts the solution and dirt.
Repeat on the next 4-by-4 foot section of carpet. Refill the machine's tank when it runs out of solution.
Run fans in the room and open windows until the carpet is completely dry. It can take several hours to a full day, depending on weather conditions. Vacuum once more to loosen carpet fibers before putting back furniture.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"