Deep-Cleaning Carpets

There comes a time in the life of every carpet when vacuuming can no longer restore its clean appearance. There are four major indicators of the need for a deep-cleaning job: the carpet is matted and feels sticky; the carpet is no longer the same color as the remnant you saved when the carpet was new; the carpet has grimy circles around the chairs; or the carpet releases a dust storm when you run across the room.

If any of these descriptions fit your carpet, then it is time to deep-clean it. Unless you have the time and strength to do a thorough cleaning job, it's time to call in the professionals. The only method for cleaning carpeting down to the backing is to agitate it with a shampooer and rinse with an extractor. Here's how it's done:

  • Before cleaning your carpet, test for colorfastness. Moisten a white towel with the cleaning solution that you are going to use, and apply it to an inconspicuous area. If the towel does not pick up any color from the carpet, it is probably safe to use the solution on the entire carpet.
  • Remove as much furniture from the room as possible, and place foil or plastic film under the legs and bases of the remaining furniture to prevent stains.
  • Vacuum the carpet thoroughly, then spot-clean and pretreat stains before shampooing the carpet.
  • Follow the instructions printed on the carpet cleaner.
  • Use single strokes over the carpet surface.
  • Do not apply heavy pressure with the machine.
  • Wipe cleaning solutions and foam from furniture legs and woodwork immediately to prevent damage.
  • Fluff damp fibers against the nap after shampooing to aid drying.
  • Make sure the room is well-ventilated after cleaning to speed drying.
  • Try not to walk on carpets until they are completely dry.
Onward to our final section, where we'll tell you how to treat special types of carpet problems, such as burned areas and loose threads.