Carpet Cleaning Tips
TIP 1: Cleaning
It doesn't matter what make of machine you own, whether it is a Vax, Bissel or a Karcher etc you can get much better results simply by changing how you use your machine. Instead of putting the solution into the tank of your machine, put it in a sprayer ( I use the backpack version) but a pump-up handsprayer will do the job nicely.
Firstly you need to dilute the solution with water, just like you would have to if you were putting it into the solution tank of your machine. I make mine twice as strong then spray the solution directly onto the carpet or sofa to be cleaned. By doing this the detergent has the time it needs to penetrate the fibres. If you were to put the detergent into your machine, it only has seconds to do its job making it less effective. Think about it, your clothes are in the washer more than a few seconds, its the same principle.
While you wait for the solution to do its thing, you can help it by agitating the fibres with a brush. To do this I use a small handbrush for sofas and a long handled floorbrush for carpets. Gently work the detergent into the fibres, this process of agitation can be repeated if the soiling is particularly bad, but be careful not to be too aggressive with this step (especially with sofas) as this could result in damage to the fibres themselves. To achieve the best results I like to leave the detergent solution to stand/dwell for approximately 30 - 45 minutes.
The final part of this process involves using your machine to rinse out the cleaning detergent/solution and dirt from your carpet or sofa. All you need to put in your tank at this step is warm/hot water, maybe a small amount of soda crystals (purchased from the local supermarket) to help remove limescale and soften the water.
The biggest benefit by not putting the detergent solution into your machine's tank is that you are not rinsing with detergent. This would remain in the fibres, resulting in rapid re-soiling and the need to repeat all your effort again prematurely. By following these steps your carpets and sofas will be free of dirt and detergent.Try to buy a detergent that is 'foam free' as this will be easier to remove from your carpets and sofas when rinsing, making the difference between a temporary clean and a more permanent one.
TIP 2: Increased Power
Your domestic cleaning machine, I'm guessing, has not got the power of a professional machine resulting in a job that leaves a lot to be desired! Your carpets are saturated with a dirty solution which could take days to dry. One way to overcome the lack of suction is to use the upholstery hand tool. This will have a smaller cross sectional area which will magnify the suction, however the downside is that it will take a bit longer to do. I would use the handtool for the worst of the areas and use the upright or the wand in the less soiled parts of the carpet, especially areas that have been covered up by furniture.
Another way to aid the drying is to place towels,sheets or blankets on top of the wet carpet and walk 'up and down' on them, this will result in the moisture being transferred from the carpet to the towels etc. Ventilation is the key for reduced drying times. People tend to believe in putting the heating on but without ventilation (open windows and doors) the fibres will only sweat, resulting in a 'wet dog smell!' The moisture needs to escape the room in order for proper drying to occur. Only when you have adequate ventilation will heating the room be of any benefit.
TIP 3: Restoration of Carpets
Does your carpet look old, tired and worn out? If so this is probably down to what is called 'pile crush.' Repeated walking up and down on the carpet, particularly in the traffic lane areas (doorways etc), causes the pile to become flattened giving a darker appearance due to the way it reflects the light. You won't have a professional machine at hand to lift the pile but you probably have a wire brush. This can be used to tease the fibres upright again, revitalising the carpet and restoring its appearance to what it once was (well almost)! You must be very careful not to over do it, too much use of wire brush can wear the carpet and can remove some of the fibres. However, if the carpet is worn out, what have you got to lose? It could put you on until you have the money to buy a new one.
PLEASE NOTE:- Caution should always be taken when cleaning carpets and sofas. It is essential to do a sample test clean in an inconspicuous area first to establish if there will be any adverse effects. We cannot accept any liability for any damage which may occur.