Carpets naturally soil over time from foot traffic and the dirt that accumulates in our houses. Vacuuming is a crucial part to keeping carpets clean but sometimes is not enough. Vacuuming removes the deep down grit that accumulates at the pads surface. Carpet fibers will start to become dirty over time and will need to be cleaned with a carpet extractor. Carpet extractors or commonly known as steam cleaners do not actually use steam but a mixture of hot water and carpet shampoo to remove the dirt that accumulates at the surface of the carpeting. The process applies the soap and water mixture and scrubs the carpet then extracts it to remove the soiling. The concept is simple but the details that will help to make the process more effective and longer lasting are commonly overlooked.
Carpet shampoo to water mixture is a commonly misunderstood idea. Most people believe that by adding more carpet shampoo to the mix will make their carpets come cleaner. The truth is actually the opposite. The more carpet shampoo that is added will actually cause the carpet to become dirtier quicker. The extra soap that is added will remain in the carpeting causing it to become sticky and attract dirt causing it to re soil quicker. Using less soap and rinsing the carpet with plain water after shampooing will help to remove excess soap residue and reduce re soiling. Natural products like Unique Carpet Shampoo can be used and will prevent a sticky reside because of their makeup. Natural products use natural enzymes instead of sticky chemical to clean soiling from carpet and upholstery eliminating sticky residue.
The concept of rinsing carpets after shampooing them is not a common practice. When doing laundry one always rinses after washing to remove the soap from the clothing. The idea with carpeting and upholstery is the same. After shampooing switch the cleaner to the rinse setting to use plain water. If the carpet cleaner being used does not have a rinse setting simply dump out the remaining solution and fill the solution tank with plain water. White distilled vinegar may be used to help break down and remove excess soap in the rinse cycle also. Keep in mind that only a fourth of a cup is needed per gallon as it is very strong and acidic. After the rinse cycle is complete fill the tank with fresh clean water again, if using a vinegar wash, and run clean water through the cleaner for about thirty seconds to flush out the system. Doing this will greatly extend the life of the cleaner.