5 Tips For Using A Shampooer To Clean Your Carpet

by | Dec 31, 2015 | Uncategorized


Using a carpet shampooer keeps your carpet fresh and clean. These cleaners resemble a vacuum cleaner but with a hot water extractor that produces warm, sudsy water to clean the carpet. The shampooing machine has a solution tank and cleaning attachment with a nylon brush. The brush spins and releases the cleaning solution into the carpeting, which creates foam. Moving in a circular fashion, the brush scrubs the carpeting. It uses suction to remove the water and then sends the water to a dirty water reservoir. They’re really not that hard to use, and they can save you an absolute fortune in professional carpet cleaning!

Here are 5 steps to shampoo your carpet to get it clean:

1. Prepare your carpet and areas to be shampooed

  • If available, review the directions that go with your carpet to ensure that the cleaning solution and shampooer you use are appropriate for the carpet you own.
  • Begin by removing furniture from the room and then thoroughly vacuum the carpet preferably with a powerhead vacuum cleaner, before shampooing to remove loose dirt, pet hair and other particles. This should also expose the carpet stains, if there are any.
  • Pay attention to high-traffic areas, as well as corners and spaces where the carpet meets the wall. Use an attachment, if necessary, to get suction into spots the vacuum can’t adequately cover.
  • When using a carpet shampooer it is wise to perform a spot test on an out of the way portion of the carpet to make sure that no discoloration occurs and the settings are correct before applying it liberally.
  • Treat tough areas with a stain remover spray. Spray the cleaner directly on the stain and follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning it up. Some sprays are left on the stain until you vacuum it up while others will be dabbed with a clean cloth. The stain remover works by using chemicals to break the electrical charge between the dirt particles and carpet fibers. This allows the dirt to break free and the solution draws it to the surface of the carpet for removal.
  • Removing as many of the allergens, dirt and dust mites as possible with a powerhead vacuum before shampooing will significantly increase the quality of the result.
  • Clear the room you will be cleaning. Work in one room at a time and remove as much furniture as you can. If necessary, shift all the furniture to one side of the room so you can clean the other side. This may cause issues however when you have to set the furniture on the damp carpet. This may not allow the carpet to dry properly.

Note: Silk carpet should not be treated with a carpet shampooer.


2. Prepare the carpet shampooing machine

  • Fill the clean water tank with water and carpet shampoo as directed by manufacturer instructions. Do not use more shampoo than required. Excess shampoo will leave greater residue on the carpet, allowing dirt to cling to the dried residue and making carpets look dirty again.
  • It’s important to read the list of ingredients on the shampoo bottle before cleaning. Mix carpet shampoo according to the instructions and add to carpet shampooer.
  • When looking for carpet shampooer, be sure that the shampooer is an extractor with a clean water rinse cycle.


3. Now you are ready to shampoo your carpet

  • Rushing the cleaning job may give poor results so plan to take your time.
  • To thoroughly clean the carpet, maneuver the machine across the surface several times. This may include stopping periodically to empty the dirty water from the reservoir and refill it with clean water.
  • Use consistent forward and reverse strokes over the carpet surface.
  • Clean the entire room by moving in an up and down motion, working from one wall to the other and then back until the waste water being sucked up is clear. Empty the waste water tank and refill the clean water tank with solution, as needed. For harder stains, you may wish to move back and forth over the stain several times until the water is clear.
  • Don’t ‘overdose’ the shampoo solution, it is better to go over a dirty spot twice than put excess shampoo in the carpet
  • Removing the soap from your carpet is very important. The amount of water extracted is also very important. If you leave water in the carpet, you’re leaving dirt and the moisture will possibly lead to mold and mildew.
  • If too much detergent is used, or if all the detergent is not removed, the carpet will get dirtier sooner. Detergent left in a carpet, serves as a magnet for new dirt.
  • When finished shampooing, run a tank of clear water over the heavy cleaned areas (e.g. entrances and walkways). This will help remove excess shampoo and keep those areas cleaner for longer. It also helps to rinse out the shampoo from inside in the machine!


4. After shampooing

  • Press your hand on the carpet.  If your fingers have residual moisture, it’s important to extract the remnants of water/shampoo from the fibers by suctioning the carpet further.  Do this until the process of pressing your hand to the rug no longer produces much residue. Carpet care needs patience, and it is not a minor task.
  • Wipe cleaning solution from woodwork and wood furniture immediately to prevent damage to the wood or upholstery.
  • Allow ample time for the area to dry before putting furniture back on it. This could take overnight. For smaller areas, it can be dry in as little as 2 hours. Larger rooms may take 1 day for everything to be completely dry. Opening windows and turning on fans can  help it to dry quicker.
  • If furniture must be placed back in the room before the carpet is dry, use aluminum foil or plastic under the furniture legs to prevent staining the carpet.
  • Use towels or white cloths to step on if you must walk on the area before it is dry. Try to keep children and pets off the carpet until it is completely dry.
  • When your carpet is dry, vacuum again to remove any loose particles suspended on top of the carpet before anyone walks on it.


5. Cleaning Frequency

How frequently you should shampoo carpet depends largely on the amount of traffic a carpet receives. A carpet that is walked on daily should be cleaned at least once or twice per year, but carpet in an infrequently used room may need to be shampooed only every 18 months.

Light colored carpeting will show dirt more easily and may need to be cleaned more often.


If you need any help or further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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