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How To Steam Clean A Carpet
27Jun 2014
How To Steam Clean A CarpetCarpets are necessarily high traffic areas. Especially hallways, upstairs landings, the route to the kitchen – virtually every area of your home will have feet regularly tramping over it. And whilst everyday cleaning need only be vacuuming and scrubbing at the odd stain that may appear, sometimes a more labour intensive method of cleaning may be required for your carpets, in order to really get the stubborn layers of dirt out. And this is where steam cleaners come in. These clever machines use a pre-prepared solution that soaks into the carpet and drags up those forgotten bits of grime. The first thing to know is that these steam cleaners should mostly be hired, rather than bought. Unless you anticipated using one at least monthly, then just nip to your nearest hardware store and you will be able to rent one for a day for a very reasonable sum of money.  The function of a steam cleaner is soil and water removal. Before beginning usage make sure that the area of carpet you wish to clean is suitable. Some of these cleaners can damage carpets by retaining fibres. And they should never be used on rare, valuable or very delicate carpets or rugs. They should be able to remove enough water that takes less than 12 hours to dry. Over-wetting a carpet can be a very serious problem. It causes issues such as mold growth, and the carpet separating from its backing. In extreme cases this could lead to a whole new carpet being required – so do be careful when you assess the amount of water that you need to use. In addition, pick a time when your steam-cleaned carpet can dry easily, such as no humidity in the air or inclement weather. Either of these will prevent your carpet from drying easily. When you consider the cleaning solution, do bear in mind that you need to choose carefully. It should have a pH score of under 10, or you risk damaging your carpet. Before you begin, clear as much furniture out of your way as you can. If you are able then shift the furniture entirely into another room, this will leave you the clearest path possible and reduces the risk of you missing a patch to zero. However if it is too much, or too heavy, or you lack space, then just push as much as possible into a group in the centre of the room. These bits and pieces can then be moved from side to side to allow as neat cleaning as possible. Once you have prepared your area as best you can, fill your steam cleaner with water. Add the cleaning solution that you have chosen in the dose recommended by the product manufacturer. This solution will attract the soil particles that you want removed. When you are actually using the steam cleaner, take care to work backwards so that you do not cross any patch of carpet that you have cleaned. But don’t just go over it once, make sure that you run the cleaner over the carpet several times so that you extract as much dirt as possible. This is not a process that you want to be doing every week! Once you are satisfied that you have cleaned the carpet as much as you are able, it is time to rinse with plain water. The solution that you have used on the carpet will have attracted the dirt. And once the carpet is rinsed, you should use any means possible to dry the carpet. Open all the available windows, turn the air conditioning on, set up fans to blow directly at the carpet, and a really good trick is to use dehumidifiers. Then, if you need to walk on the carpet before it is completely dry then place plastic bags or clean socks over your shoes to protect your handiwork from damage. It would be a real shame to undo all that good work at this stage! And as a final tip, if you need to replace the furniture before your carpet is completely dry, then place it on sections of foam. This will prevent the furniture from causing serious indents in your now beautifully-clean carpets.

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