Using a Do-It-Yourself Carpet Cleaner

by Carolanne Strong
(last updated September 16, 2009)

Each carpet cleaner is different, so you will need to check the owner's manual for specifics about how to operate your particular model, but most of them work on the premise of clean water in and dirty water out. You fill it with clean water, which the machine uses to rinse the carpets and then discards in a holding reservoir. To make the job go quickly and smoothly, note the following:

  • Check your machine. If machines are not properly maintained, they may do more dirtying than cleaning. This is especially true of rentals. Look over your machine to ensure that the water tanks, brushes and tubes don't contain residue from the last job. Also, make sure you have all the necessary pieces.
  • Exchange water in a water-proof area. The bathroom is usually the best place to do this because the tub or shower pan is low, making it easier to lift and drain water tanks, and the room is designed to get wet, so spill are easy to clean up. If you don't have easy access to the bathroom, another option is to change the water outside using a garden hose to fill the tank and a drain to empty it (don't empty the holding reservoir on the grass as the chemicals in the water may damage your lawn).
  • Go slowly. The carpet cleaner needs time to do its work, so pass over each area slowly. If you use the carpet cleaner the same way you do a vacuum cleaner, you won't get a clean floor, and you may increase dry time and leave cleaning solvent behind. The carpet cleaner needs time spray and suck up the cleaning solution, so pass over each area slowly.
  • Work from the corner out. Just like mopping a room, the best place to start is in the corner furthest from the door. That way you won't be walking on damp floor. To ensure that you cover the whole area, move in a straight line from the back wall to the opposite wall, and make the next pass directly next to the previous one. When you are done you will be able to "stripes" in the floor.
  • Watch your steps. It may sound silly to point out, but until the floor is dry, the moisture in the carpet fibers can attract dirt. Stay off the area if at all possible, but at the very least, don't wear dirty shoes!

Author Bio

Carolanne Strong

MORE FROM CAROLANNE

Lifting Stains from Your Garage Floor

Your garage is the part of your house that you think the least about, but also takes the most abuse. If the grease stains on ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Water Stained Sofa

Water stains are not caused by water, but by the things the water leaves behind when it evaporates. If you can remove the ...

Discover More

Getting Soot Stains Out of Rugs and Carpets

It is all to easy to leave a soot stain on carpet if you have a wood burning stove, fireplace or if you use candles in your ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Removing the Sour Smell from Wet Carpet

Do you find that your carpets smell sour when wet? Do they smell sour even when they aren't wet? Do you go away on vacation, ...

Discover More

Getting Broken Glass Out of Your Carpet

Broken glass isn't difficult to clean up, but you will want to be thorough and careful as you remove the pieces from your ...

Discover More

Cheap Carpet Cleaning

Anyone who has ever turned to a professional carpet cleaning company can tell you that it isn't exactly cheap. Cheap carpet ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.