DIY Carpet Cleaning


Throughout the year your carpet takes a toll from muddy, wet shoes tracking through the house. If you are a pet owner, you might even be battling muddy paws. Eventually, trails begin to appear through your house. Wet tracks seep into the carpet taking dirt and grime with them. Before long the dirt, dust and dander have seeped into the padding.

When possible, there may be an attempt to clean a spot as it happens. Sometimes the quickest thing might be grabbing a cleaning product from under the kitchen sink.
Best Pet Stain Remover
Carpet "Cleaned" with household cleaners

Grabbing that bottle of stain remover might not be the best idea however. In some cases, you can actually make a bigger stain then you started with. Here is an example of a stain that was treated with a very common store brought product that claims it is specifically designed to remove carpet stains.
Rather then removing the stain, the cleaner actually made a bigger mess. Store bought cleaners can have a negative effect on your carpet for several reasons. If a cleaning product is soap based, it can actually attract dirt to the area where it was used. If a cleaning product is chemical based, it can discolor your carpet. In this photo, a soap based cleaner basically just spread the stain throughout the carpet. Prior to the attempted cleaning, this was just a simple, small stain. After cleaning with a basic cleaner, which claims to be specifically for carpet stain removal, the stain now appears to be smudge marks throughout the carpet.
Best pet Stain RemoverOne small spot can be frustrating, but when there are several stains, a carpet cleaned improperly can be an embarrassing nightmare. In the event that a carpet cleaner doesn't work, stains become the least of your worries. In the above example, an attempt was made to clean several stains. This photo represents months of trying to remove carpet stains using several different household cleaners. It is more then obvious that these cleaners failed miserably. Prior to cleaning, some of these stains were only visible if you approached the stains up close. After cleaning, they became eye sores. Cleaner after cleaner failed. The next step was replacing the carpet.

However . . . it turned out that the carpet simply wasn't cleaned right! After correctly cleaning the carpet, not only were the stains gone, but the stains left behind from the other cleaning products were removed as well.

If you have carpets that have become a nightmare, or if you are at your wits end with the mess on your floor, you are probably asking "How did you do it??" While this carpet was a battle for over 6 months, with an arsenal of store bought products and threats of being torn out, the issue ended up being resolved in less then an hour with amazing results as you can see.

How To Make Your Carpets Look Professionally Cleaned

It turned out that cleaning this carpet and removing the stains was easier then ever . . . once it was done correctly. The key to properly removing stains from the carpet was in the cleaner. The best type of cleaner to use is a water based surfactant. A surfactant cleaner works quite differently from other cleaners. It does not contain harsh chemicals or soaps found in many cleaners labelled as spot or carpet cleaners. Those type of cleaners promote buildup in carpet, or can cause reactions with previously used cleaners, or even with your carpet for that matter. Enzyme based cleaners can also be highly ineffective. The biggest problem with enzymes is that they are bacteria based. Because of this, they will only break down components with a specific composition. They react to other elements, and if the elements do not correspond, the enzyme will not break down what you are looking to remove. Vinegar and ammonia are often suggested, however if you have pets this is an absolute No No as pets can be drawn to urinate in the places where they were applied.
Surfactant based cleaners do not contain harsh chemicals. There is no bleach. There is no ammonia or vinegar. There are no enzymes. Instead, the cleaner breaks down the bonds of the stain, causing it to detach from the surface. It can then be flushed from the area it was located in.
The best way to clean a carpet, and the way that was done in the above example, was with a carpet cleaning machine. The machine used was a Bissel Pro Heat. It is probably one of the best carpet cleaners a home owner can buy. The cleaner used was Genesis 950 - which is without question the best carpet cleaner available.

How To Shampoo Your Carpets

The actual process to clean these stained areas took less then an hour. It was quite simple. The Bissell Pro Heat 2X has a compartment that fills with water, and another that fills with cleaning solution. In this case Genesis 950. The machine allows the user to set the level of cleaning needed. Obviously, based on the stains, the setting was "Heavy". Slowly, go over the stained areas releasing the mixture of solution and water into the carpet. After the area has been cleaned, the next step is to rinse. As the surfactant based cleaner has been released into the carpet, it immediately begins to break down the dirt, grime, and other residue in the carpet. Once the area is finished, use only water, and the rinse setting on the machine. Go over the area that was cleaned and begin flushing all the lifted debris from the carpet.
For this particular carpet, the rinse cycle took the longest. Upon rinsing, the water being returned to the machine was mud brown. It was shocking to see what was coming out of the carpet. It should have been expected based on how the surface looked, but we often forget that the dirt, dust and grime settle down into the carpet. This carpet needed to be rinsed about 7 to 8 times before the water being returned was clean. However the end results speak for them selves. The carpet was no longer a filthy eyesore. It was clean, smelled fresh, and was even restored to a fluffy state.