Cleaning – Do It Yourself
DIY Carpet Cleaning
Do-It-Yourself Carpet Cleaning
If you decide to rent a steam cleaning machine and clean your carpet yourself, you’ll need to choose your equipment carefully. Most rental units available do not adequately clean and may actually damage the carpet. Do-it-yourself system equipment and cleaning products must be certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program. Visit www.carpet-rug.org for a list of approved products/equipment. Check several cleaning systems before making a selection and consider the following:
Make sure the carpet will dry quickly
The cleaning equipment you select should have enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry within 6 to 12 hours after cleaning. Units that do not have the power to extract the cleaning solution from the carpet adequately may actually damage the carpet due to over wetting.
Do not get the carpet too wet
Prolonged dampness more than 24 hours may promote growth of mold and bacteria in the carpet or cause separation of the backing.
Do not use excessive detergent
Use a cleaning solution with a pH less than 10, preferably near 9, and with a minimum of non sticky residue. The attraction between the detergent and the soil and oil particles is critical during the cleaning process. However, if it isn’t rinsed completely, the detergent residue continues to attract the particles after cleaning. Increasing the amount of cleaning solution beyond the recommended level does not increase cleaning performance, but makes the removal of detergent more difficult. Because buildup of detergent residue is the most common cause of accelerated re-soiling complaints, Shaw also recommends a clear-water rinse after cleaning.
Know your warranty guidelines
Carpet with stain resistant treatments must be cleaned with products formulated for this purpose, or the stain resistance will be impaired and the warranty voided. Do not use cleaning or spotting solutions that contain bleaches or optical brighteners because they can discolor the carpet. Please refer to(Residential Carpet Warranty Information) for additional information.
Do not use silicone-based anti-soil treatments
Use fans to expedite drying time
Reduce drying time by using several fans to move air across the carpet in combination with a dehumidifier or air conditioner to pull moisture out of the air. Carpet should dry within 12 hours; even fewer hours is better.
Shaw Industries does not recommend Bonnet cleaning systems.
These systems employ a rotating bonnet of terry cloth or other absorbent material to agitate the carpet pile and absorb soil. A detergent solution is sprayed onto the pile and then worked with the bonnet attached to a rotary floor polisher. The Bonnet system has very limited capability for soil removal and leaves much of the detergent in the pile since it employs no real extraction. As a result, rapid re-soiling often occurs. Another disadvantage is that the spinning bonnet may distort the fibers of cut pile carpet, fuzz the pile, and leave distinct swirl marks.