Inside: Tired of dirty carpet? Check out how to use a carpet cleaner like a pro! Whether you are renting a carpet cleaner or just bought one see how to properly use it and get your carpets clean again.
I love having clean carpets that are free from stains. Normally, if I have any small stains to clean on our carpets I just use my homemade carpet stain remover.
However, once or twice a year I like to go through and give all of the carpets in the house a deep clean.
I have found that after a while we have areas in our carpet that get dirty just from heavy foot traffic.
Toward the end of November, I decided to clean the carpets before I moved the furniture to put up the Christmas decorations. I love having clean white carpet when I put up the tree.
If you are wanting to rent a carpet cleaner or just bought one and don't know where to start check out these great tips on how to use a carpet cleaner like a pro! You will love how clean your carpets look after using it.
How To Use A Carpet Cleaner
I have used quite a few different rentals over the years and they all work about the same. So, even if you can't rent the same kind that I did these directions should work well for you.
Before You Start
To start, I recommend moving most of your furniture out of the room before you rent the machine. Occasionally I will leave a heavier piece of furniture, but I like to move out couches, chairs, and coffee tables.
Once you move everything out take a good look at your carpet. If you have spots or stains you may want to spot treat them before you use the carpet cleaner.
If the spots are pet urine spots I highly recommend this stain remover. When I am using a carpet cleaner I just spray some down the night before.
If the spots are from anything else you can make up your own spot cleaner. I just mix half water and half of the cleaner that I am using in the machine.
I put it in a spray bottle and spray over the area that is stained. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes before you clean the carpets.
To get started you will need to either rent or buy a carpet cleaner. I have always rented, I don't want to spend the money to buy one and have to store it.
I like to rent from Home Depot. You can get carpet cleaners just about everywhere, but that is just my preference.
When you rent the machine make sure you buy some carpet cleaning solution too. I typically use one of two solutions.
If I am just cleaning the carpets because of high traffic areas I prefer an oxyclean solution. However, if it is because of pet stains (I have a chihuahua that doesn't always go outside) then I use this pet solution.
If you don't like the idea of using chemicals in your home you can also use vinegar in your machine.
I used to do this when my son was a baby because of how much time he spent on the floor. Just use about 2 cups of vinegar with every gallon of water.
Using Your Carpet Cleaner
Once you get home with your rental you can set it up in the first room you want to clean in. Make sure your machine has enough cord to use it throughout the whole room.
Our living room is larger and I use an extension cord so I don't have to unplug and plug it back in multiple times.
Next, you can make up the solution to go in your machine. Different brands will hold different amounts but I have found most hold 2 1/2 gallons.
I prefer to mix up 2 gallons at a time so the machine doesn't get too heavy to push around.
Each detergent will vary with how much you add to the gallon of water. But I always recommend adding a little more than what they recommend.
Once you have your solution mixed up then you pour it into the machine.
Finally, add the bucket back on to the machine so it can catch the dirty water. Plug in the carpet cleaner, and you are ready to get started.
Start on one side of the room and work your way from one side to the other overlapping the strips a little bit, kind of like you are mowing the lawn.
I like to overlap because I have found that usually, it doesn't clean completely up to the edge.
If you come to an area that has a stain or high traffic you will want to go over the area a few extra times.
Once you are finished with the room you can either move on to the next, or if you are done just follow the directions below.
Removing The Soap
Most likely you will have a little bit of soapy water left over. I usually just use the rest of it on high traffic areas instead of throwing it out.
Next, I personally like to remove some of the soap from the carpet. This is a step you can skip if you want, but I have had really good results doing it.
Clean out the machine and then fill it back up with hot water. I don't recommend adding any carpet cleaner to the machine.
Then go back over and repeat cleaning the carpet that you already did with just the hot water.
This will help get out some of the carpet cleaner that was added to the carpet. I am always amazed at how dirty the water is even the second time around.
I've heard people complain about their carpets being "crunchy" after cleaning them and I think this second step really helps with that.
After you finish going over the carpets with just water then you can clean up your carpet cleaner and any supplies you have out.
I recommend dumping the water down a drain that is easy to clean out because the water is usually so dirty! Check out how gross my living room water was below.
Then, if you want to help your carpets dry faster you can set out a fan to blow over the carpets. I always like to do this so the carpets dry quickly.
I highly recommend not walking on the carpets until they are 100 percent dry.
Once you are sure the carpets and the carpet pad are dry you can vacuum the carpet.
This will remove any dirt that you may have turned up while cleaning that is still in the carpet.
When you are done vacuuming you can put back the furniture into the room. Again, make sure the pad of the carpet is dry or else the furniture could stain or damage the carpet.
Once you learn how to use a carpet cleaner you will love how easy it is. You can have clean carpets without spending a lot of money.
Forget hiring an expensive professional to clean your carpets with these simple tricks.
Want some other easy carpet cleaning tricks? Check out how to get paint out of your carpet easily even if it has dried.