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How to Clean Carpets - 6 Steps for Professionals


There’s more than one way to skin a cat... likewise, there are multiple ways to clean a carpet. While methods may vary there are some basic steps that have become standard in the carpet cleaning industry. Here they are:

  1. Pre-vacuum - A thorough vacuuming ensures debris and dirt trapped in the carpet is removed. Focus on the heavy traffic areas, and be sure to hit the edges and corners as well.
  2. Prespray - Using an inline injection sprayer, pump sprayer or electric sprayer, apply your prespray of choice. Be sure that the prespray is up to the job. In most cases you will put a uniform amount of prespray across the entire carpet, going “heavier” on any spots that need a little extra lovin’.
  3. Agitate - Prespraying without agitating is a bit like using toothpaste without a toothbrush. Whether you are using a CRB, carpet rake, rotary or some other method, agitation will help to breakup soils and remove stubborn spots and traffic areas.
  4. Rinse & Extract - Normally you will use a wand or rotary extraction tool for rinsing and extracting. Using dry passes will ensure that the carpets dry quickly. Try adding an acid rinse to neutralize the carpet and leave it soft and residue free.
  5. Post Sprays - Apply post-cleaning treatments. Low residue deodorizers and protectors can be post-sprayed to add value to the cleaning. Always follow post sprays with carpet grooming to ensure even application of post-treatments. This is often done with a carpet rake. Remember to work your way to the exit, so you don’t rake yourself into a corner!
  6. Dry the Carpet - You may have to adjust your drying methods based on the season or your local climate. In general, you should shoot for dry times of 8 hours or less. Utilize air movers, ceiling fans and any other tools you have at your disposal to ensure the carpets dry quickly. A fast drying carpet is less susceptible to wicking and browning.
Now that you know the basics, it’s good to remember that regardless of what steps you decide to implement the most important thing is really the outcome. If your customer is happy with the results and you feel good about putting your name on the job, you can call the cleaning a success!