Thursday, April 17, 2014

Carpet Cleaning Tips & Tricks Yeah Right!

With these tips and tricks...who's tricking who??


I see a lot of articles written about how to remove spots and spills (and my favorite) odors, from carpet and upholstery.

Most of these articles are not written by anyone remotely related to the carpet and upholstery cleaning industry and are generally not worth the ink to print them.

I have listed a few of the main ingredients I find in these articles to help me to explain what they do to your carpet and upholstery.



1.  Baking Soda

Sodium Bicarbonate Under a Microscope

I do not have a single ounce of Baking Soda in my Truck.  Adding a powdered anything to your carpet is a huge mistake.  Not only does it turn to a paste with humidity but actually keeps the odors in the carpet where you don't want them.  

Baking Soda has fine particles that can and will scratch and dull your carpet (see photo above).  I can not find a single carpet manufacturer that recommends using baking soda on your carpet or upholstery.


2. Dishwashing Liquid

Again I don't carry any of this in the truck either.  I will argue that any amount of this stuff will leave a residue almost worse than a Scampooer would leave in your carpet. 

Any detergent or cleaning product that foams up or gets sudsy will leave a residue in your carpet.  This includes the "cleaners" you purchase with the rental carpet cleaning machine and those other "leading" spot removers.  (notice these "cleaners" rarely come in a clear bottle that's so you don't see the suds)

Remember the makers of these detergents are in the business of selling chemicals not cleaning carpets.  If these products did such a good job, they would have cleaned themselves out of business.


3.  Vinegar 

Ok I don't have any of this in the truck either!  But at least the idea behind using vinegar has some merit.  Vinegar is on the acid side of the PH scale, and can help neutralize alkaline based deposits in your carpet.  Pet urine is alkaline.  

The problem with Vinegar is mixing it with anything but water.  The creative DIY'er will mix vinegar AND dishwashing liquid!  Now you have a nice vinegar smelling residue to collect soil.  


Ok so what should you do??


These famous words on the shampoo bottle in your bathroom tell the story:  wash, rinse and repeat.

This poorly made video is me attempting to explain that rinsing the spot from the carpet is best.  


Feel Free to Heckle the Actor in this video

I have always said that I could clean a carpet with a squirt bottle and a shop vac, which is true, but very time consuming.  I have a powerful truck mounted super steam cleaner which makes it easy for me.

For you at home, have a plan of attack.  Equipped with a shop vac setup for wet vacuuming, and a squirt bottle you are set to tackle even the worst spots.

When you are prepared to RINSE or FLUSH the spot from the carpet then almost anything that will clean nylon will work MUCH better, even dishwashing detergent, because you won't be leaving it in the carpet.  Same thing I do, except a lot smaller scale.

This works especially great for pet spots, as mentioned in the video. (More Here about pet spots)

I hope this helps with some of the confusion about what to use for spot removal.  Bottom line, as long as you can rinse it out of the carpet you can use almost anything.

Free Lifetime Replacement

This is a free product we give to our customers, it dries to a powder and the residue is easily vacuumed away.

If you can think of other "products" or solutions you would like me to address, feel free to email or comment below. I hope this has been informative for you and as always Thank you for your time.

A-1 Carpet Service
Sioux FallsSD
(605) 359-1098

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