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What Are the Best Tips for DIY Carpet Cleaning?

Keeping shoes at the door is one of the best ways to keep a carpet clean.
A person cleaning a carpet.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2014
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Good tips for do-it-yourself (DIY) carpet cleaning typically address ways to make the cleaning process easier and more efficient. Many also focus on avoiding damage to one's carpets. The best tips are often those that cover choosing carpet cleaners and preparing the area one will clean. Stain removal tips may prove helpful as well. Additionally, a person might benefit from tips that involve testing cleaning solutions before using them on large areas.

Research is often a good first step when a person is preparing for DIY carpet cleaning. As such, many of the best tips focus on considering the type of carpet a person has and his specific cleaning needs, and then determining which type of cleaner will be best for the job. An individual can rent or buy carpet cleaners, but they aren't all created equal in terms of the level of cleaning power provided, efficiency of water removal, or the difficulty of using the machine. Likewise, some may prove more difficult to use when it comes to cleaning in corners and on stairs. As such, searching for online reviews and comparisons may prove helpful.

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Some of the best tips for DIY carpet cleaning may also involve preparation for cleaning. An individual will usually have to move all of his furniture out of the way prior to cleaning to ensure that he can thoroughly and efficiently clean his carpets. Many tips also recommend vacuuming carpets before running a cleaner over them. This removes debris and loose dirt, which helps ensure that the carpet cleaning job will prove as efficient and effective as possible.

Stains can present a problem when the time comes for DIY carpet cleaning. Even a powerful carpet cleaning machine and an effective cleaning solution won't always do a good job of getting rid of stains. Pre-treating stains with a reliable carpet stain solution can help ensure that carpets aren't left with any unsightly spots. It is important, however, for a person to make sure the product he chooses is safe for the type of carpet he has and won't damage it. A person can also use online reviews to select a stain remover that has worked well for other consumers.

Since it can prove difficult to determine in advance whether a DIY carpet cleaning solution will clean a carpet without damaging it, testing a small area first generally is a good idea. An individual can clean a small part of his carpet — usually an out-of-the-way area or a space normally covered by furniture — with the solution and let it dry to make sure no damage occurs. This way, if the solution does stain the carpet, it is easier to hide it from view and the entire carpet isn't ruined.

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Animandel
Post 3

I prefer the carpet cleaning machines with a wand and hose attachment. Dragging a machine over every square inch of carpet is tiring. It's much easier to move about with the wand and hose. Also, the wand is good for getting in tight and awkward spots, like corners.

Drentel
Post 2

I have bad news for those of you who think renting a machine from the grocery store and simply spraying down hot water and cleaning solution and then vacuuming it back up is going to fully clean your carpet. People clean carpets, not machines.

Okay, machines do make a difference--some are better than others, but to get your carpet clean and looking as good as it can look you're going to have to scrub.

Some machines come with a brush attached to a roller on the bottom of the machine. These can be difficult to use because getting enough pressure on the brush is a challenge. I recommend buying a brush that will attach to the end of a long wooden handle. With this, you can scrub each area after you put down the hot water and cleaning solution. You can also get the smaller hand-held brushes. These work well, maybe even better than the long ones, but you'll have get down on your hands and knees to do a good job.

Animandel
Post 1

Wasn't that a good tip about testing a cleaning method on a small section of carpet before you clean the entire rug? I hadn't thought of that. It would cost mush less to cover a small discolored area under the sofa than it would cost to replace an entirely ruined carpet.

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