Carpet cleaning (by hand)


Old 03-22-08, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 219
Carpet cleaning (by hand)

I have a 3'x4' area of carpet in my family room that is dirty due to it's location as a walkway between two room. The carpet is light brown/tan in color. There aren't any real stains from spilled food, drink etc.. just general dirt from walking.

It was a poor choice of color and I'm planning on putting a throw rug over the area during periods of high traffic but need to get it clean first.

What is the best way to clean this area without buying or renting a carpet cleaner? I have done a few of the hand held spray cleaners on small spots and had good results. What is the best/easiest way to clean a larger area?

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Old 03-22-08, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,956
First, don't even consider buying or renting a machine - only the pros have enough horsepower to do a good job.

For something like this, a little bit of dish soap in a lot of water a scrub. Once you're done, extract the water and soap with a wet/dry vac and then add more clean water and extract again. Repeat the clean water extraction until ALL of the soap is out of the carpet.
Old 03-22-08, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Pro vs. DIY carpet cleaning is a frequent question here on the forums. The pros have the proper equipment and cleaners. The DIY cleaning machines, despite testimonials to the contrary, leave too much water in the carpet, cleaner residues that attract soil, and lack of water temp to disinfect and return memory to yarn twist.

My rental situation is similar to yours. Despite my kicking off my shoes upon entry, repairmen and guests have tracked my carpet. Spring is just around the corner. My plan is to call a local cleaning service that offers professional carpet cleaning and other services. He will clean my entry and my windows. If the landlord does not clean out the gutters that are sending Niagra Falls into my potential flower bed before I call the service, then I will get them to clean out the gutter so I can landscape the patio area.

Of course, the first thought is to skip professional cleaning cleaning for such a small area. And, DIY rental, which tends not to provide professional results, also is expensive for such a small area. Then, that leaves the hands-on-knees method for small areas. If you DIY with 1/4 tsp dish liquid per 1 cup of water and blot the area with white rag, changing rag as needed, and rinsing with 1/2 cup white vinegar per 2 cups water to remove soap residues, you may be able to successfully clean the carpet if, as you describe, there is general soiling.

An issue is the use of 'general hand held sprayers' which may or may not have set stains or may or may not have been appropriate for the type of soiling. The bottom line is that a professional cleaning is recommended. Replacement of 3x4' walkway area with tile or other easily cleaned floor covering is an option.
Old 03-23-08, 09:40 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,453
3 x 4 area by hand will take longer than you think...the results are not going to be even and consistent looking...i would go the professional route..most offer spring time discounts

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