clean carpets

Old 09-14-02, 05:30 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
clean carpets

I had "PROS" clean my berbers with a truck mount. Yikes! Three tries to get it right (1yr old carpet, 3 cats - bad choice of colour, I know).

Tons of detergent residue in carpet after trip#3, carpet actually felt sticky before it dried completely.

The result? Traffic areas looked like absolute crap within a month.

Here's what I did to fix it and I'm interested in comments and input:

Rented a hot water extractor. Used a lawn pesticide type sprayer to pre treat carpet with a solution of 3:1 hot water to vinegar. Did not saturate.

Used clean hot water in the extractor and went at it until I stopped pulling cleaner residue left by Laurel and Hardey out of the carpet. Ended up going over it 5x to get the foaming to stop.

Other than the house smelling like a chip truck while the carpets were still damp, everything seems to have turned out AOK.

It's been a month and everything still looks clean.

I want to use the vinegar/water method every six months from this point on. The question is: Does dilute vinegar/water hurt Olefin fibres or the backing? (underlay is moistureproof)

One last note: rental was from home depot and clean clean clean. The carpets were dry within 48hours. The Laurel and Hardey truck mount cleaners left my carpets damp for over 4days. Don't think I'll be using them again.
Old 09-15-02, 04:58 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
No, White Vinegar and lukewarm water is actually a good spot remover for most carpets - will do no harm as long as it's well diluted - remember vinegar is an acid and as such if not diluted well can cause some damage.
There are many "fly-by-nite" carpet cleaners out there who leave too much soap residue in carpets which attracts more dirt than before they were cleaned - be careful - remember a machine is only as good as its' operative!!
Old 09-15-02, 07:32 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
clean carpets


I'll enjoy the DIY process the next time I need 'em clean
Old 09-16-02, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,047
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
DIY carpet cleaning

Proceed with caution using DIY carpet cleaning equipment. Many DIYers tends to overwet carpet and backing, resulting in mold/mildew problems and/or delamination of carpet backing, use improper cleaning products that leave residues that attract soil, and because of limitations of equipment tend not to use hot enough water to disinfect (180 degrees plus) and return memory to yarn twist. A certified carpet cleaning specialist has the big truck with enough suction to remove excess moisture, the proper cleaning solutions, and hot enough water to properly clean and disinfect. To locate a certified specialist in your area, go to for recommendations by the Carpet Rug Institute.
Old 09-16-02, 12:19 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

I didn't overwet, compared to the bozos with the truck, I didn't use improper detergents that attracted dirt- once again, the pros did this for me (and these guys were "certified"), all I used in the extractor was clean hot hot hot water after pre treatmend with dilute vinegar and water, and the coffee table, sofa and loveseat footprints disappeared..

So I guess I'm ok.

Anyhing I missed?
Old 09-16-02, 03:52 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
you did good Otter!
Old 09-16-02, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 4,857
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Yep those type of cleaners are bad news to the unknowing customer.

Overwetting the carpet causes the backings to delaminate. Any traffic AT ALL while it is wet WILL cause wrinkles to appear soon down the road in the traffic areas, once this happens the carpet is ruined.

An acid wash is the best thing to do to get the soap residue out of the rug. If these guys were IICRC certified themselves and not just the owner of the company, then you have recourse, because they are held accountable or loose their certification. File a complaint to the IICRC. You may find out the company you used says they are certified but by who?

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: