Can You Give Us Some Carpet Cleaning Procedures?

Pre-treat – For best results pretreat carpets with a nonphosphate Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)-approved cleaner. Be sure to treat the entire carpet evenly, 1 quart of solution per 1000 sq. feet (or 1 gallon for about 4 classrooms) is often enough (follow manufacturer’s instructions).


Stop bonnet cleaning – Pre-treating a carpet and using a good carpet extractor eliminates the need to loosen embedded dirt by carpet bonneting. Bonneting takes a lot of time and effort – resources that can be used to extract more dirt out of the carpet.


Extraction – In most cases, extract with clean water only. The newer extractors agitate carpet fibers better and have a higher rate of water extraction than the older machines, leaving the carpet cleaner and dryer. For deep cleaning, extraction should be slow and measured. It is best to overlap the carpet you have just cleaned by at least 6 inches on each pass.


Low Moisture Extraction Cleaning-Some manufacturers offer an option that allows you to Low Moisture clean.  This option allows you to reduce the water used from about 1 gpm to about 0.2 gpm.

By simply turning the knob to the “Low Moisture” setting the flow

Everything else remains the same except for two things;

The carpet dries in under 60 minutes

You can clean forever on one tank of water – 60 minutes on


Spotting – Summer carpet spotting can be done using a wand and extractor. Good extraction will eliminate the need for heavy spotting. Don’t waste a lot of time on ink and other stains that won’t come out. Though unsightly, ink stains do not harm indoor environmental quality as much as a dirty carpet. You will do more to improve indoor air quality by spending more time extracting carpets and less time working on an ink stain that you will never completely get rid of anyway.


Drying – Even in the summer, drying carpets can be a challenge. And even using extractors with a high water recovery rate, carpets will not dry quickly and completely without some help. High volume drying fans with open windows and doors is one method. If you can smell wet carpet the day after you have cleaned it, you have not properly dried the carpet. A good guide is the two-hour rule; give freshly-extracted carpets at least two hours (preferably more) of carpet fan time. This means rotating fans to freshly cleaned carpets every two hours. This also means that you should stop extracting carpets two hours before the end of the shift. Follow these rules and you will have dry carpet sooner.


Equipment Cleanup and Maintenance – After you have finished cleaning carpet for the day, you should clean all carpet equipment. Extractors simply do not work well when jets are plugged, when water is left in the solution tank, and when waste tanks, hoses, wands and vacuum shoes are not cleaned. Be sure to use a de-foamer in the waste tank.

As part of equipment cleanup, always drain the solution tank. It is better to start extracting with a fresh tank of water than water that has been sitting in the tank stagnating for who knows how long. Better yet, go with a tankless extractor that pulls fresh water from a tap and drains to a sink.

Carpets like it hot! Fill your solution tank with hot water, a natural degreaser. You will pull out more oily dirt with hot water and the carpet dries quicker too.


Go Slow, Clean Low!

For deep cleaning with a self-propelled extractor, always operate in the “Turtle” speed range. Carpet cleaning is nice, even better if done twice! If you can avoid the need to bonnet, the time saved can be used to extract heavily soiled carpets twice. You will often find nearly as much dirt extracted on the second pass as you did on the first.

The future of carpet care is all about keeping the dirt level in carpets low. The proven best practice is frequent and thorough vacuuming, and regular, deep carpet extraction.