How to clean a carpet

Without regular attention, carpets can become dull and tired. Over time, they can accumulate dirt, stains and grime, especially if you have children or pets. By using a carpet cleaner, you can bring them back to their former glory.

How to clean a carpet

1. Prepare your carpet

Before you begin, prepare the room by removing any furniture or obstructions. Then vacuum the carpet thoroughly, getting rid of dust or dirt that may exist. If the carpet has any stains, treat them beforehand with a stain remover.

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2. Fill the water tank

Fill the clean water tank with a mixture of water and cleaning detergent. The amount of detergent you use depends on how much water you put down when cleaning, and how many times you go over the same area. Some cleaning detergents are better for stains and odours, so it’s good to do a bit of research before buying.

3. Clean your carpet

Most carpet cleaners have settings for light, normal and heavy cleaning. Usually, it’s best to start at one end of the room and work your way to the other side. As you move back and forth, pull the handle’s trigger to release the cleaning solution. Busier areas of the carpet may require multiple passes as they tend to attract more dirt.

4. Empty the water tank

There will be a line at the top of the dirty water tank that shows the maximum fill level. When the tank becomes full, empty it. You may need to repeat this process several times, depending on the size of carpet you’re cleaning.

5. Leave the carpet to dry

Once cleaned, leave it to dry. Drying times can vary depending on the size, type and thickness of the carpet. The time of the year also makes a difference. If it’s a warm day, you might want to ventilate the room so that the carpet dries faster. If it’s cold, it will take longer to dry. You can reduce this by running the central heating for a few hours.

Carpet cleaners - key features

Much like vacuums, carpet cleaners are available in upright and cylinder models. Some come with carpet shampoo or employ wet and dry cleaning techniques to remove embedded dirt. Here are some features to look out for when choosing a carpet cleaner.

Dual brush bars

Dual brush bars agitate a carpet twice as much, making it quicker and easier to remove stubborn, dried-in stains than with a single brush. Rotating at speed, the bristles reach deep into the carpet pile, lifting dirt and debris up and out of the carpet fibres.

Twin water tanks

With twin tank technology, the dirty water goes in a separate tank, so you’re always cleaning with fresh water and solution. As a result, carpet cleaners with dual tanks are usually easier to empty and refill.

Multifunctional cleaners

A multifunctional cleaner combines cleaning and vacuum functionality, eliminating the need for two machines. Most models come with accessories for above the floor cleaning, giving you maximum versatility from one machine. Due to their all-in-one design, they can be easily stored - great if you’re short on space.

Pet friendly

Designed for pet owners, these carpet cleaners are particularly good at removing hair and other common pet stains. They reach deep into the carpet fibres, capturing the dirt particles and odour causing bacteria that reside there.

Woolsafe approved

Most carpet cleaners are Woolsafe approved, making them suitable for cleaning delicate carpets. You should, however, always make sure that the cleaning product you use is right for your carpet, especially if it is made up of more delicate fibres. If you’re unsure, check the label.

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