Carpet Cleaning Secrets From the COIT Professionals

At COIT, we know carpets.  We really know carpets; we’ve been in the cleaning business since 1950.  We often get asked what our secrets are for getting carpets really clean and prolonging the life of carpets.  We are happy to share our carpet cleaning secrets.

Secret #1: Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum

Hot water extraction looks cool and it gets all the attention, but the first and most important step to cleaning carpet is vacuuming.  And we don’t mean a half-hearted pass around the room.  The more dirt we can get out of a carpet before hot water extraction, the better!  We do many passes over a carpet from all different direction with our ultra strong vacuums.  How can you use this knowledge at home?  Buy the best vacuum you can afford and use it often.  Ideally, you should vacuum at least twice a week and more often if people wear shoes in your home.  Vacuum slowly and make several passes over each area in different directions.

Secret #2 A Good Rinse is Key

Many people focus on the “washing” part of the carpet cleaning, but is s very important to properly “rinse” the carpet so that no detergent is left behind.  Often, people will rent do-it-yourself carpet shampooers, use too much detergent, and fail to properly get all the detergent out of the carpet.  Many detergents are designed to attract dirt, so now you have a dirt attracting substance in your home’s carpet.  This is not good!  A professional carpet cleaner will get all the cleaning solution out of your carpet.

Secret #3 Thoroughly Dry Carpet

The next “secret” is actually the next step in carpet cleaning
: drying the carpet.  A wet carpet will become dirty again if stepped on and can harbor mold and musty smells.  We often get calls from people after they have tried DIY carpet cleaning machines.  The problem is usually that they used too much water and cleaning solution and the machine was simply not powerful enough to extract all of the water and leave the carpet dry.  Carpets should be dry within about 4 hours after cleaning.

Secret #4 Prevention

Some of the worst stains and wear we see are not from sudden accidents or spills, but repeated long-term wear and ground in dirt.  There are two key things you can do to prevent dirt and grime buildup in your carpets: do not wear outdoor shoes in the house and place an area rug between the kitchen and living room.  It is easy to see why you should not wear shoes in the home; outdoor shoes track in dirt, oil, and grime.  You can eliminate most of the dirt in your carpet by simply removing shoes when you enter the home.  Another source of oil and grime is cooking.  When you are cooking, oil and moisture go up into the air in your home.  Even with a powerful fan, you are likely to have oil settle on the floor in front of the stove.  You will then track that oil into carpeted areas of the home.  Usually the first two feet in front of a home’s door way and where the carpet joins the kitchen are the two dirtiest areas.  A small area rug over the kitchen threshold can help keep kitchen oils from staining your home’s carpets.