Cleaning tips to keep homes clean and fresh 

Hot Water Extraction carpet cleaning


 So, what is hot water extraction carpet cleaning?

 Well, basically it is a system that sprays hot water with detergent on to the carpet and then vacuum's it off again, taking with it the dissolved soil. Many people refer to this method as Carpet steam cleaning, which is incorrect, as steam is not used, only hot water.

 Nowadays, many people hire small machines from Home improvement stores, to clean their own carpets.
These tend to be fairly small and basic hot water extraction machines, that contain maybe 5-10 litres of water and have a dirty water container that can be removed to be emptied.

The performance of these small hot water extraction machines is nothing like the machines used by professionals, but even so, they can produce acceptable results, if used in the right way.

I have tried to put together some good carpet cleaning tips for you.

 So, I am going to suggest a 10 point carpet cleaning method, that will help to produce an acceptable result with one of these small Hot Water Extraction machines.

  • Remove portable furniture

    • There are certain pieces of furniture that may not need to be removed from the room.
    • These are very heavy pieces and pieces that sit on the carpet and are never moved.
    • If these are wooden, then it is best to vacuum well around them and then clean close to them with a small hand attachment that comes with the machine.
    • It is best not to clean right up to the edge of these large wooden pieces of furniture, as damp carpet fibres can draw the wood stain out from the bottom of the piece and permanently stain the carpet.
    • If you can totaly empty the room of furniture, brilliant. If not, then try to split the room into 2 halves and clean one half first and then move the remaining furniture into that half.
    • If the furniture is wooden, then you will need to keep it lifted off the carpet, so as not to stain the carpet. There are little polystyrene cubes for this purpose, or silver paper squares to isolate furniture from damp carpet.

  • Pre-vacuum

    • Now it is always best to use an upright vacuum if you have one, especially one with a rotating brush and beater bar.
    • Not only does this clean the carpet of most of the dry soil, but it also helps to lift the pile into an upright position, which enables the extraction machine to clean the pile the most thoroughly.
    • After you have vacuumed the carpet along the room, then vacuum across the room, and always spend plenty of time on the traffic area's. That is the area of the carpet that is soiled the most.
    • If you need some help in choosing the right Vacuum Cleaner, check out our Vacuum Cleaner Reviews page.

  • Pre-spot

    • Inspect the carpet for any marks that appear to be stains.Use carpet stain remover and a white cloth, to remove spots and stains.
      (Always read the instructions, and don't apply for longer than recommended)
    • Apply a small amount to the cloth and press down lightly on to the mark, hold the cloth there for a minute or two and then check to see if any of the mark has transfered on to the cloth.
    • If there is transfer, then repeat the process until the mark has gone.

  • Pre-spray

    • To do this you can either buy special carpet cleaning pre-spray or if you have a small pump-up spray bottle, then prepare a bottle full of the carpet cleaning solution that you will be using.
    • Lightly spray this carpet cleaning solution on to the traffic area's of the carpet.
    • There is no need to spray area's that have been under sofa's or lightly soiled area's.

  • Dwell time

    • Read the instructions on you carpet cleaning solution container, it will tell you how long to leave the solution to work before begining to clean the carpet.
    • This is like leaving your washing to soak for a while before starting your washing machine, it helps to break down the soil and loosen it from the carpet fibres.

  • Agitation

    • Professional carpet cleaners have electric power brushes that will agitate the carpet, again to break down the soil and loosen it from the carpet fibres.
    • Some of these hot water extraction hire machines have small agitation brushes on them, and so this part will take place as you clean the carpet.
    • If your machine does not have these agitation brushes, then an old fashioned carpet rake will do the job.
    • Work along the room and then work across the room, then the carpet is ready for you to clean.

  • Extract - This is the main part of the carpet cleaning.





  • If the hot water extraction machine has water heaters on it then you can fill it with warm water and leave it to reach the correct temperature.
  • The right temperature for cleaning is going to depend on the type of carpet you are cleaning.
  • Wool carpets need to be cleaned with water that is only hand hot.
  • Man made fibre carpets can be cleaned with water at a higher temperature, between 40 and 70c
  • Check the instructions on the carpet cleaning solution container for the exact temperature to use for the particular carpet you are cleaning.
  • If you do not have a thermometer to check the temperature then it is best to just use water that is hand hot.
  • As you draw the carpet wand towards you, spray the hot water and solution on to the carpet and then extract it.
  • You will notice the carpet fibres changing from that dirty shade to a clean shade.
  • But you will have to experiment with how quickly to draw the wand towards you.
  • The slower you draw it the more soil that will be removed.
  • But the carpet will be wetter the slower you work.
  • After 2 or 3 passes with the hot water extraction carpet cleaning wand, take your finger off the spray switch and make a few passes just vacuuming the carpet.
  • This will help to dry the carpet out quicker.
  • Use the hand tool to clean around the edges of the room, to make sure you do not scratch the skirting boards.
  • This hand tool is also able to remove any draught marks that are on the carpet fibres by the skirting board.
  • You might need to spray directly on to these draught marks and use a small brush to agitate them, to be able to remove all of them.



Carpet rake

    • When you have completed the Hot water extraction process, you will notice wand marks over the carpet.
    • To remove these the carpet needs raking, so that the pile is pointing in the same direction.
    • It is best to rake the carpet towards the door you will use to leave the room.



Hot Water Extraction carpet cleaning


Rug cleaning


Truck mounted carpet cleaner



      • Carpet drying

      • If you have followed the steps suggested in this carpet cleaning method your carpet should be dry by the next day.
      • If you need the carpet to be dry before the next day, there are a few things you can do to aid the drying of the carpet.
      • Professional carpet cleaners use air movers or large fans and some times de-humidifiers to aid the drying of the carpet.
      • So when hiring your machine check whether the company hires out air movers and de-humidifiers.
      • Turn the heating up and open your windows and doors, the heat helps the moisture to evapourate and changing the air in the room helps the air to hold more moisture.
      • Return portable furniture

      • It would be best if you can leave returning the furniture until the carpet is perfectly dry.
      • But if you need to replace the furniture whilst the carpet is still damp, you will need to isolate the furniture from the carpet.
      • Wooden furniture can lose some of it's stain, and metal furniture can begin to rust, neither of these do you want transfering to your carpet fibre.
      • Professional carpet cleaners use either polystyrene cubes or silver paper squares to place under the feet of the furniture, to isolate them from the carpet.
      • These can be removed a day or two later when the carpet is perfectly dry.
      • It is best to have two people to lift furniture back in to the room, rather than one person dragging the furniture back in, as this can damage the carpet.

      • If you follow all of these 10 steps to Hot water extraction cleaning of your carpets, you will have achieved an extremely thorough clean of your carpet.
         To maintain your carpet, it is important to vacuum regularily, as this will prevent a build up of dry soil.This dry soil, especially sandy or gritty soil can damage the carpet fibres and cause the carpet to wear out quickly.

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