View Full Version : Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning Questions
01-31-2000, 09:44 AM
Two questions in one post:
No. 1: I cleaned a couple of chairs with Carpet Wizard Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner this weekend. Bad idea. There are now lighter spots on the chairs where I spot cleaned. Any ideas on how to fix this? I'm thinking of finding a marker that's the same color and just filling them in.
No. 2: We need to clean the berber carpet throughout our two-level townhome. The plan was to rent a Rug Doctor this weekend and do it ourselves. Anyone have experience with Rug Doctors? I've heard that you have to be very careful not to put too much water down because you can end up molding the padding. We're thinking it might be easier and smarter to have professionals do it.
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No particular idea on how to fix the first problem, but your idea with the marker sounds workable.
As for the second -- I've never used a Rug Doctor. The one time I hired an contractor, I was thoroughly disappointed. These guys 'guarantee' your satisfaction, but wait until they hit a real high-traffic spot. Remember, these guys essentially get paid by the hour, and the faster they can get you behind themselves and move to the next job, the more money they make.("Well, some stains will never come out" is their usual dodge.)
I haven't done a deep-cleaning of my carpet in years (haven't particularly felt the need to until recently), but when I did it was not long after the lousy job done by the contractors. I went to Wal-mart and got a "Steam-cleaning" attachment for my little 5-gallon wet-dry ShopVac (if you don't have a ShopVac, you can get a base model around $30; the attachment ran around $40). This is basically about 50 ft. of clear, very flexible plastic hose, a doohickie for connecting to a faucet (kitchen probably best), several lengths of 'wand' tubing, and a couple of spray nozzles (wide for carpets, narrow for upholstery). This includes an initial 'tube' of carpet shampoo, but I used it up so rapidly that I dispensed with it and used mainly the hot water coming from the faucet and some spray-on cleaner like Fantastik. I moistened the area to be cleaned with the carpet nozzle/brush, sprayed it with the cleaner, and then ran over the area with a small electric 'buffer' that I found in a second-hand store. This worked the cleaner up into a very brief 'foam' and helped lift the really tough crud out. Then I rinsed very thoroughly, using a generous amount of water spray.
But here's the thing -- don't figure on this as a 'weekend' project. Take your time (the time the contractor wouldn't) and be satisfied with the final result. When you shift from spraying water to sucking it back up, go slowly and be very thorough in getting up as much moisture as your can. This should remove any hazard to your pad or flooring. You may also be amazed how much time it saves in drying -- mine was totally dry within an hour or so.
But, as I said, take your time. It took me two days (not hurrying, lots of breaks -- hey, it's my] damn house & time, right?) to go over my living room (16x14). But when I was finished, the carpetting looked brand-spanking new. It started out looking literally charcoal grey.
01-31-2000, 10:45 AM
1. You're out of luck. Contact an upholsterer; maybe they have some ideas. Strategically placed pillows, afghan?
2. I've used Rug Doctors before and it was fine. It was a big pain though. My mom used to use this stuff (I think) called "Capture". It was a drycleaning type chemical in sawdust (or some such thing) and then you used this big buffer type machine to kind of rub it around on your carpet. Then you just vacuumed it up. No heavy moisture and a nice smell. You may want to call a reputable carpet/flooring dealer to see what they recommend.
01-31-2000, 10:49 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. Keep 'em coming if you got 'em!
I, on the other hand, had a great experience with a professional cleaner. Yes, they were fast, but I attribute that to their hard work and experience. They seemed to spend extra time on the hard spots. Something to think about would be asking for references(I learned this after the expose on carpet cleaners on 20/20, or some show like that). My whole house, including Scotch Guard was around $150, and it looks great now!
"Every one is bound to bear patiently the results of his own example. "
01-31-2000, 11:11 AM
Safeway has cleaners for rent too. Some stores have them with upholstery cleaners, youll have to clean again. Did you say the spot is on wood or fabric?
I rented one to do the carpet, its great. $15 day. Plus the overpriced soap.
20/20 I think did a scoop the other week on those carpet cleaners with ads, $59 for 4 rooms. In every case it was a bait & switch thing where they charged $110 up. You know, 'yeah, $59 for very light soil, even then it won't be clean, you need our special package, that is $110.00!"
01-31-2000, 01:00 PM
Oh, and on your chair problem? I think you're screwed. This is why the instructions on most upholstery cleaners include the phrase, "use on a obscured area to determine if the material is color-fast."
01-31-2000, 01:04 PM
We don't have any stains on our carpet. It just looks dingy and needs a deep cleaning. This is wall-to-wall stuff.
This is why the instructions on most upholstery cleaners include the phrase, "use on a obscured area to determine if the material is color-fast."
Thanks for rubbing it in (pun intended), Guy.
The search for an olive-colored permanent marker begins...
01-31-2000, 06:29 PM
I saw a guy on Martha Stewart who's white table cloth was stained. So he soaked it all in tea, its called 'teaing' and it makes it all one pretty color.
02-01-2000, 12:59 AM
The problem with water-based carpet cleaning is that you run the risk of turning a small stain into a large stain. If you use too much liquid, the carpet fiber will "wick" the stain further into the fabric. Make sure that whatever carpet cleaning method you use includes water EXTRACTION.
A berber rug, though, should be cleaned by an oriental rug expert. Look in the Yellow Pages under "carpet and rug dealers--oriental."
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