Taking out old wall-to-wall carpet. Shampoo it first?

It’s past time for the wall-to-wall in the living room to go. I fear it will have clouds of old dust rising as we rip it out.

What if I rent one of those carpet shampoo machines? more to damp down the dust than to clean it. Good idea, or would it make the carpet so wet and heavy to handle that it’s not worth it?

Any other tips welcome…

Why do you fear this dust cloud?

If the goal is just keeping the dust down, go get a one or two gallon garden sprayer and fog it down with plain water. You don’t need to soak it, just get it lightly damp. It will make it a little heavier, but water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon. No big deal. The sprayer will cost about $20, which is less than a carpet cleaner rental plus chemicals. There is no reason to clean a carpet you’re throwing away.

This is merely the opinion of a guy who was a janitor for 20 years.

I think you’re getting worked up over very little, unless you’re chemically hypersensitive or whatever it’s called these days. My advice would be to pull it away from the tack board and simply roll it up. As you roll, the dispersion of dust is held to a minimum. You might even want to put a fan in a window and let it blow the odd dust particle outside. Better yet, wear a dust mask.

Years ago, when we ripped up the carpet in my little brother’s bedroom, we worried about being arrested for the carpet’s contents. Most folks don’t have that concern. :cool:


That is not the reason! :stuck_out_tongue: It’s just a generation of multiple users, human dust, dog fur, and total mass of dust to be inhaled. A friend is helping me and I don’t want to murder him, or discourage him from having been so nice. And no more do I want to breath more than, say, half-a-pound of old dirt myself.

Check that there are no wires running under it, use a Stanley knife to cut it into strips about three feet wide, roll up the strips and bag them. Easier than it sounds and quick, much simpler and quicker than attempting to roll up and remove a whole carpet and less dust scattered around. A quick squirt with water every now and again, as recomended above, would also be benificial.

Duct tape the rolls closed so they do not flop open during removal.

You are likely to find that most of the residual dirt will have worked its way through the carpet and now infests the carpet pad.

Head down to your local hardware store and purchase a few of those filter things that you wear over your nose and mouth. That should keep you safe from inhaling dust while ripping up the old carpet.

I worked as a flooring/carpet installer for a while and its not really worth your while to spray it down. The underpad tends to put up the most dust (particularly if its old) as it disintigrates over time, so the dust IN the carpet would be minimal in comparison. And to soak it enough to affect UNDERPAD dust would make the carpet damn heavy.
As was stated already, the best/easiest way to remove carpet is to cut it into sections. Run a utility knife down the length of the room, cutting the carpet into sections 2-3 feet wide. Pull one end off the tackboard and start to roll. Any dust in the carpet stays in the roll and if you’re carefull you wont stirr up the underpad dust too much either.
Do the same with the pad and done.

How would shampooing prevent dust that has worked itself beneath the carpet from rising? :confused: :confused: :confused:

Take RTA’s advice and tape it up. I wish I thoughtta that! We removed a 25yr old carpet that had cat and dog and child stains. It was moldy and nasty. Sneezes and Weezes were involved, but by cutting it in sections it was easier to roll up and get out of the house. I do recommend wearing a mask, but for me, with asthma, it didn’t do much good.

My own personal hell: In another room, we had a cheapo berber carpet. After the puppy was trained, we decided to put in hardwoods. Now I had shampoo’d this patch a lot and I knew it was gross. It wasn’t until hubby went to buy the floor and I to remove the carpet did I realize that there was another CARPET underneath. That was nasty. Mold everywhere and the thing was glued to the subfloor. It took hours of cutting 6 x 6 inc strips and scraping it off.