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The six steps to take to clean carpets and upholstery

September 28, 2011
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If you insist your detailers use the following procedures, your carpets/upholsteries will be as clean as humanly possible:

1. Thoroughly dry vacuum the carpet/upholstery. Some use an air blower to help raise the dirt and grit out of the fibers.

2. Approach each stain/spot with the appropriate stain/spot removal chemical which can be:

  • Food stains
  • Tar and grease stains (gum)
  • Red dye stains
  • Coffee/tea stains (tannins)
  • Rust stains
  • Pet stains

Stains and spots are generally best removed by hand or, even better, with a vapor steamer that generally assures the detailer a 100 percent removal result.

3. Pre-Spray the carpets/upholstery with a foaming-type carpet/upholstery shampoo and let dwell to emulsify the oily soil on the fibers. Note that there is not a great deal of oily soil on the fibers, so it is not necessary to saturate the carpet/upholstery with a great deal of moisture.

4. Friction scrub with a hand brush or, better yet, a rotary shampooer tool which will cause the shampoo to foam up lifting the oily soil off the fibers.

5. Now is the time for the heated soil extractor to rinse clean the fibers of the oily soil and shampoo residue. Do not rub the nozzle back and forth like a vacuum; this puts too much moisture into the fibers. Start away from you and pull the nozzle slowly toward you rinsing the fibers of all soil. It is advisable to have a view window in the extractor nozzle so that the detailer can see when they have extracted all the soil from the fibers, with a window they will always know.

6. Some detailers will use the extractor nozzle to "dry" vacuum after the extraction process to ensure that they have gotten as much of the moisture out of the fibers as possible.

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