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Old 11-07-2010, 12:30 AM
 
2 posts, read 181,932 times
Reputation: 28
Default Best Cleaning Solution for Rug Doctor (or other carpet machines)

I am going to be cleaning my carpets soon with a rented Rug Doctor. Instead of buying the overpriced (and under performing) shampoo that they sell, I've researched some alternatives that have worked well for other people. My list includes:


Simple Green
Folex
Krud Kutter


Have any of you used any of these solutions in a carpet cleaning machine, or better yet a rug doctor? I have read good things about all 3 products, but haven't seem any direct comparison for use in a rug doctor.
Any/all comments welcome.


P.S. - I also intend to go over the carpet with just plain hot water in the machine for a rinse.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:48 AM
 
Location: WA
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I use the stuff sold at Home Depot and usually mix in a little Oxy-Clean.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,397 posts, read 25,413,162 times
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I'll let you in on a couple little secrets. If the rug has been shampooed or cleaned before, all you might need is hot water. Most of the time, too much cleaner is left in the carpet and it acts as a dirt magnet.

If you do need a cleaner, get a bottle of Tide HE Free & Clear laundry detergent. Use no more than 1/4 cup per TWO (2) gallons of hot hot water. Lay down a mist of the solution over a 4' x 4' area, scrub it in with a broom or the wand, then extract it using fresh solution and the suction on the wand.

Carpet is cloth fibers. Clothes are cloth fibers. I had one high traffic area of stains that was just not coming up with anything else I was trying. Tried this and the staining is totally gone. It worked where my professional chemicals were coming up short.

I must repeat, 1/4 cup per 2 gal is the MAXIMUM you want to use. Half of that concentration (1/4 cup per FOUR (4) gallons) is better if the carpet is not stained.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Hmmm, hadn't considered Tide before...wondering if that might leave more residue than Folex and the like.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:54 AM
 
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You are better off NOT using anything if you are going to use a Rug Dr or similar. They just don't have enough suction to get out the residue and anything left will attract more dirt. Hot water will be enough to clean your carpet-DH's family had a carpet cleaning business growing up and this is from him.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,397 posts, read 25,413,162 times
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Short of pulling carpet up and throwing it in one of the big oriental carpet tumblers, ALL carpet cleaning is a compromise. Note that my first suggestion was also "just use hot water." The suction argument is actually bogus though, and comes from a misunderstanding perpetrated by the companies making truck mount extractors. When you have a hose 100 or 200 feet long, you HAVE to have a vacuum that is super powerful. Just like in plumbing and electrical wires, there is a resistance and loss in the hose. If you placed the head in one spot for ten seconds or more, yeah, you could create an extreme vacuum. In the normal passes that are done, the suction of those truck mounts is very similar to the consumer machines with short hoses. Truck mounts are labor savers and they prevent spills from a bucket brigade that would be horrid, but the actual process at the carpet is nearly identical, once you get past the hype and territorial growling.

I have hired dozens of carpet cleaning companies for large commercial accounts. Most of the small companies won't even show up for a presentation or price quote. I'll leave it up to you to decide why after realizing what a commercial account demands.

Of the companies that I've hired over twenty years, I found only two that I felt were really extraordinary. Both closed up shop after a few years. One went into higher profit marble polishing and stone work, the other became one of the few people to make money in multi-level marketing.

That last fellow was the one who really understood what was involved in doing the job right, and he charged a premium. IIRC his rate was something like 25 cents a square, when others were charging 8 to 10 cents, then he charged 20 cents in later visits. This was back in the 1970s when minimum wage was $1.65/hr., but we also had a very expensive high-traffic 100% wool carpet that was really showing its age badly.

During the 1970s, a LOT of carpet cleaning companies came in with modified floor buffers and a soap, and scrubbed the top surface, pushing the dirt into the carpet. That was just the way it was done. The previous manager of the theatre had loved these guys because they were cheap and fast.

The good carpet cleaner's schtick started out like this:

"Think of how you wash your hair. Would you ever just leave the shampoo on your hair after shampooing? Wouldn't you at least rinse it off to keep your hair from feeling sticky?"

He would then continue his spiel, describing how the salt and sand in the carpets were cutting the fibers, and that even when a carpet was freshly cleaned by the scrubbers, all the dirt would wick back to the surface as soon as people started walking on it, especially if their shoes had any snow or moisture on them.

When he came in to do the job the first time, his crew spent more time vacuuming with beater bar vacuums than others had spent on an entire shampooing job. Then he spot treated with a mister, then used the rotary type scrubber over the entire carpet, then had a second guy following right behind him immediately performing a first extraction. After a few minutes, he came back and did a second extraction on spots still showing dirt, then a final extraction with just hot water, and a couple passes with only the suction wand to lift as much residual moisture as possible. He was smart enough to not saturate the carpet (which can cause seam splitting) except in the spots where spilled soft drinks had made a problem area. He was also smart enough to show the amount of dirt being extracted, and inform me that eventually, if the carpet was properly cared for, that mud would come cleaner and be a light coffee color.

The carpet looked great, even after his first visit, but it took him three times coming back before we could see that the worst of the dirt was out of it.

You cannot make a profit cleaning carpet like that, even if it does work better than any other method I've seen. He tried heads with built-in scrubbers, and he tried other techniques, but nothing came close, so he moved on to his next career. The problem for me was that once I had seen the job done right, I was less than tolerant of the "standard" procedures.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Ocean County, NJ
621 posts, read 1,108,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
I use the stuff sold at Home Depot and usually mix in a little Oxy-Clean.
This.

I have the home depot stuff and rent their machine too, I use two scoops of oxiclean. My rugs look brand new and ever removed a couple of stains the previous washing didn't take out.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Arizona
114 posts, read 262,633 times
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I'm moving and will be cleaning my carpets in a few days. Can you tell me how do you remove the marks that are left after you move the furniture? Is it possible at all?
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:30 AM
 
Location: WA
4,006 posts, read 12,755,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie2015 View Post
I'm moving and will be cleaning my carpets in a few days. Can you tell me how do you remove the marks that are left after you move the furniture? Is it possible at all?
If you mean the indentations left from the weight... yes they can be reduced. I spray a little water to relax the fibers and then use a stiff brush designed for pet grooming (has fine metal bristles) to pull the fibers up.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 53,431,728 times
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Ammonia will provide chemical breakdown without leaving residue. Vinegar may do the same also.
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