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Carpet Shampoo Basics

Flooring & Tiles, Home Maintenance
By on Jan 30, 2015
Carpet Shampoo Basics

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Carpet shampoo is one of the three ways to clean your carpet and while it may be the most challenging, it can be the most effective. Carpet can add warmth and charm to any space, but to keep that impression in tact, you must keep it clean and healthy year-round.

Most carpet pros recommend cleaning your carpet once every year to 18 months. Not only will carpet shampoo keep your carpet clean and remove stains, but it comes with a wide range of benefits all carpet owners must know.

Carpet Shampooing

Carpet Cleaning Costs

Many maintenance projects come down to price. After all, if they were free, the only cost would be time. According to our carpet cleaning cost estimator, the average price to clean a carpet is $167. As I referenced earlier, there are multiple ways to clean your carpet and many of them will fall in this range.

As you might expect, much of the cost will be affected by the carpet and/or stain size. Needless to say, the larger the carpet or stain, the bigger the bill.

DIY Carpet Shampoo

Carpet shampooing consists of a foamy chemical distributed on the carpet and scrubbed in with a motorized circular brush. The idea behind the shampoo method is to apply a good amount of foam to the carpet and let it dry. This special foam attracts the soil. As far as DIY, some homeowners scrub it in and some let it sit. Either way, afterwards, you must vacuum thoroughly to pick up all the leftover soil.

Carpet shampooing does not come without its risks. Some accidently over shampoo and end up staining their carpet. Additionally, if the carpet is not sufficiently cleaned beforehand, stains could occur.

If you're not sure carpet shampoo is right for you, consider transporting your carpet for offsite cleaning.

Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Shampoo Benefits

Cleans Your Carpet

Undoubtedly, the No. 1 reason to clean your carpet is for appearance. Carpet, unlike hardwood or tile, can easily get dirty from shoes, pets, kids, foods and so on. Some of these stains are not easy to get out, but all generally leave a mark on your beautiful carpet.

If done correctly, carpet shampoo can remove all these stains and more as long as you apply it at least once every 18 months.

What about blood or crayons? See Carpet Stain Removal Tips for 12 Tough Stains.

Extend the Life of Your Carpet

Carpet shampoo, or carpet cleaning in general, drastically extends its life. Dirt eats away at your carpet’s fibers and the longer it sits within your carpet, the more damage it’s producing. So if you want make sure your carpet lasts as long as its warranty, make sure you clean it.

Carpet Shampoo Eliminates Trapped Pollutants

There are few organizations that know more about carpet cleaning than the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the EPA, carpet acts as a reservoir for dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores, pesticides and other materials that may originate indoors or be brought inside. Some studies indicate that poorly maintained carpet can release significant quantities of particles into the air during the course of daily activity.

Carpet shampoo, along with regular vacuuming and maintenance, can kill these bacteria and prevent nasty pollutants from entering your air supply.

How to Shampoo Carpet

Carpet Shampoo Prevents Mold

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Carpet is not recommended for areas with high humidity. That is why you’ll never see carpet in a kitchen. However, moisture can get trapped inside the home and sink deep into your carpet. Most carpet cleaning methods help remove this moisture, but if mold is present, we highly recommend hiring a carpet cleaning professional. They will have high-powered drying tools that annihilate moisture and make sure mold does not come back. 

Tip: The best way to avoid mold without hiring a pro is to vacuum often.

Carpet Shampoo Improves the Health of Your Family

According to HomeAdvisor, 90% of the dust in your home is shedded human skin and parasites use this as a food source. Other pests, such as bed bugs and fleas, make a home in carpets that are not sufficiently cleaned.

Lastly, carpet shampoo improves air circulation throughout the home. By removing the dirty air, you are not only cleaning your carpet, but providing a healthier home for you and your family.


There are plenty of reasons to shampoo carpet, but perhaps the most obvious is peace of mind. As long as you routinely vacuum and shampoo your carpet once a year, you will know that pet odors, stains, food and bacteria have no chance of ruining your carpet’s or your health.

For those of you looking into other carpet cleaning solutions, please see our carpet cleaning cost estimator.

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