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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.


Posted by stevej (stevej), 26 February 2004
I've just had two jobs in a row where everything was going fine until I got to the last couple of stair treads. as soon as the cleaning tool was passed over them the deep down dirt appeared and just did not want to go away!
I assume this is a common problem but I really struggled to get the stair tread looking clean. I had the same problem on a hall carpet also.
Is there a magic solution or is my inexperience letting me down. I ended up pre-spraying and agitating but not with great results.

Posted by nick.solution (nick.solution), 26 February 2004
Hi Steve

The first few treads always catch and hold more soil than the rest best advise is to thoroughly dry vacuum before cleaning including some dry agitation prior to vacuuming with a stiff brush then pre-spray and rinse it will still probably take a few sapry and rinses depending on the last clean.

Best regards Nick Huh
Posted by Ed_Valentine (Ed Valentine), 26 February 2004

Nick gave some good recomendations.

I assume that you are using HWE?  If so, the reason that the dirt keeps working its way to the surface is because, just like a bottle of water, it will only hold so much before it just starts to overflow. And, it is only overflowing because you have added water (or anyother substance) to the mix.

In order to really get this debris out, the carpet must be "flushed" with higher flow extraction performance (GPM). Most low pressure systems with low GPM flow will take forever to do a through job.

In this situation, if I had a lower flow system, I would do my best to extract all the dirt; however, if it seemed relentless, I would then only try to "surface clean" the dirty streaks out in an effort to blend it in.

Hope this helps. Roll Eyes

Good Fortune to all;
Ed Valentine
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 26 February 2004

Nick is right on the nail !

If you fail to reduce a heavy dirt-load at the base of the pile, unless it is blasted with large ammounts of high pressure water, it will be drawn to and deposited at the surface.

What type of vacuum cleaner are you using ?

Have you had training in correct use are you doing the 'housewife shuffle' with it?

Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 26 February 2004

Didn’t think the shake & vac advert was back on TV or are we both reminiscing the old days.


Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 26 February 2004

I've got a very old television - it still shows The Sweeney Grin

(But it's very economical on coal)

Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 26 February 2004
Grin Grin Grin

But mines even cheaper I stick the wife and mother in law on the treadmill then I get Sky but in slow motion.


Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 26 February 2004
Watch out for overwetting when you are new , my only balls up so far was luckily on my own bottom step of my stairs , the muck kept coming so i kept cleaning and cleaning and cleaning.

It did get the majority of the muck out but wet it through in a couple of patches and when dry the dreaded browning marks came up , this was some months ago so i did not know what browing was , so i cleaned it again  Embarassed Embarassed. It did cause cause to me learn swiftly teqniques for removing browning though.Hopefully to be used infrequently.

I would strongly suggest you are careful on bottom steps and edges of stairs I believe the high traffic can break down the backing/construction of the carpet and you can suck backing up too and think its muck.

Have you got a clear handtool , its easy to say but try and concentrate on the appearance of the carpet not what you can see going up the tool.

Surface cleaning is definatley the way to do it and watch out for overwetting on the edges or missed spray, ensure you extract off the majority of the solution.

Really prevac it well too its worth the extra effort. I use a brush type attachement so i get a lot of dry soil breaking up whilst vaccuming.

All the best


Posted by stevej (stevej), 27 February 2004
Thanks for all your advice.
I use a Dyson vacuum which I reckon is great normally but of course on stairs you do not get the benefit of the brushing action. My wife was helping me on the day in question and she did the vacuuming!!!
Bit confused about the comments regarding'high flow extraction performance' - I use a Steempro 2000 Powermax which I hoped would be up to most jobs.

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 27 February 2004

The Dyson range are good domestic vacuum cleaners - you should be using an industrial unit - minimum twin motor upright (eg Sebo).

Second point is the 'housewife shuffle' I mentioned - this is not the way to get the best results from any vacuum cleaner - solution is training as no tool will perform to its' optimum unless used with sufficient skill.

As Nick mentioned, some degree of pre-treatment of the pile may be required to open up the pile  prior to using a vacuum cleaner - a hand pile-brush is better than nothing.

As to the 'high flow extraction performance', this refers to putting down and recovering far more water than you could with your machine.

That is not to say that good results cannot be achieved with the Steampro, just that to get the best, all elements of the clean must be  performed correctly.

Posted by lenpg (Len Gribble), 27 February 2004

What type of dyson do you use? Upright or cylinder I find it very difficult in using an upright vac on stairs, the same as I would if I was using a carpet wand.


Posted by Petersullivan (Petersullivan), 27 February 2004
HI steve most advise youve read is fine but carpet treads are much thinner than the rest of the carpet, hense that as you go over the tread you will drag dirt from the bottom your machine is much more powerful than a domestic vac, you can lesson the effect by dry cleaning the stairs.
Posted by stevej (stevej), 28 February 2004
Hi everyone - thanks for even more replies!
I may be wrong but I think that there may be some snobbery about using machines such as Sebos - it would be interesting to compare the performance between a Sebo and a Dyson. I'm nearly always amazed at how much dirt I collect and would be suprised if a Sebo collected anymore.
I agree that the stairs are a problem with an upright and hand brushing the pile seems to be the answer.
I was interested to read the comment about dry cleaning the stairs as in some ways this does negate a lot of the problem - but does this mean you are really only cleaning the top surface of the carpet!
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 28 February 2004
Hi Steve

I don't think it's a question of snobbery...

The Sebo is recognised within the trade as a darned good piece of professional equipment..
PLUS not many customers possess a Sebo whilst the World and his Auntie have a Dyson.

Incidentally many of my customers have Dysons and the 'love affair' with them seems to be diminishing.  I hear so many more complaints about them these days... what went wrong?

Posted by SteveTruman (SteveTruman), 28 February 2004
Dysons.............. Her indoors is on her 3rd. They seem to last just over the 2 yr guarantee then phumph. They must build a self destruct device in them. And as for the lifetime hepa filter Angry Angry Just had to modify it slightly to get the darned thing to suck again, might have to buy a new one. Moan over...


Posted by Ian_Hare (Ian Hare), 28 February 2004
Hi Derek,
the public's love affair with the Dyson is indeed faltering.
Not surprising. It looks like a toy, and is very light and flimsy. I can fetch plenty more dirt out after Mrs. Housewife has put her toy away.
Posted by SMP (SMP), 28 February 2004
Dysons don't last too long if you drop them out of the van a few times either - like I have done with the Sebo Grin Grin Grin


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