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Five reasons for dirty carpet cleaner water and what to do about it

It’s natural that your carpet cleaner water should be black when rinsing the carpet; that’s the dirt coming out. However, if the carpet cleaner water is still black after several passes with the cleaner, it is a sign that there is something wrong.

The possible reasons run from poor cleaning technique to an underlying mold issue that must be dealt with. Here are five common reasons the water in you carpet cleaner may still be black after several passes.

1.      You are rushing and not getting all the dirt out

You cannot rush a carpet clean. The machine must move slowly, and the carpet covered thoroughly. The shampoo solution must be given time to be dispensed on the carpet properly, before being rinsed and sucked up. The smaller and cheaper your carpet cleaner, the longer this will take.

You will probably need to shampoo and rinse the carpet several times before the water runs clear.

2.      You are missing parts of the carpet when cleaning

If you don’t operate your carpet cleaner slowly and in a methodical pattern, it is easy to miss parts of the carpet on each run.

Instead of cleaning in straight lines, use a diagonal pattern. Sweep the cleaner gently through diagonal lines along an imaginary track about three feet wide, before moving to the next track. Continue until the whole carpet has been cleaned. Rinse and repeat.

3.      You are leaving too much foam in the carpet

If you mix your carpet cleaning solution too strong, you’ll create too much foam. If you move your carpet cleaner too fast, you won’t suck up enough of the foam.

It’s the foam that brings the dirt out of the carpet. Dirt particles stick to it, and it is this that makes your water dirty when it is sucked up. If your carpet cleaning solution is too foamy, or you leave foam in the carpet, more dirt will be attracted to it.

Make sure you use the solution in the concentrated amounts recommended by the manufacturer of the carpet cleaner.

4.      Deeply ingrained soil and dirt

It could be that your carpet is simply super dirty. Even though it looks clean, a carpet is usually packed with small dirt and soil particles that hide deep in its pile. When you clear the carpet, it is this deeply ingrained dirt that is sucked away.

It could take several passes with the carpet cleaner to remove all the dirt. Only when the water runs clear can you be sure that your carpet has been deep-cleaned effectively. To reduce this dirt, never walk on carpets with shoes that you have worn outside, and ensure you vacuum regularly – at least once per week.

5.      Your carpet has a mold infestation

It could be that your carpet is moldy deep down. This might be caused by dampness or leaving the carpet too wet when shampooing.

If this is the case, you will probably need to replace the carpet before the mold spreads to other parts of your home and begins to cause health problems to your family and pets.

Are you and your carpet cleaner up to the job?

It’s not unusual for DIY carpet cleaners to need eight or even 10 passes on a carpet before the water runs clear. This is especially true when:

  • It has been a long time since your carpet was last deep-cleaned
  • Your carpet receives a lot of footfall from outdoor shoes
  • You employ a poor cleaning technique
  • The carpet cleaner you have hired isn’t powerful enough to do a good job

If you do plan to DIY carpet clean, you should hire the very best carpet cleaner you can afford. Then, be prepared to spend several hours cleaning – and possibly need to repeat the process on the following day. Don’t stop until that water is running clean.

On the other hand, if you value your free time and want super clean carpet, you should call Porter’s Cleaning in New Jersey. We’ve got the tools and experience to clean your carpets with guaranteed results from our deep carpet cleaning service.

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