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View Full Version : PAC shows you how... to shampoo your carpets in your driveway.


Todd@properautocare.com
06-05-2011, 03:40 PM
PAC shows you how to shampoo your vehicle's carpets in your driveway!

There is no doubt that most effective method of shampooing carpets is to use a professional hot-water extractor and quality chemicals. For the do it yourself detailer the cost of these machines can be quite expensive. The following method of carpet shampooing requires fairly little tools, but does require a little patience and hard work. By being meticulous it is possible to achieve near professional results, and with constant up-cleaning it can be all the shampooing your vehicle will ever need.

Tools needed:

Several wash buckets.
A stiff carpet brush.
A fabric safe All Purpose Cleaner such as Optimum Power Clean or Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner
A wet-dry vacuum cleaner such as shop vac.
Several old (but clean) terry towels.

Note: Always spot clean an inconspicuous area of the carpet first, looking for discoloration.

Start by vacuuming the carpet or upholstery thoroughly. Remove the floor mats for the vehicle (these will be cleaned in a separate manner covered in Part Two: PAC tells you how to shampoo your vehicle's floor mats in your driveway! ).

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After all of the surface dirt has been removed from the carpet scrub the carpet using a stiff brush. Push the bristles into the pile. A quick, brisk brushing will cause dirt that has been pushed into the pile of the carpet to come to the surface. It is amazing how much dirt can be trapped in a vacuumed carpet. If you haven't brushed your carpets before you may become discouraged at how much dirt is trapped and how difficult it is to remove. Vacuum again.

Heavily soiled carpets may require require alternating between brushing and vacuuming to thoroughly clean. Continue this step until dirt is no longer visible after brushing. A little patience will go a long way, and the quality of the result is determined by how thorough each step is completed.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/pic3.jpg

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Now mix up the the cleaning solution. In this example I am using Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner. I mix to 1 part APC with approximately 15 parts water, then blast with water to encourage an ample amount of suds.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/pic7-1.jpg

Optional: Mix a second bucket of just water.

Note: When extracting carpets with a machine it is best to use a low suds all purpose cleaner, such as Meguiar's APC +. When shampooing the carpets by hand, use the suds to scrub the carpet, which will keep it from getting overly wet.

Work a section at a time, such as the drivers carpet followed by the passenger side. First dip the brush into your wash solution, picking up equal parts suds and water. Now scrub in a slightly overlapping motion, working the shampoo solution into the carpet.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/pic8.jpg

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/pic9.jpg

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Use the wet/dry vacuum to extract the solution quickly. Make sure to pass over and remove as much shampoo solution as possible.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/pic11.jpg

Optional: Dip the brush in the bucket of pure water. Remove as much excess water as possible by running the bristles again the edge of the bucket. Again lightly scrub the carpet using just water. This will help remove any excess soap residue that could cause the carpet to extract more dirt once it dries.

Then vacuum the carpet very carefully, removing as much water and residual shampoo as possible. Make slow passes over the carpet. At this point the carpet should feel damp.

Note: This second extraction of the carpet should take longer then the first and carpet should feel near dry when complete.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/pic12.jpg

Finally take a clean cotton terry towel and blot it thoroughly into the carpet to remove even more moisture. This will help reduce the chance of wicking. Wicking occurs when any dirt trapped deep in the carpet's pile is pulled to the top by a capillary action. The carpet appears to become soiled as it dries.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x121/tropicaldetailing/truth/pic13.jpg

CGdetailing
06-05-2011, 06:32 PM
great informative thread

Todd@properautocare.com
06-06-2011, 08:24 PM
great informative thread

Thank you!

dboy11
06-07-2011, 09:32 AM
That's a good write up, good info for the weekend guy that wants to get that professional look!

mossman35
06-07-2011, 10:33 AM
This demonstrates my biggest grief with shampooing auto carpets.

From your pictures above you can see that the carpets look much better after just a good Vac. Adding the shampoo just spreads the dirt around and looks horrible (especially on light colored carpets).

That last picture is horrible IMO. Sorry. :cry:

More frequent vac helps the most. The only time I shampoo is if I have a stain. (i.e. coffee, clump of mud, etc). To shampoo general dirt built up over time just doesn't work (especially on that light colored carpet).

noego
06-07-2011, 11:09 AM
Thanks, Todd! A detailer with your experience showing us weekend warriors how to perform a routine detailing task is why I check this forum a few times every day - thanks again to you and other pros on here for your guidance and tips.

All of the pictures you used to illustrate the steps you followed are entirely fine.

dboy11
06-07-2011, 11:55 AM
This demonstrates my biggest grief with shampooing auto carpets.

From your pictures above you can see that the carpets look much better after just a good Vac. Adding the shampoo just spreads the dirt around and looks horrible (especially on light colored carpets).

That last picture is horrible IMO. Sorry. :cry:

More frequent vac helps the most. The only time I shampoo is if I have a stain. (i.e. coffee, clump of mud, etc). To shampoo general dirt built up over time just doesn't work (especially on that light colored carpet).

I don't see how you can say this? Todds pointed out very well, how to clean carpets without a hot water extractor. This method is very effective IMO. You are correct that vacuuming the carpets on a regular bases is the best preventive method, but for this illustration. What Todd was laying out, it was to show how its done. This carpet really didn't need it. One thing that this method will do is once the water drys there might be some embed dirt that will need to be vacuumed up again. That's been my experience anyway

mossman35
06-07-2011, 12:57 PM
I don't see how you can say this? Todds pointed out very well, how to clean carpets without a hot water extractor. This method is very effective IMO. You are correct that vacuuming the carpets on a regular bases is the best preventive method, but for this illustration. What Todd was laying out, it was to show how its done. This carpet really didn't need it. One thing that this method will do is once the water drys there might be some embed dirt that will need to be vacuumed up again. That's been my experience anyway

I didn't mean to sound so harsh. I am glad Todd pointed out the steps with lots of detail and great pics. However, I do think that carpet clearly needed (still needs) to be cleaned.

Whenever I have done what he described it just makes the dirt stand out more. It basically spreads it out. That was my point. Judging from his pics, that's exactly what happened. I am sure once it dries and he vacs again, it might look a little bit better, but not much.

I have slightly better results just using a good carpet foam cleaner, brush, and lots of vac time. Keeping light colored carpets is a nightmare no matter what you do though.

dboy11
06-07-2011, 03:24 PM
I didn't mean to sound so harsh. I am glad Todd pointed out the steps with lots of detail and great pics. However, I do think that carpet clearly needed (still needs) to be cleaned.

Whenever I have done what he described it just makes the dirt stand out more. It basically spreads it out. That was my point. Judging from his pics, that's exactly what happened. I am sure once it dries and he vacs again, it might look a little bit better, but not much.

I have slightly better results just using a good carpet foam cleaner, brush, and lots of vac time. Keeping light colored carpets is a nightmare no matter what you do though.


Are you using hot water while using shampoo or APC? When I clean carpet especially mats that take the brunt of the stains. I boil water and then use rubber gloves and brushes. The trick in this is to start with a real good vacuuming, coupled with dry brushing the car. Thats what Todd pointed out and this is a real important step. This will take up a lot of the loose dirt. Then the hot water, brush, extract, more clean hot water to lift more soap and dirt. If its still needing it i past threw a third time with clean water. I let the carpet dry completely and sometime depending on how embedded the dirt can be, some might come to the surface so another pass of two with the shop vac is needed.

Todd@properautocare.com
06-07-2011, 04:38 PM
I didn't mean to sound so harsh. I am glad Todd pointed out the steps with lots of detail and great pics. However, I do think that carpet clearly needed (still needs) to be cleaned.

Whenever I have done what he described it just makes the dirt stand out more. It basically spreads it out. That was my point. Judging from his pics, that's exactly what happened. I am sure once it dries and he vacs again, it might look a little bit better, but not much.

I have slightly better results just using a good carpet foam cleaner, brush, and lots of vac time. Keeping light colored carpets is a nightmare no matter what you do though.

First, and I'm sorry about any confusion in the pictures, but in the final pictures the carpet was still wet and the vacuum marks are running in different directions.

This is actually part one of a 3 part article (1) shampooing carpet (2) shampooing floor mats and (3) the details (such as brushing the carpet in one direction as well as cleaning pedals and kick panels, etc)

I can assure you that the carpet looks extremely clean. :thumbup: But when it was damp and brushed in different directions I can see how you made an incorrect assumption.