Mix a solution of vinegar and water. If no ratios are given for the machine, you can use one part vinegar to one part water. For severe situations, use full strength vinegar. If soap-to-water ratios are given, replace the portion of soap with vinegar.
Fill the detergent tank of the steam cleaner with the solution. Don't overfill.
Start running the steam cleaner over the carpets, following directions for the machine.
Allow the carpet to dry before use and traffic begins again. It works well to clean the carpets in the evening before going to bed so they can dry through the night. The vinegar smell will lesson once the carpet dries.
Additional Tips and Advice
Before you start always spot test the carpet with the vinegar. Allow the vinegar to sit in a hidden spot (closet?) for several minutes, then blot the area with a clean cloth while it’s still wet. If the color does not wash out or transfer to the cloth, wait 24 hours and inspect the carpet for damage. If none is visible, the carpet can be considered safe to clean with vinegar.
Wet carpets attract a great deal of dirt, so if it’s not possible to avoid walking on the carpet until it’s dry, lay some heavy duty towels down or plastic, especially in high traffic areas. Be sure to remove the towels when the room is not in use so the carpet will dry quicker.
If the vinegar smell stays around after the carpet has dried, lightly sprinkle the carpet with baking soda and allow it to sit for several minutes to an hour before vacuuming it up. Make sure the carpet is completely dry before sprinkling the baking soda on it or it will react with the moist vinegar and you will end up with a gunky mess.
If you dislike the smell of vinegar, look for commercial cleaners that will disinfect as they clean. They are available in the same areas where carpet steamers and vacuums are sold.
Please give us a call for all of your carpet and tile cleaning needs