Carpet Cleaner Maintenance

How to take care of your carpet cleaner so it works well for years to come

Keep your carpet cleaner maintained and working like new

So you’ve purchased your own carpet cleaner? Along with having the cleanest carpets on the block, you’ll also want to be sure you’re well-educated when it comes carpet cleaner maintenance. Carpet cleaners are one of the more pricey machines when it comes to home maintenance, so taking proper care of them is essential if you want your investment to last you.

What does a carpet cleaner do?

Carpet cleaners are different from vacuum cleaners. While vacuums are able to remove loose dirt and debris, carpet cleaners are used to provide your carpet with a deeper clean. Before using a carpet cleaner, a pretreatment solution is applied to the carpet. From there, the carpet cleaner uses a steam process to remove ground-in dirt and stains.

Because carpet cleaners provide such an intense cleaning, they aren’t meant to be used every day. In fact, you really shouldn’t be using a carpet cleaner more frequently than every three months, and you should only be using one that often if you have carpets that experience a lot of heavy soiling and foot traffic.

Along with protecting your carpets by not using a carpet cleaner too frequently, you also want to be sure to take care of the carpet cleaner itself. Completing a basic cleaning of the appliance on a regular basis is a smart move for anyone wanting to ensure a long life for their carpet cleaner.

The basics

While carpet cleaners come in different models and are made by a variety of brands, there are some carpet cleaner basics that are applicable to a majority of the carpet cleaners out there.

First and foremost, you’ll want to clean the nozzle of your carpet cleaner to make sure that it’s getting the best possible suction when in use. To get rid of any dirt and grime that is clinging to the inside of the nozzle, you’ll want to first remove the piece from the rest of the machine. From there, you can place the carpet cleaner’s nozzle underneath a sink faucet to clear out any muck that’s hanging out inside of the appliance.

Next, you’ll want to remove lint from your carpet cleaner. This step is usually fairly simple to complete, only requiring you to clear the lint filter trap or screen that can be found in the carpet cleaner.

To clean the carpet cleaner’s tank, you’ll want to empty it of all its liquid, including cleaning solution that may be leftover from a previous clean. From there, fill the carpet cleaner’s tank with fresh water. The fresh water can then be flushed out to help prevent the carpet cleaner from clogging in the future.

Finally, don't forget about the brushes. The best way to clean a carpet cleaner’s brushes is to remove any hair, fibers, or debris that are stuck in the bristles. After this is completed, the brushes can be rinsed beneath a faucet to ensure an extra-deep clean. Hoses and other accessories can also be given a rinse.

How often should you clean your carpet cleaner?

While there’s no “right answer” to how often you should clean your carpet cleaner, it’s fair to say that the more frequently you clean it, the better shape it will remain in over time. Many carpet cleaning machines have instructions that recommend cleaning your appliance after every use.

How often should you use your carpet cleaner?

If you’re wondering how often you should be deep cleaning your carpets with a carpet cleaner, the answer can differ depending on what kind of traffic your home sees on a regular basis.

For carpets that only experience a light soiling, you may only need to use a carpet cleaner every 12 to 18 months. For a medium soil, every 6 to 12 months is recommended. For a carpeted area that experiences heavy foot traffic and soiling, you should consider using a carpet cleaner every 3 to 6 months.

Carpet cleaner maintenance problems

Finally, if you ever find that your carpet cleaner is acting up, you’ll want to speak with a professional right away. The sooner you discover a maintenance problem with your carpet cleaner, the sooner it can be fixed.

Carpet cleaners can work wonders when it comes to deep cleaning carpets. The better you take care of your appliance, the longer it will take care of your carpets.

Resources— Best Carpet Cleaner Review, Best Advisor, Service Master Clean