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Old 03-04-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
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Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

I responded to a post about this, and thought I would just go ahead and lay out a step by step guide for success in almost any situation.

Just so you all know, I am actaully a certified carpet cleaning tech, so the guide will be based on actual experience and textbook guidelines.

First for floor mat's

1) Go to Target or Home Depot and buy a square tub big enough for common-sized floor mat's - by tub I mean one of those storage tubs that you might put winter clothes in during summer

2) Fill the tub with a mixture of 303 Fabric and Vinyl Cleaner and warm/hot water (I use 4 oz of cleaner for every gallon of water)

Note: the reason to use this product specifically, is that is cleans without the use of detergents - you do NOT want to leave detergent residues in the carpet or it will attract new soils (the carpet will be dirty again in a few weeks)

3) After the floor mat's are completely saturated, begin aggitating the entire mat with a soft-bristle brush (if you use a hard-bristle brush you will "scratch" the fibers - fibers are made of Nylon and nylon is plastic)

4) Disregard actual "stains" for now - i.e fruit juice, ink, market, etc.

5) Remove the mats from the tub and rinse them off - you can use a hose, pressure washer, or just dump a bucket of water over each of them - this will remove all imbedded soils

6) Treat remaining stains with the appropriate stain remover

A) Artificial Dyes (Kool-Aid, etc) - use Red Relief (you will need a white towel and a clothes iron (it will leave crap on the iron so don't use your wifes iron)
B) Synthetic Stains (Ink, Marker, Oil, Grease) - use Kleenrite's Volatile Dry Solvent or Kleenrite's Dissolve Semi-Solvent
C) Blood, Vomit, Food, Drinks, Pet Stains (Protein-based stains) - use an enzyme-based product (Enz-All/Pet Stain-Off/Enzyme Pre-Treatment)

All of the above chemicals can be purchased at a carpet cleaning supply company like Jon-Don

7) Rinse a second time and lay out to dry - you may want to use a wet/dry vac to remove excess moisture (water)

8) Apply a SOLVENT-based protectant such as 303 High-Tech Fabric Guard

Note: Do NOT use Scotchgard - it only protects against dirt and debris - does NOTHING for actual stains such as drinks, food, oil, grease, etc.

Done properly you should only have to clean carpet and mat's once per year!!

For actual carpet the only difference is that instead of the immersion bath process listed above, you would use the same products - just you would work from a small 2 gallon bucket and use a soft-bristle brush - you could put the mixture into a spray bottle if you want to

After cleaning you would suck excess water out of the vehicle's carpet with a wet/dry vac and then allow to air dry

Do NOT soak the carpet - use only the amount necessary to achieving cleanliness, otherwise it will take about 5 hours for the carpet to dry

Hope this helps!!!
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

Nice write-up, easy to follow and great detail. Thanks for the effort.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

Thanks man...

The nice thing is that you can be a true carpet and upholstery pro for about $150.00-$200.00!! (rather than the $500-$1,000 it would cost to buy an extraction machine and chem's)

...and better results in my opinion
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

Thank you for the write up.
I will try it this weekend.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

Great write up. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

What would you suggest for carpet that looks like this?


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Old 03-04-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

Good write-up MobolWorks. Thanks for sharing!

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What would you suggest for carpet that looks like this?
I know you're kidding Chad, but I have had some folks that wanted that kind of carpet clean!

For those who haven't had to do such - my method for these (and floor mats for that matter) is to scrub them with APC+ and let it sit for a bit then blast it with a pressure washer (out of the vehicle) until it starts to rinse clean. Then, you can start working on the heavy stains after that.

On hot sunny days, the floor mats will usually dry in a few hours. The carpets, just plan on them taking near a full day in said conditions. However, I don't do many details that I can't have the mats out of, cleaned, and dried before I finish. (Do them first). If someone wants that dirty of a carpet cleaned, arrangements are made for them to leave it longer.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:05 PM   #8
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

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Originally Posted by DLB View Post
Good write-up MobolWorks. Thanks for sharing!


I know you're kidding Chad, but I have had some folks that wanted that kind of carpet clean!

For those who haven't had to do such - my method for these (and floor mats for that matter) is to scrub them with APC+ and let it sit for a bit then blast it with a pressure washer (out of the vehicle) until it starts to rinse clean. Then, you can start working on the heavy stains after that.

On hot sunny days, the floor mats will usually dry in a few hours. The carpets, just plan on them taking near a full day in said conditions. However, I don't do many details that I can't have the mats out of, cleaned, and dried before I finish. (Do them first). If someone wants that dirty of a carpet cleaned, arrangements are made for them to leave it longer.

DLB
Actually I wasn't kidding!

Some carpets won't come clean without getting them wet though. These were actually rock hard before cleaning! Dark spots are burns.

I think the article is great, but the title of the thread bothers me.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

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Originally Posted by RaskyR1 View Post
Actually I wasn't kidding!

Some carpets won't come clean without getting them wet though. These were actually rock hard before cleaning! Dark spots are burns.

I think the article is great, but the title of the thread bothers me.
My apologies.

You are absolutely right though - you can't get all carpets cleaned just with some product and a little water. (I think the OP was just going for a general how-to, not an end-all, so yea, the thread title is a bit misleading).

Consider this - when you clean the carpet the dirt/stains either have to come UP out of the carpet onto your towel or through the hose in your wet-vac, or it will to go down deeper into the carpet or under it onto the padding (and eventually resurface itself). That said, when it isn't feasible to get all the dirt to come up, push it all the way through (down) and out.

Edit - BTW Chad, I did a Jeep that had carpets (and seats) that looked like that and the owner decided it best just to replace the interior! (Boy was I glad).

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:31 PM   #10
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Re: Auto Carpet and Mat Cleaning the professional way

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My apologies.

You are absolutely right though - you can't get all carpets cleaned just with some product and a little water. (I think the OP was just going for a general how-to, not an end-all, so yea, the thread title is a bit misleading).

Consider this - when you clean the carpet the dirt/stains either have to come UP out of the carpet onto your towel or through the hose in your wet-vac, or it will to go down deeper into the carpet or under it onto the padding (and eventually resurface itself). That said, when it isn't feasible to get all the dirt to come up, push it all the way through (down) and out.

Edit - BTW Chad, I did a Jeep that had carpets (and seats) that looked like that and the owner decided it best just to replace the interior! (Boy was I glad).

DLB

Yep. Lots of variable when it comes to cleaning carpets. I would have loved to through the carpet away in the car I did too but it was a dealer car and they were not about to spend the money for somthing like that when the only paid $200 for the car itself.

I do appreciate to OP taking his time to do the article, especially with his background in carpet cleaning. It was just that the thread title makes it sound like people who use other methods are not professional.
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