How to use a wet vac to clean carpet?

If you’ve had a wet vac (shop vac) for a long time now but you’ve only used it for cleaning outside in your garage or basement, then you may want to re-think its use in cleaning a carpet as well. Often, we think of different power tools and appliances as being one type of use equipment but they are often much more multi-use than we think. Here you are buying all of these appliances that cost hundreds of dollars but they only have one use.

This is why when you’re starting to make purchases for your home you should think about appliances and tools that have multi-use capabilities just like a wet vac does. Often you’ll hear these called a Shop Vac which is a brand name for wet vac.

What’s a wet vac?

Easily enough a wet vac is very similar to a normal vacuum, however, it’s much more powerful in terms of it’s sucking power and it can handle both dry and wet surfaces. This means you can go right from cleaning up a dry surface to a wet surface without any damage to the vac itself. A wet vac is also extremely helpful as it has a large tank to store debris in. So, if you have an extremely dirty (and wet) garage, simply take the hose around and clean up all of the areas you need without the need to switch between vacs for wet and dry surfaces.

A wet vac is perfect for big jobs especially in garages, workshops and construction sites as there will be a lot of dirt, woodchips, dust, water, and other particles that need to be cleaned up. Since the design of a wet vac is to be able to clean wet surfaces (even suck up an entire puddle if you needed to) it makes sit perfect for cleaning carpets as well.

How to use a wet vac to clean carpet?

Using a wet vac is easy when you’re cleaning a flat dry floor, but often throughout your house, you’ll have carpets and rugs. These carpets are great for ensuring your floors are warmer especially during the winter months when the hard floors can become unbearably cold on your feet.

The downside to carpets is they often can get really dirty and renting a carpet cleaner can be a bit costly. You can utilize your wet vac in replacement of a carpet cleaner to do much of this work. It’s also very important to clean your carpets to ensure mold and other bacteria doesn’t start to grow in your carpet which could become a health hazard to you and your children.


Step by step on how to use your wet vac to clean carpets

  1. Before you start cleaning our carpet, you’ll want to ensure to prepare the room. Start by removing any furniture that you can to make it easier to clean and so you can clean those hard to reach areas. You’ll want to ensure you also vacuum the area dry before you start so all of the surface dirt is removed and doesn’t make a bigger mess of things.
  2. Next, you’ll want to determine which part of your carpet has stains and spots so that you can ensure those areas you’ll make an extra effort. Those areas with the stains should be treated with a stain remover which you can get from most hardware stores or grocery stores for treating carpet stains. Make sure you read all of the directions on the bottle and treat the area with the stain first.
  3. Now you’ll want to mix the carpet cleaner solution with water as instructed on the carpet cleaning bottle. To apply the carpet cleaning solution to your carpet, you can use any type of device that will spread water evenly across your carpet. I find that a garden watering can work great for this as it evenly distributes the water around the carpet rather than in one big spout down the middle. Using a watering can, or other spray devices, start to pour the liquid across the carpeting working in small areas at a time to ensure you have the liquid evenly spread across the surface. You want to make sure to get the carpet wet enough that when you scrub it, it’ll get suds forming but not too wet that it starts to look flooded.
  4. The hardest step of this process if the scrubbing part. Using a scrub brush, you’ll then need to scrub the carpet so that the carpet cleaner has a chance to rub up against the carpet in a bit of an abrasive fashion. This is important so you can help push the dirt particles out of the carpet.
  5. Now that the carpet has been scrubbed, the last step is getting the water out and rinsing it. This is truly the cleaning process as you’ll be sucking the dirt out of the carpet. Ensure you use the flat attachment to your wet vac so you can get a good suction formed on the carpet as you slide the wet vac hose across each section of the carpet sucking up all of the water.

You’ll need to pull all of the carpet cleaner water out of the carpet once and then rinse the carpet again using the watering can with plain water and then repeat the carpet cleaning process of sucking the water back out again to ensure the soap has been removed from the carpet.


Wrap Up

Doing this soaking, scrubbing and then rinsing part will ensure you clean the carpet and then pull all of the soap out of it so it’s truly clean. You’ll need to also allow at least 2-3 days to pass after cleaning the carpet to ensure the area can dry properly as it will still be wet for a few days after you’ve finished.

Having a window open in the room during the drying process will help to speed up the drying procedure as well as having a few oscillating fans blowing on the carpet will really assist you with drying it faster. Be sure to let it dry properly otherwise you may end up creating mold post cleaning which may have the opposite effects.

Good luck and keep learning more ways to use your home appliances to do things cheaper and faster on your own.

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