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How to Steam Clean Berber Carpet

How to steam clean berber carpet

Cleaning Berber carpets may be simple or difficult, depending on whether they are made from pure wool or wool and synthetics. Berbers were originally loop-piled, hand-woven carpets, but they now can also be cut pile, woven, or tufted.

Cleaning Method

No matter which fiber type, wet extraction is the best cleaning method. However, the chemicals, equipment, and wand stroke techniques will vary according to the carpet’s fiber. Cleaning a synthetic carpet is fairly easy, but cleaning a pure wool carpet can be very difficult.

With pure wool, shedding and fuzzing may become more noticeable after cleaning. Alkaline agents (unless highly neutralized), dry powders, and green cleaners should be avoided, especially for pure wool carpets. Otherwise, rapid deterioration, bleeding, and soil wicking may occur. Moreover, aggressive agitation during cleaning and spotting can cause unwanted texture changes.

Cleaning Tips

The instructions given by the equipment and cleaning products manufacturers, as well as the carpet’s manufacturer should be carefully followed. However, following the ensuing cleaning tips may help to make the task easier, or improve the results.

  1. Test your cleaning equipment on an obscure area and use a different machine if a sticky residue is left.
  2. Meticulously vacuum (at least 10-15 minutes per room and hallways) to remove as many dry soils as possible before steam cleaning.
  3. Precondition the carpet with the appropriate range pH detergent solution. Carefully agitate and wait the appropriate dwelling time after applying the cleaning solution.
  4. Remove as much moisture as possible, by slowing down rearward wand strokes and dry stroking twice over the carpet after each series of wet strokes in a block stroking sequence during the rinsing.
  5. Immediately place an air mover, such as a fan, in a position where it will blow over the major traffic area when you complete the first area of a room.
  6. A light bonnet cleaning or buffing may be needed if slight streaking occurs.
  7. Groom the carpet immediately after cleaning it to avoid unwanted brush and wand patterns.
  8. When spot-cleaning, only use a small amount of cleaning solution and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes and then blot the stain (never rub or scrub stains). Excessive cleaning solutions and water may cause a small stain to become a larger stain.

When in doubt, seek advice from a professional carpet cleaner.


Expert Opinion

Quote:  “Avoid over-wetting your carpet. Don’t go over heavily soiled spots more than 2 times. Berber, Multi-level, or Looped carpets retain more liquid – for these types of carpets, do not repeat cleaning passes. If additional cleaning is desired, allow carpets to dry before attempting to re-clean heavily soiled areas.”

Source:   Rug Doctor

Quote:  “The complexities of cleaning Berber carpet can generally be traced back to fiber type, the level of maintenance on the carpet, the density of face fiber, and even the cleaning process being used. The cleaning-related problems most commonly encountered are slow drying and the wicking of soils or spots during the drying process. ”

Source:  Bob Wittkamp,


“Carpet Cleaning Tips – Tips on Cleaning Your Carpets from Rug Doctor.” Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners – Buy or Rent a Rug Doctor. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010.

“ICS Info – ICS: Cleaning Specialist.” ICS: Cleaning Specialist. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010.

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