When cleaning a carpet, it would be ideal for the water to remain clear. However, if you over-wet it, it might lead to wicking. The biggest problem with repeated passes is that the carpet is going to be too wet, and it will take much longer to dry.
That may not be such a big problem for you, but if you are a professional, leaving a damp carpet the day after might lead to a complaint from the customer.
The trick is to make sufficient passes for the soiled traffic lane to match the carpet’s edge. When you get to this point, normally, the water should be clear of very close to clear.
Why Is My Carpet Cleaning Water Dirty?
When you take your home carpet cleaner and start making the first passes over your rug, it is normal for the water to have a dark color. Still, if the color does not change after a few passes with the machine, something might be wrong.
The possible causes for this outcome can be an incorrect cleaning method or even a serious mold situation that should be handled very quickly. Let us see what a few of the most common reasons are.
1. Working too Fast
As a general rule, you should keep in mind that you cannot rush a carpet cleaning session. The cleaner has to move slowly and cover the entire surface thoroughly. The carpet shampoo needs a bit of time to be properly distributed on the carpet before rinsing and sucking it up.
By the way, just so you know, the cheaper and smaller the cleaner is, the longer the process will take. As a result, you will need to shampoo but also rinse the carpet more than a few times for the water to become clear.
2. You Are not Covering the Entire Surface
If you do not work with the carpet cleaner slowly, using the appropriate patters, it is quite easy to miss various parts of the rug on each pass. You can use a diagonal pattern rather than making runs in straight lines.
To do this correctly, you should sweep the machine lightly through diagonal lines along an imaginary path of approximately three feet wide before continuing to the next one. Carry on with this pattern until the entire carpet has been cleaned, and then you can rinse and repeat the process.
3. Too Much Foam
In case you mix your carpet cleaning formula too hard, you will have too much foam. If you also move the cleaning machine faster than you should, not enough of that foam will be sucked up.
It is actually the foam that is responsible for bringing the dirt out of your carpet. The particles of dirt stick to the foam which will make the water dirty when being absorbed. Therefore, if your carpet cleaning formula is extremely foamy, or if you leave that foam on the carpet, more soil will be attracted to it.
The best way to proceed is to use the formula in concentrated amounts, exactly the way the manufacturer of your carpet cleaner recommends.
4. Deeply Embedded Soil and Dirt
It can also be that your carpet is simply extremely dirty. Even when it looks clean, a carpet is usually loaded with very small particles of dirt and soil that hide deep in its fibers. When you use a carpet cleaner on your carpet, it sucks up that deeply embedded dirt.
In such cases, it will take quite a few passes with the machine in order to eliminate all that dirt. Only when you see that the water runs clear you can make sure that your carpet has been cleaned efficiently.
If you want to avoid so much dirt in the future, never walk on the carpets with shoes that have been worn outside. Also, vacuum your carpeting at least once a week.
5. A Mold Infestation
Dampness and leaving the carpet over-wet when shampooing it may cause mold to appear deep inside the fibers. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you should immediately replace your carpet before it spreads to other parts of the house. You should know that mold can cause serious health situations for both humans and pets, so it is best to be dealt with as soon as possible.
Throwing away your carpet is clearly not the most convenient solution, so you should try to clean it as correctly as possible or leave this task to professionals.
How Do I Know if I Have a Clean Carpet?
Clear and clean water is not the only sign that your carpet has been cleaned properly. If you are not sure whether you performed the cleaning procedure correctly or not, look at the rug as well. The fibers should feel softer, and the entire carpet should look fresh.
Furthermore, there are no stains or no more stains on it. Once it has dried, your carpet will feel lighter as well as fuzzier.
If you can see all these, it means that you did a good job and your carpet is spotless. However, if you want to ensure that it remains clean for a longer period, do not forget to vacuum it regularly.
If the results are not the ones expected, you might have done something incorrectly. If that should be the case, you should ask for a carpet cleaning professional’s help.
Summing it up
As a general rule, you should make enough passes with the carpet cleaner until the water becomes clear. However, in order to achieve the expected results, you should perform the operation correctly. Moreover, the cleaning machine should be operated precisely and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Failing to do so might lead to unpleasant situations and even leave you with no other choice but to throw away the carpet which, we are sure, you would not want to happen.