Carpet cleaning mistakes

The right stain needs to be cleaned with the right solution. There is no one-fits-all solution when it comes to clean carpet techniques. This page reviews a few most common myths and carpet cleaning mistakes. It is surprising that some of these myths and incorrect carpet cleaning procedures are used not only at homes but while cleaning commercial carpets too.

Dishwasher detergent

carpet cleaning mistakes The first carpet cleaning mistake is that a dishwasher detergent is the best cleaning solution. Although dishwasher detergent is sometimes suggested for food stains, dishwasher detergents are intended for use in closed dishwashers with very hot water. Dishwasher detergents and chemicals are highly alkaline (see stain removal chemicals) and also may fade colors or damage wool, silk, or nylon fibers.

Candle wax and iron

Many people believe that a candle wax can be removed from a carpet by ironing the carpet with a blotting paper in between. Ironing a candle wax stain unfortunately only drives the stain deeper into the fabric. Ironing candle was is not the recommended procedure because it makes any color from the dye of the candle more permanently set and the wax more inaccessible for the detergent or solvent to reach to carry the stain away.

White vinegar

Vinegar may be deceitful. Vinegar may weaken cotton, acetate, rayon, or silk fibers. Vinegar may also cause color change.


Shampoo sometimes works for carpet cleaning purposes on light oil stains (see classification of stains) and usually is not harmful to fabrics. However, a laundry detergent is as effective and less expensive to use. Colored shampoos may contain ingredients that will stain fabrics. Some shampoos may foam so much that they are difficult to rinse out.

Hair spray on ball-point ink

cleaning carpet mistake Some hair sprays work on ball-point ink stains. However, many hair sprays include a gummy residue and perfume which would make the stain even worse. Hair spray also may affect color in some fabrics, so a hair spray should be used with caution for carpet cleaning.

Salt to make dyes colorfast

With older dyes, people often attempted to increase fabric colorfastness by soaking the carpeting fabric in salty water. This is only a temporary solution. When the fabric is wet again, unless there is salt in the solution, the dye a bled from the fabric again. The effect is not permanent. Salt also cannot affect colorfastness of synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, etc.

To avoid carpet cleaning mistakes, see more information about carpet cleaning precautions and How to clean stain.
Copyright 2012 © The Best On-line Carpets & Rugs Guide -
Any reproduction of the content of this web page without written permission from the owner of this site is prohibited. All articles are protected by copyright and have been archived at a national library.
Linking to this page is permitted provided that the links are clearly acknowledged. Thank you.