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Carpet Extraction Cleaning

Carpets act as a “sink” that allows particles and other unwanted material to filter down to the base of the fibres and sometimes into the carpet backing. Once deep in the carpet and walked on, gritty soil can damage carpet fibres and backing, causing excess wear, degraded appearance, and ultimately the need to replace carpets prematurely.

Moisture provides an opportunity for unwanted biological contaminants in the carpet—such as mould spores and bacteria—to become active, multiply, and contaminate the indoor environment.

Extraction is a carpet-cleaning process in which a water-based cleaning solution is applied to the carpet and vacuumed (extracted) from the carpet nap, taking soil with it. Extraction helps remove unwanted contaminants deep in the carpet before they cause problems. But extraction cleaning can also add large amounts of water to the carpet, especially if the equipment is not functioning properly. Care must be taken to service equipment regularly by an authorised maintenance and repair centre and to ensure adequate passes during use to remove the most water from the carpet.

For carpet extraction, the cleaning staff should:

Mix cleaning solution properly

Using too much-concentrated cleaner not only wastes product but also can lead to more rapid re-soiling of the carpet. Do not apply too much solution.

Vacuum Pick-up

Make sure that the vacuum pickup is working properly and no holes or leaks in wands, hoses, or other attachments are decreasing suction. When vacuuming spent solution, repeat the process multiple times in both directions.

Ventilation and Airflow

Use increased ventilation and airflow to help dry carpets. This can be accomplished by opening windows when weather permits, increasing building ventilation, turning on air conditioning or heating systems, and using floor-level drying fans. Carpets should dry within 12 hours to minimise the potential for mould and other microbes to grow.


Notify occupants before a large-scale extraction procedure as this activity can affect sensitive individuals. Proper scheduling is recommended to ensure minimum traffic. The building should also be ventilated or flushed with fresh air prior to being reopened.

Action Items

  • Correctly dilute and use the proper amount and type of cleaning chemicals. Excess or incorrect use of chemicals may result in rapid re-soiling and other issues.
  • Use equipment that will maximise the amount of water or solution extracted from carpets, such as equipment approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute, to minimise moisture and potential for mould and bacterial growth.
  • Increase ventilation, run the HVAC unit, or open windows if weather allows and use fans to dry carpets quickly. Carpets should be completely dry within 12 hours.
  • Dispose of cleaning solutions properly.

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