10 Steps On How To Use A Wet Vac To Clean Carpet

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You would find many online tutorials depicting how easy it is to clean a wet carpet with a regular vacuum cleaner. But, the reality is traditional vacuum cleaners are not as productive in cleaning wet surfaces as they are in cleaning dry ones. So, if you spill some liquid on your rugs, you must know how to use a wet vac to clean carpet.

A wet vac (aka shop vac) is commonly used for cleaning basements and garages. Many users fail to realize the versatility of the machine and barely use it beyond some specific applications.

It can be a handy appliance for cleaning a wet carpet and is guaranteed to do a better job than a run of the mill vacuum.

What Is A Wet Vac?

How To Use A Wet Vac To Clean Carpet

Before learning how to use a wet vac to clean carpet, you need to know what a wet vac is and what functionality it offers. A wet vac is a vacuum cleaner variant that picks up wet debris as well as dry dirt. For this reason, it is called a “wet-dry vac.” In earlier days, these vacuum cleaners were larger and were not suitable for domestic use.

Over time, more compact units came into the market, which is more appropriate for household applications. The feature that specifically makes wet vacs more convenient is their ability to vacuum over damp spots. The perceptive design attributes of wet vacs make them perfectly capable of handling moisture.

It is always risky to sweep over a wet area with traditional vacuums because their circuitry is not insulated to keep out water. Wet vacs keep their electrical parts safe from water as they boast adequate insulation. Moreover, the vulnerable components lie on a different canister, which rules out almost any possibility of water damage.

On the contrary, regular vacuum cleaners have a much higher risk of electrocuting their users while operating over a wet spot. Using a wet vac for such purposes is the smartest thing to do. In terms of maintenance, you don’t need to do much other than cleaning or changing the filters regularly.

Why You Need To Use A Wet Vac To Clean A Wet Carpet?

Carpet and moisture are anything but an ideal match. For cleaning purposes, we have to pour liquid on the carpet, but unaddressed dampness can do even more damage to the rug. So, it is essential to eliminate the slightest trace of moisture in the carpet, and a wet vac can deliver the level of deep clean a wet carpet requires.

If you haven’t been paying attention to the moisture issue, then the chances are that the structural integrity of your carpet is already compromised. Without extracting the moisture, it would put your carpet at a high risk of delamination, which means the peripheral layer of carpet backing will detach from the primary one.

The inner layers of your carpet getting wet is the last thing you would want. The deeper the water or any other fluid reaches, the more difficult it is to draw out. Therefore, the amount of liquid you would be using to wash a carpet has to be along the right lines. Afterward, you would need to deploy an effective moisture removal system like a wet vac.

A wet carpet is also the perfect breeding spot for mildew. It would degrade the carpet fibers, stain and discolor your carpet, cause an unpleasant smell, and of course, present severe health hazards. A wet vac has a strong enough suction force to evaporate wetness rooted deep within the carpet. Besides, its water-safe circuitry makes it a safer option than other appliances.

How To Use A Shop Vac On Wet Carpet? ( 10 Steps )

Step By Step Guide

Now that we are done with all the introductions, let’s move on to the business part of this article and show you how to use a wet vac to clean carpet. In most cases, the following procedure would be enough to get you desirable results. That said, it would not be the best course of action in some scenarios, like a drying flood-soaked carpet or cleaning urine.

Step 1. Remove The Furniture

Before you get your shop vac in the room, you need to make some arrangements to make the cleaning easier. Maneuvering space is an important matter to take note of. It would be best to move all furniture from the room and free up space. This would allow you to cover the entire room without any problem.

Apart from giving you adequate operating room and delivering a thorough clean, relocating your furniture, for the time being, would also protect your furniture from sustaining damage. The combination of carpet cleaners and moisture could have detrimental effects on your furnishings.

If you work on a certain spot of the carpet, it is not necessary to shift your furniture elsewhere.

Step 2. Dust Off The Solid Dirt

Switch on your shop vac and enable the “dry” option. In doing so, you would be able to get rid of solid dirt and focus on removing the moisture afterward. There is no need to use a regular vacuum cleaner for this. Since a shop vac has both dry and wet features, it can do a good job of making your carpet dust-free.

Some could argue that traditional vacuum cleaners can do a better job of dusting off a carpet than shop vac ones. They are indeed more meticulous for this kind of job because they are specifically designed to do so. But, running a regular vacuum cleaner over a fresh wet spot could be risky as it could cause short circuits in the appliance.

Therefore, steer clear of regular vacuum cleaners if the carpet is wet on the outside. That said, you can consider vacuuming with a regular vacuum cleaner first if the outer layer of the carpet appears dry. The inner moisture of the carpet should not be a cause of concern in this regard. We recommend sticking to the shop vac model, though.

More info about Traditional Vacuum Cleaner: Best Vacuum For Berber carpet

Step 3. Locate Stains

After you take all the preparatory steps, you have to probe the carpet for carpet stains. Identify which areas appear greasier, so that you can attend to those accordingly. You have to use an appropriate stain cleaner to scrub off these marks and restore the carpet to its original glory.

Step 4. Check The Stain Remover First

There is no guarantee that the carpet cleaner you randomly bought from the store would go easy on your carpet. Before comprehensive application, apply the remover on an unnoticeable portion of the carpet and hack for colorfastness. If the treated spot appears unblemished, then the product should be safe to use on your carpet.

You should always read the instructions on the packaging before you put any cleaning formula on the carpet. Strictly abide by all the directives coming from the manufacturer. The concentration of the solution has to be perfect too so that it can bring forth expected results without doing any harm to the carpet. 

Step 5. Apply The Stain Remover

Administer the stain removal solution to the carpet patches you had previously singled out. Check the packaging instructions to find out how to prepare the solution and how long to leave it on the carpet. You can take the solution on a bottle sprayer and spray it across the spot. Or, you can pour it into the spot and gently rub it with a soft fabric. This would spread the solution.

Step 6. Blot The Treated Area With Paper Towels

Blot the treated spot with paper towels. Once the towels get saturated, replace them with new ones. Keep repeating this process until the stain disappears.

Step 7. Use Carpet Cleaner

Next, you would have to apply carpet cleaner all over the carpet. Don’t confuse this with stain removal solutions. Stain removal formulas work only work on the stained areas, but for an overall rinse, you would have to use a carpet cleaner that would bring out dirt from the fiber rather than vanishing visible stains.

Spray the cleaner all over the carpet and scrub it with your hand. The shop vac will not disseminate the cleaner, it is a job that you would have to do manually. Spray over an area, and then scrub with a soft fabric to spread it out.

Step 8. Attach A Flat Extension To Your Shop Vac Hose

To delve deep into the carpet fiber, you would need the help of a special vacuum accessory. A flat extension would help you reach deep into the carpet and extract moisture more effectively. Attach this extension to the hose of your shop vac.

Step 9. Remove All Cleaner And Wash With Water

Vacuum over the entire carpet a few times. After you are convinced that there is no cleaner solution remaining on the carpet, spray clean water over the carpet and scrub it again.

Step 10. Remove The Water

Finally, vacuum the carpet again to get rid of the water. Three or four times should get the job done.

Final Say

Hopefully, reading this article has helped you learn how to use a wet vac to clean carpet. Do keep in mind, sometimes the situation might go out of your control, even if you are adept in using a wet vac yourself.

In that case, don’t hesitate to seek professional help and ensure proper carpet maintenance.


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