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Carpet Cleaning?

 
Old 02-04-2012, 11:05 AM
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DanielD
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Default Carpet Cleaning?

I'm in the process of cleaning up the rear seats and the cargo area in the car including the interior leather panels, speakers, etc. I have everything in the rear out of the car right now; its down to the original sound deadening material all around.

The only thing left in the car is the front seats and the carpet.

With all of that out of the car its obvious that the carpet is basically filthy. The integrity of the carpet is good and I don't really want to replace it. However, it is glued down pretty good.

Has anyone removed the carpet from the car, cleaned it and reinstalled? I'm seriously contemplating this but I am concerned the removal process may damage the carpet.

If I can get it out I'm going down to the laundromat and running it through one of the heavy duty front loading washers there. I've done the small rear seat carpet pieces in the wife' Maytag with great success but I've received a "cease and desist" order from her. Will the carpet survive the laundromat? Will the glue destroy it during removal?

If this is really stupid idea let me know and I'll abandon these thoughts and just get some carpet cleaner...
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:11 AM
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Daniel, running the carpet through a machine will kill it. You should clean it in-place and be careful to not rub vigorously, or it will felt. Yes the rear footwell carpet comes out pretty easily, without damage if you're diligent.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:21 AM
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+1, clean it in place. When I bought my 84, I ran the front pieces under the floor mats, through a machine and the backing just deteriorated. When I bought the GTS, I used a RugDoctor thing and it made a big difference.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:33 AM
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+1 carpet shampooer for glued-in-place carpet. The rest, lay out and run simple green and HOT HOT water through it - mine was near boiling. I tied up a lot of pots for a couple hours.

I did this with the rear carpet in the cargo area - the one you can remove - after a melted crayon incident and it turned out AWESOME. 25 years of crud and 4 two day old melted crayons came right out.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:36 AM
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I have had success with removal and a pressure washer.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:50 AM
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Not sure why your wife would complain about washing the carpet pieces in her machine. Unless your rugs are oil- or grease-contaminated, the carpet is washed with the same detergent and water that she uses on clothes. If there are any stains on the rugs, I apply liquid Tide detergent directly to the stained area and let it soak for a while. Same process you'd use for that red wine stain on your favorite concert t-shirt. But to make sure there is no chance of messing up K's delicates, there's a dedicated machine in the garage for my laundry as well as any "projects". She has her own super-whamadyne energy-saving front-loading steam-cleaning for her laundry projects.

I run carpet through the garage machine on gentle cycle with excellent results. I babysit the whole process though, making sure that the pieces sit flat on the drum, fiber side out, when they spin. If you don't do that, spinning will break the backing where it's folded, and the water won't spin out evenly. On light-colored carpet, that can mean the uneven draining will leave the color "uneven". The risk in a commercial machine is that you don't get to do the babysitting.

As far as getting the old pieces out without damage, it's your call. I've had the carpets off the door panels, the console side panels, the door sills and the dead pedal without problems. The glue was tired and a bit crispy so the pieces came off without a lot of drama. The carpet will stretch easily through all of this, so at installation you need to be sure not to pull it as you glue stuff back in place.


For those who haven't been listening on the carpet cleaning in the home washing machine, here's my history. Car carpet leads a hard life. You can use carpet cleaners and get it pretty clean. But it's impossible to extract all the old detergent and dirt. Plus the typical process includes a scrub brush that will tear the fibers of the carpet. The reminder is that "cleaned" carpet doesn't have a full nap. It bunches and pills, and just doesn't have that new-carpet fluff to it. The residue is gluing the fibers together. So enter the home washing machine. Mine has options for various speeds of agitation, number of wash and rinse cycles, plus speed and duration of spin cycles. It's a classic Whirlpool/ Maytag/ GE/ Kenmore/ etc. top loader. I've added a lid safety switch bypass so I can let it run with the lid open, but that's not really essential.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:49 PM
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dr Bob; I will say that the carpet pieces that I ran through the Maytag looked fantastic when they came out. Almost new. No damage there.
As I'm banned from the Maytag for the rest of this project I guess I need to visit the local laundromat and see if they have anything there that is "gentle". Many have the monster front loaders that you can run burlap through...
I appreciated all the advice. I'll keep you guys posted as this project moves forward.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:12 PM
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A garage washing machine! I need one of those. Great idea - I was going to add here DO NOT scrub but someone beat me to it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:44 PM
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Try using a carpet cleaning powder. You'll be amazed at the results.

It's a dry process, so after vacuuming the powder up, the carpet is dry. A 4 lb kit at Home Depot is only about $20. Wear rubber gloves and drape under vertical surfaces to minimize waste. Change your vacuum filter before and after use.

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Old 02-04-2012, 04:34 PM
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If you decide to wash in place try diluted woolite and plenty of rinsing with a wet cloth. Also make sure you dry it and let the car air out for a while.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:41 PM
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I stipped off all the carpet in my 88 it went into the washer on cold then add a cup of tide then drip dry, dont try washing any of the carpet that has backing as it will stain the carpet when its drying.

dont use any hot water or put the carpets into the dryer as the adhesive will come alive and ruing the machine and transfer the adhesive
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fraggle View Post
A garage washing machine! I need one of those. Great idea.
No kidding. My wife has been talking about getting a new washing machine. I barely paid any attention when she mentioned it, but now that dr. Bob has brought it up, I could sure use that trusty old Maytag. No more sneaking my rags into the machine when she's not home.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:15 PM
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Try straight Simple Green sprayed on and use a scrub brush. I had a 993 with beige carpet that looked like the PO had transported used tires on a daily basis. Simple Green, a scrub brush and then a dry cloth to wipe it clean worked great.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:30 PM
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My carpet is acceptable but you can tell someone has scrubed it before. It has a little of that friz look to it. I have been contiplating the idea of taking an electric hair clippers to it. If I could remove just a tiny bit off the top it might tighten up the weave and possible add some more vivid color. I know it sounds crazy but I have experimented a little on a rug and was encouraged by the results.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by borland View Post
Try using a carpet cleaning powder. You'll be amazed at the results.

It's a dry process, so after vacuuming the powder up, the carpet is dry. A 4 lb kit at Home Depot is only about $20. Wear rubber gloves and drape under vertical surfaces to minimize waste. Change your vacuum filter before and after use.

I like the idea of using a dry cleaner. That just went on my list of things to do. Thanks Borland
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