Shampoo Left in Carpet After Cleaning?

Updated on July 25, 2013
E.T. asks from Albuquerque, NM
7 answers

I'm moving into a rental house in a few weeks that has carpet in several rooms (so I can't replace it). I took my shoes off and walked on the carpet yesterday and it feels crunchy in places and stiff over quite a lot of the surface. It's one of those twisty kinds of carpet, not the typical cut pile or berber... but that kind that became popular about 10 years ago where each strand kind of sticks up to about the height of a regular carpet. I just looked it up online and apparently it's called 'frieze" carpeting.

Anyway, is this type of carpet supposed to be stiffer and less soft than regular? Or did the carpet shampooers not fully rinse it?

And if I need to get extra shampoo out of the carpet, does anyone have any tricks? I just read that I could rent a carpet shampooer and run white vinegar through it... has anyone tried that?

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answers from Lakeland on

Talk to your landlord before doing anything. I am a landlord and don't like it when tenants do things without telling me, or if a company I hire does a crappy job and the tenants don't let me know.

It sounds like the carpet is very old and has been cleaned too many times. Or it could also be cheap carpet (most likely). Either way ask your landlord what they can do.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Ugh. Carpet in rentals grosses me out. Completely. Carpet is just a sponge for every gross thing out there. I would probably go ahead and rent a steamer and run a hot water/white vinegar mix through. Or pay to have someone come in and steam it again.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Since this is a rental, I would first contact the landlord and explain what you explained here. No carpet should be that unpleasant to walk on, so I'm guessing that something about the cleaning process went a bit awry. I would ask for the contact information for the company that cleaned the carpet and I'd let the landlord know that I plan to talk with the carpet cleaners about returning to check this out (and you should not agree to pay anything to them yet-- I would tell them this is a potential complaint and they need to inspect it and talk with you about it before you can agree on any money! If they messed up they should fix this for free.)

If the landlord just rented a carpet cleaner at a local store and did this himself or herself, well, I guess you can ask what soap was used etc. and then I'd likely rent a cleaner and do it myself. I love white vinegar for most things but it's better on hardwood -- it's acidic and I'd worry a bit about what it might do to the color of a carpet. I'd do a just-water cleaning first and see if that took out any extra shampoo left in the carpet.

I'd have a hard time living with carpet that crunched! That's one reason I love hardwood floors, but in the case of a rental, you have no choice. Just be sure you don't end up paying for a second cleaning if the first one was the problem here.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Get the landlord in there so they can see this issue. IF YOU DON'T WHEN YOU MOVE OUT THEY MAY SAY YOU DAMAGED THE CARPET AND DID THIS.

Sorry to yell but seriously...I have had landlords try to charge me for damage to their apartments for something "I" wrote down as an issue on the walk through they did with me "before" I moved in.

One time I rented an apartment in town and as I walked through with the guy I pointed out that there was a circular stain on the carpet that looked like someone had been varnishing the end of an open barrel then turned it upside down. He told me he'd have the carpet cleaned and take care of it. I wrote it down on the paper I had. When I went to move in it was still there. I mentioned it again. He said the cleaner had been there and said they got it up. I said they didn't.

When I went to move out he hit the roof over the stain. I pulled out my copy of the lease and walk through and pointed out the note I wrote about it. He still refused to give me back my deposit because he said they got it out. I pointed out that it was exactly the size, color, shape, and location of the stain in the walk through.

He decided I still couldn't have my deposit back because they were going to have to paint and clean the carpets before they could rent it to someone else.

I lived there over 5 years, I would have expected them to have to do that due to basic wear and tear on the apartment anyway.

This apartment was the only situation where I did not get at least half of my deposit back. Usually I get 100% back because when I move I made sure the place is the best I can make it.

So make the landlord take care of this issue. Find a dealer that sells this kind of carpet and go to the showroom and feel of it. Does it feel odd? Then maybe it's the carpet's fault it is weird. If not then it's likely needing to be cleaned.

Some carpets can only be dry cleaned, they have chemicals they sprinkle onto it then run a super strong vacuum over it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would not rent a machine.

If at all possible, can the carpet be replaced? That is the first thing I would do.

If not, one of the professional companies like Stanley Steamer, Dalworth, etc have machines with extra power and can probably get it out.

We do most of our carpet cleaning ourselves with our Bissel Pro heat but I do call the professionals a couple times a year because they have the tools to have the hottest water, suction and drying.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I would replace the carpet, especially if its old. But if that's not an option then i would call a carpet cleaning company, like Stanley Steamer, and have them give them a good once over. I have used them several times and they do an amazing job.



answers from Phoenix on

Talk to your landlord, but that may not do anything! Many carpets are crunchy after cleaning, especially if they are scotch guarded. Vacuuming a lot and everyday use will soften it up a bit, but a lot of rentals have tougher carpets. After I've been in a rental a year, I pay to have the carpets redone anyway myself and get it done the way I want.

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