The most common mistake is taking on too big of a job at once. Don't try to clean all of the rugs in your home at one time. Break it up into sections to make it easier on yourself. You may want to divide it by rooms, levels of the home, or some other manner.
Likewise, you don't have to hire an expensive cleaning service, break your budget in the process, or add an inconvenience to your normal daily schedule. A steam cleaner or shampoo machine can be rented inexpensively by the day or week. Alternatively, you can also purchase one of these machines for less than $200. This will save you thousands of dollars, and ensure that you always have a cleaning machine on hand for spills or routine cleanings.
Before you begin, make sure you are fully prepared with all of the necessary supplies. You will need at least one fan, enough shampoo or cleaning solution for the entire job, a bottle of stain remover and plenty of hot, clean water. You may also wish to purchase a pair of gloves to protect your hands, and a pair of shoes to protect your feet and keep your flooring clean after you are finished with it. A pair of good, sturdy shoes will also protect you from the risk of electric shock. You should never use an electrical appliance on a wet floor without shock-resistant shoes on. Rubber soles are best. You should also read the instructions for your steam or shampoo machine thoroughly before getting started. Follow the instructions and don't try to take shortcuts.
Take a few extra moments to prepare your carpet before beginning the cleaning process. Vacuum the entire area thoroughly. Steaming or shampooing flooring that is covered in dust and debris simply works the dirt deeper into the flooring, and can cause your machine to become clogged or overheated.
After vacuuming, use a bottle of spot treatment that is specially made for this job. You can find this product at any grocery, hardware or home improvement store. If you rented a cleaning machine, the rental agency will also have this product on hand. Use the product as specified on the label. Generally, you should treat any spots about an hour before you clean the area. Using a spot treating product before shampooing or steaming your flooring will release heavy dirt and grease build-up, and make the actual cleaning process a lot easier.
When you are ready to start the cleaning process, prepare the solution as instructed, and place it into the machine. Make sure that you only use a solution that is approved for use in your particular machine. Using the wrong kind of cleaning solution can ruin your shampoo or steam cleaning machine and cause irreversible damage to your flooring.
Once you have prepared your machine, start slowly and release cleaning solution on the entire area you wish to clean. Then use the machine to pull the solution and dirt up off the rug and back into the machine. You should take your time and be thorough, but also ensure that the solution is not allowed to dry on the floor. This will save you a lot of work later.
After you have finished one area, it is advisable to go back over the floor and repeat the process with plain, hot water. Release the water on the flooring and pull it back up with your machine to make sure no soapy residue is left in the flooring. Leftover cleaning solution, once allowed to dry, will make your flooring sticky and cause dirt to stick to the floor. It can also cause discoloration and uneven wear to the flooring.
Finally, place a fan in the area once it is clean, and try not to walk on the flooring for at least 24 hours, or until it is fully dry. You can then move on to the next area that you wish to clean. It is advisable to take a break between each area, as this is a very physical job, and your muscles will need time to relax.