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This blog post is my journey into power washing my Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s carpet.
Here is what you will need to complete this task:
- Sun Joe (or other brand) Power Washer
- Folex Instant Carpet Cleaner or Simple Green Degreaser
- A Medium to Soft Brush (The one I used was too stiff. I wish I had the one in the link)
- Gallon Chemical Sprayer (you can also just use the chemical dispenser on the power washer, but I did it separately)
A client of mine owns a Persian Carpet business and they power wash rugs to get them clean. This gave me an idea, why not power wash my Jeep’s 30 year old carpet.
Having never done this before, I was a bit nervous. After lots of reading and talking to others who power washed their carpets, I decided to go for it.
The obvious first step is to take your carpet out of your Jeep. To do this, you have to remove all of the seats, the carpet retaining trim, seat belts, arm rest and the tire wells have some metal tacks to deal with. Don’t worry, it really was not that hard but it was a time consuming process.
Here are a few photos from along the way…
Once the interior is out of the Jeep, pull out each section of carpet and knock off as much dust and dirt as you can. You may want to wear a dust mask or at least pull your t-shirt over your nose like I did. 30 years of dust and dirt will come out!
I chose to hold my carpet up high and kick it while holding it up. This got a lot of the lose stuff out.
Then I took the vacuum and went over each of the piece of carpet very well trying to get everything that I could.
Once I had as much lose debris out of the carpet I was ready to get cleaning. I started with the Folex Carpet Cleaner. I used Folex first based on the recommendations of other bloggers. I liked how easy the Folex was to use and most important it had a very subtle smell. My wife and I are sensitive to strong smells so the Folex was a great fit.
Let the solution sit for a minute or so and then take your soft-to-medium stiffness brush and start working the solution down into the fibers. Be sure to brush the carpet in multiple directions. If you don’t feel like much is happening you can mist the carpet with a little water to help, but remember you will dilute the carpet cleaner with added water.
These photos are of well saturated carpet (no water yet) being scrubbed. Notice all of the brown gunk in the photos. Yuck! That is all Georgia clay coming out of the carpet. While it was not noticed on the surface, this mud was deeply embedded in the carpet. By scrubbing the carpet in multiple directions I was able to loosen up all of the dirt and grime deep down in the carpet fibers.
Next came the fun part — power washing!
Go back and forth with the power washer. I learned two valuable lessons:
- Do not get too close to the carpet with the power washer. You can damage the carpet (especially 30 year old carpet like I have)
- Hang the carpet up to power wash! See the photo below for why to hang the carpet or rugs to clean.
If you do not hang your carpet over a chair, fence or other elevated object you will simple spread the dirt around and it will not get all the way out of the carpet. I was first power washing on the ground, and it was looking good, but I could see mud puddling in spots and settling back into the carpet.
When I picked up the first section of carpet to move on to the next section, I was in for a BIG SHOCK!
Take a look at all of the mud that was under the carpet! (Imagine how much of it was still in the carpet)
From this point on I hung the carpet over patio chairs to clean and then I was able to watch the mud and grime just wash away!
Once you finish washing the carpet, be sure to hang them out to dry. I continued to use the patio chairs, tables and even the fence to hang the carpets to dry.
Since I finished power washing in the dark, I left them out over night. It was not a very warm night, but there was low humidity so that helped dry out the carpets. After letting them sit while I went to work, by the time I got home that next day they were completely dry. Some other bloggers said it took 2-3 days for the carpet to dry, but I did not have that experience. (Let me know how long it took you in the comments below).
Here is a collection of photos from during the process:
And finally, what most of you have really wanted to know, how did it turn out?
Well if you ask me, I think the carpet looks so much better and better yet it smells so clean! You can see where I damaged the carpet some from power washing the carpet too closely, but with a little vacuuming and soft brushing I hope to blend it back in okay.
Here are photos of the dried carpet after successfully cleaning the carpet!
The only downside to power washing your carpet is if it has 30 years of mud like my Jeep had, you will have to spend the next day power washing the patio! Look at all of the mud that came out of the carpets! I was truly AMAZED!
Want to read more about cleaning your carpet and rugs? Check out Spot Cleaning Your Carpet!