Should You Vacuum A Carpet After It Is Professionally Cleaned?

If you’ve just had a professional carpet clean, you might be wondering if it’s safe to give your carpets a quick vacuum, or if you need to wait a while. The good news is that vacuuming your carpets after they have been professionally cleaned will not damage them as long as the carpets are dry. In fact, vacuuming has many benefits!

In our article we’ve outlined the different types of carpet cleaning services you can receive, what the benefits of vacuuming a carpet after a professional clean are, and a couple of tips to make sure you get the most for your money.

What does a professional carpet clean usually involve?

Before we ask whether you should vacuum a carpet after it is professionally cleaned, let’s take a look at some of the different carpet cleaning methods and whether they affect the answer.

A popular cleaning method is hot water extraction or steam cleaning. In this method, hot water is applied to the carpet at a high pressure to dissolve debris and dislodge it from the fibres. This method is especially popular with people who have allergies or are sensitive to cleaning chemicals as only water is used.

Steam cleaning is also very effective as the high temperatures kill bacteria and mould, keeping your carpets even fresher. The nature of the clean means that your carpets won’t be ready for footfall immediately after, as it can take up to 24 hours for the carpets to completely dry.

Another method is carpet shampooing in which a specially designed carpet shampoo is scrubbed into the carpet with water. It’s common for cleaners to use rotating brushes to work the shampoo into the fibres and dislodge debris such as mud and dust. This method is especially good for removing stains but it might leave some cleaning residue behind.

Read our guide on how much a carpet cleaning service costs in the UK here!

If your carpet is very dirty, a cleaner may choose to use a foam cleaning method. Foam cleaning, also called encapsulation, involves coating the carpet in expanding foam. This foam traps debris from even the deepest parts of a carpet and brings it to the surface. This process is the most time consuming as the foam can be left for several hours before being removed with steam cleaning. The carpet will still need time to dry after this.

Finally, your professional cleaning service might recommend bonnet cleaning which uses a machine that has a thick towel (the bonnet) over the front of it. The bonnet rubs shampoo into the carpet as it passes over. Bonnet cleaning is fast and affordable, but only removes dirt from the surface of the carpet.

Regardless of what method you use, your carpet will still be fine to vacuum once the process is completely finished and the carpet is dry. Keep reading to hear our reasons for why vacuuming your carpet after a professional clean is a good thing!

Should you vacuum a carpet after it is professionally cleaned?

Now you’ve had your carpet professionally cleaned, you’re probably wondering whether you should vacuum it. The short answer is yes – vacuuming your carpet after it’s been cleaned has many benefits.

Below are the top reasons you should vacuum a carpet after it has been professionally cleaned.

  • Removes the last of the dirt – During the cleaning process, some of the dirt particles that were stuck deep near the base of the carpet might not get completely removed. They will usually get dislodged and brought up to the surface. Vacuuming after the cleaning process will pick up these missed particles leaving your carpet even cleaner.
  • Removes excess cleaning agents – After your carpet has been cleaned you might notice a flaky, powdery substance in some areas. This is most likely cleaning residue that has formed as a result of unremoved cleaning agents drying up. Vacuuming will remove any cleaning residue that has been left behind.
  • Can loosen stubborn stains – Sometimes, particularly stubborn stains can remain on your carpet after a professional clean. This is uncommon (nowadays professionals can tackle just about anything!) but vacuuming can help. At the very least, deep cleaning your carpet will have helped to loosen the stain and vacuuming afterwards can sometimes dislodge it completely! It’s worth a try if you have a stain that’s been bothering you for some time.
  • Re-plumps the carpet – Professional cleaning can take its toll on a carpet’s appearance as the carpet must be thoroughly wet. After it has been dried, you might worry that your carpet looks a little limp and worse for wear. Not to worry though – vacuuming will restore the carpet pile to a fluffy and plump state once again.
  • Finishing touch – Finally, vacuuming your carpet after a professional clean is a finishing touch. We all love the appearance of a freshly vacuumed carpet, and vacuuming will help you to see just how much your carpet has improved.

Overall, we always recommend giving your carpet a good vacuum after a professional clean to remove the few remaining particles and inject some life back into it. You will notice that your carpet feels much softer and looks fresher after a quick once-over with the vacuum.

A couple of things to note…

Just before we wrap up, there are a couple of things to watch out for when you vacuum your carpet after a professional clean.

  • Only vacuum if the carpet is completely dry – Firstly, you should only vacuum your carpet once it is completely dry. Normally, during the cleaning process, the cleaners will remove around 80% of the water from the carpet so that it is only damp. The remaining water will be removed through air drying, which could take up to 24 hours. If you vacuum your carpet whilst it is still wet, the fibres will cling to dirt and particles on the rollers of the vacuum. This transfer of dirt ruins the point of having your carpet cleaned in the first place!
  • Carpet cleaners may try to disguise marks – Secondly, we wanted to make you aware that some carpet cleaners might try to disguise areas of dirt they were unable to remove to make your carpet look cleaner. They will do this by leaving a non-uniform pattern in that specific area. As soon as you hoover your carpet and get the uniform pattern back, you will clearly see the areas they have tried to hide. Always ask your cleaner to rake through the carpet whilst it is still wet so that you can check for areas where dirt and stains remain.

Make sure you get a reputable carpet cleaner and follow their advice on how long it should take for the carpet to be completely dried. There will be no reason that you shouldn’t have a lovely and fresh carpet after you have vacuumed it then!

In summary

So, vacuuming your carpet after a professional clean is ideal to restore it to its full potential. The cleaners do the hard work of dislodging and removing the majority of the dirt, but vacuuming will take your carpets the extra mile from clean to perfection.

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