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Can carpet cleaner ruin carpet

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I am a newby to carpets on boats. I was reading up on boat covers and realized it's important to follow manufacturers instructions or you can ruin the boat cover and Surlast covers need to be cleaned and re- coated regularly. So I was thinking is this the same for carpets? I wanted to use the Bissell proheat carpet cleaner with the revitalizing allergen solution on the removable carpet on my 2007 wakesetter. But then I was wondering if the carpets get treated with some special solution to protect it from the water/sun/boat use, etc etc and by cleaning it with Bissel maybe it would remove all that stuff and end up ruining the carpet.

I know there are other posts on cleaning but could not find details on this. Does anyone have the instructions from the carpet manufacturer on this subject? I suppose the safe way is to just use no solution in the Bissell and just use hot water.

Also, do you use same vinyl cleaner/protectant for the dash?


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Not sure on the newer carpets but I think they recommend staying away from oxygenated cleaners (aka oxyclean, etc). I generally use a diluted down all purpose cleaner on the carpets.


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I always used the Bissell Little Green on all of my boats with no problems. I think that 99 is right, you just have to stay away from the oxygenated products.

Cool. That's good news. This will be the first time we've tried it on our boat. The dog forced us into the purchased when he was a puppy....the carpet would be pretty rough without it!

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Thanks everyone! Now I have the need to clean my carpets. Well, there's another winter project on the list. :Frustrated:

Most of the marine Carpets are made out of an olefin Fiber, which gives it a great stain resistant quality, Not Stain proof but pretty good. The biggest thing to remember when cleaning any carpet is to make sure you rinse out the cleaner that you use. If not that makes the carpet fiber sticky and will actually attract more dirt. So rinsing and extracting the moisture out of the carpet is the most important part.
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  • 2 weeks later...

In the past I used Simple Green Carpet cleaner with a mild nylon brush to agitate the solution. Hose down into the bilge and the follow up w/ the dry-vac to remove all the moister I can. Depending upon the weather I’ll put a fan in the boat to help dry it as well. If I had a seam cleaner I’d use a vinegar solution instead of a cleaning agent.

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Steam cleaning is OK but if it gets too hot it can break down the glues holding the carpet down - some adhesives (even some epoxys such as PC-11) begin to lose strength at the 200 degree F mark. similar caveats on high pressure (~3000PSI plus) washers. Many general purpose soaps contain waxes and oils in order to dissolve grease stains... the down side is that theses same waxes and oils can coat carpet fibers and attract dirt in the future.

Conventional wisdom argues for spot treating stains then doing a dilute wash/rinse as others have suggested.

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