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Posted on March 23, 2021


There is nothing better than a good, clean home, especially after a deep clean such as the one that you get with carpet cleaning. But what about that sticky residue that it sometimes leaves behind?

Nothing can ruin a job well done on carpet cleaning quite like the sticky residue left on the carpet fibres. Below, we’ll look at why your carpet gets sticky after you clean it and what you can do to fix it when it does happen.

Why Is the Carpet Sticky?

The most likely cause of your sticky carpet after cleaning is leftover residue. When your carpet is cleaned, either by a professional or an at-home shampooer, it works by mixing chemicals from a carpet cleaner with water, and then spraying the mixture under high pressure into your carpet.

Then it rinses and sucks the mixture out. If this process is not done correctly or if it is too rushed, leftover soap and cleaning chemicals will remain in the carpet and can make it sticky.

Fix Stickiness Method 1: Try Re-Rinsing

This is one of the easiest methods to stop stick carpet: just run the rinse cycle with your shampooer again. Most commercial and home carpet shampooers should have a specific cycle meant just for rinsing. It may be that you moved too quickly the first time around, or your carpet may be extra fibrous and hold onto the cleaning solution tighter. Whatever the reason, run the rinse process again, let it dry completely, and then come back and see if the problem is solved.

Fix Stickiness Method 2: Use Vinegar

Especially if re-rinsing didn’t work, your next best method to stop stick carpet is to use vinegar. You will need your carpet shampooer again, but this time you’ll mix 250ml of vinegar with water instead of the normal cleaning solution. Run your shampooer as normal over the sticky spots, using the vinegar solution. You may need to then do an additional rinse cycle afterwards. Once again, let dry and then come back to check it.

Fix Stickiness Method 3: Use Your Hands

Finally, if both of the above methods fail to work, you’re going to have to remove the stickiness hands-on. You can also skip right to this option if you want a more certain solution or no longer have access to the shampooer. Essentially, you’re just going to scrub and scrub at the spot until you solve the problem.

You’ll need towels, vinegar, water, and a bucket. Mix a tablespoon or two of vinegar for every gallon of water you add. Wet a towel in the vinegar and water mixture and scrub the spot. You want to scrub in one direction only, not back and forth. Periodically, stop scrubbing, soak up as much water with a dry towel as you can, and then allow the spot to dry (or use a small fan to facilitate that process).

Eventually, the spot should dry clean. If it does not, the stickiness may not be from the carpet cleaner at all. Instead, it’s probably a stain.

Avoid the Problem in the First Place

Prevention is always preferable to cleaning up a mess, and there are things that you can do to prevent sticky post-cleaning carpet in the first place.

Be sure to follow all directions closely: read the manual that came with the shampooer and the instructions on the cleaning solution. Mix the cleaning solution carefully. Then take your time. Shampooing can be time-consuming because you often have to move slowly. Make sure that you’ve set aside enough time to do it properly.

If all else fails, you always have the option to hire a professional cleaning company. It will certainly cost more, but they know how to do the job right and will take care of any issues you have with residue.