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Carpet Stretching And Cleaning Tips & Complete Guide

After using your carpet for a while, you may notice a bubbling and rippling effect on it. It is advisable to take steps to fix it immediately you notice it because it will only get worst with time. To get your carpet back to its normal shape, you need to carry out a carpet stretching and cleaning process because it can be a tripping hazard.

A ripple in a carpet is a basic fault that can occur after a while as you continue to use your carpet. When this happens, professionals are needed to clean and straighten it all up. In this post, you will learn everything there is to know about stretching and cleaning of carpets. 

Carpet Stretching Vs. Cleaning

Carpet stretching can be defined as tightening your carpet to prevent and reduce wrinkles and bubbles from getting to it. 

On the other hand, Carpet Cleaning has to do with cleaning your carpet after it has been stretched. This cleaning process will also help to remove any marks or wrinkles that are still left on the carpet. 

Wrinkles can also be from a poor installation, moving of furniture, or years of wear and tear. When nothing is done to repair the carpet, it becomes worse. To prevent this from happening, you need to know what triggers it and if it has happened already, then you need a repair. 

What Causes A Carpet To Wrinkle

a. Humidity And Heat

When the temperature of your house is too hot, it can cause your carpet to wrinkle and buckle. It is also important to maintain a good temperature because handling the installation process in a hot room can cause complications later. The room should always be at a moderate temperature.

b. Poor Installation

This is one of the major reasons why your carpet can develop wrinkles. Some carpet installers make use of old knee kickers which is not good for the carpet. And in a situation where the carpet is not stretched properly during installation, it will loosen with time and you will need to re-stretch. 

c. Moving Of Heavy Furniture

This also has caused many harms to your carpet without you knowing. Moving and dragging heavy furniture can loosen tension at the edges of the carpet. To prevent this from happening, lift heavy furniture and not drag. You can also purchase a thick plastic carpet protector for your chair. 

d. Moisture

Most steam cleaners tend to cause problems on your carpet. Moisture can get into the carpet through it and cause damages if the carpet is not dried well enough after each clean. When the moisture stays on the carpet, it can cause buckling. You need to get rid of any form of moisture from your carpet to make it free from wrinkles.

c. Heavy Traffic

This is a common issue and can also add up if you have been using a carpet for too long. The foot traffic can get old and weak thereby causing wrinkles and if your carpet gets heavy traffic beyond normal foot travel, it will come loose.

d. Carpet Pad

When you use a low-quality carpet pad for your carpet, it will cause wrinkles. Using a thin carpet will only make it worse. 

How Do You Stretch A Carpet?

You can either decide on calling a professional or handling the stretching process yourself. Note that, the stretching process requires some sort of professionalism or caution because it will determine the result of the carpet. Before you begin, know how tight your carpet should be stretched because the wrong stretching can damage the carpet. To stretch your carpet, you need to: 

a. Clear out all the furniture in the room to get a clear view of what needs to be done. The stretching process is easier when the room is free. Find out the direction the carpet was stretched. 

b. Remove all metal strips if any. Some are removed by pulling out the nail while others need to be removed with either a chisel or stair tool. 

c. Insert the awl at a corner, lift the carpet edge and pull up the carpet. 

d. Arrange the carpet stretcher in a way it should be by making the head stay a few inches out from the wall and the foot on the baseboard of the opposite wall. While stretching, do not stretch too hard because it might tear the carpet. 

e. When the stretching is done, cut out the extra carpet and leave enough edge to tuck in between the wall and tack strip. 

f. Now you need to staple the backing by pushing the carpet onto the tack strip’s nails. You need to do this around the room. Make sure to stretch all corners, trim the excess, tack down the edge and tuck it in. 

g. The cleaning of the carpet can then proceed.

h. After this, you can move your furniture back in and enjoy the luxury of your room. 

Why Does My Carpet Look Worse After Cleaning?

Seeing some spots and stains after cleaning your carpet is a common problem that occurs especially when you use the traditional shampoo or rinse method. But there are some other reasons why this is happening they are:

a. Wicking

This is the major reason why stains reappear a short while after you have cleaned up your carpet. The resurfaced stains you see are stored up to the fibers of the carpet and this wicking makes them come up to the surface. These stains get there when you try to get rid of a stubborn stain, in the process, you add a lot of moisture which will then mix up with the stains. 

Some of the stains disappear during the extraction process and some stay back and then resurface when the carpet dries. You can try cleaning this out with a vacuum cleaner or consulting a professional carpet cleaner. 

b. Residue

Some stains are a result of residue from the carpet fibers. When some carpet is cleaned up using soap, shampoo, or a traditional cleaning process, some particles of this soap tend to stay behind. With time it tends to become re-soiled easily as a result. They resurface after a couple of weeks. 

To clean this off, use a towel or a clean cloth to soak up the residue. Spray white vinegar around the area and then press down with the towel to absorb both the vinegar and the residue. Repeat as often as possible. 

Do You Need To Vacuum Before Carpet Cleaners Come?

Simply ask your professional carpet cleaners before they arrive. Vacuuming the carpet before having a steam cleaner can make the cleaning process more effective. The vacuuming tends to remove debris, wrappers, and dirt so the cleaners can go straight to handling the stubborn stains. There is a difference if you remove the first layer of dirt but the option is left for you to decide. 

How Do You Speed Up Carpet Dry After Cleaning?

Not drying your carpet after a cleaning process can trigger some effects like a dark and moist area where mold and mildew can form. To dry your carpet faster use these methods.

a. Create Airflow

To ensure that the room is well ventilated to allow the free passage of air in the room. Open all windows and doors to create a crosswind that will help the carpet dry quicker. 

b. Use A Fan

You can turn on your fan which can be either a standing or ceiling fan. This will hasten up the drying process. Although a ceiling fan is a better option but in any case where you do not have one, you can make use of the other. 

c. Use An Air Condition

Although not as strong as a fan, it can help dry your carpet. During rainy days, it can work as much as a fan would. 

d. Use A Shop Vac

Shop vacs can help suck up excess water. You can rent or hire one if you do not have one. Use the shop vac on the carpet just like you use a vacuum cleaner. Use as often as required to remove the excess moisture from the carpet.

Should I Stretch Carpet Before Or After Cleaning?

Yes, you should. If you engage in cleaning before stretching, it would pose an extra workload. Carpet cleaning comes after the stretching session is complete. After that, you clean and remove any marks or wrinkles left behind. Also, cleaning before you stretch the carpet can be more strenuous because it is quite difficult to clean a wrinkled carpet. Finally, cleaning the carpet first could bring out more wrinkles. 


Calling for professional help once in a while for your carpet care is not a bad idea to pursue. Although you feel like you can carry out a DIY project and still save extra cost, it is still important to have professionals do it. 

Aside from spending some bucks in the course of hiring a professional, they can also help save your carpet by telling you its real state and what you should avoid. Make it a sort of a maintenance rule to hire them annually and your carpet will thank you for that. 

Meanwhile, the tips in this post can help you handle the stretching and cleaning needs of your carpet.