Shampooing carpets

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Chris M
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Shampooing carpets

#1 Post by Chris M » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:52 pm

We're currently working on getting out "new" 172M into shape - Overhaul, paint job, thorough mechanical update, etc. One of the things we've come across was a mouse nest in one of the ducts. They have been evicted but they left some presents on the carpets, including some stains.

Is there a proper way to go about cleaning the carpets up? If this was a car I would just get some shampoo and get working but I worry about what I might do to the fire resistance of the material with that approach.
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#2 Post by YYCAME » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:50 pm

The fire retardant abilities of the carpet is due to the material it is made of so it isn't something you will strip off like a coating. The only possible issue would be if you cleaned it with a highly flammable cleaner and didn't rinse it with water afterwards leaving some sort of residue. Shampoo away and dry it properly so it doesn't smell like a wet dog.
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#3 Post by Shiny Side Up » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:30 am

I can't imagine that shampoo would do any more harm than the mouse piss.
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#4 Post by Broken Slinky » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:17 am

We used the same cleaner that you buy for cat piss. It comes as a tablet in a "windex" bottle. Just add water and squirt the stuff. I can't remember the name of the stuff but Pets Mart carries it.
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#5 Post by robertw » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:27 am

If you're going to be doing all of the carpet, you might want to think about removing it and cleaning it outside of the aircraft. Using cleaners and such that will get underneath the carpet can introduce corrosion down the road if they're not completely removed.
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#6 Post by nine sixteenths » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:53 am

The way I've found works best for cleaning airplane carpets has been to remove them and lay them flat on the floor in the hangar, soak them, scrub them with your cleaning agent and a brush, hose or pressure wash the crud out (use lots of fresh water), then squeegee them as best as you can to get most of the water out. You'll be able to see if they are still stained then, without having to wait for them to dry. Then repeat if needed, hang to dry, and reinstall.

I've used various cleaning agents from plane soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, car products, to commercial carpet cleaners. But before you try any of them do a spot test. Put a little bit of the cleaning agent on a corner or area you won't see, let it sit a while, rinse and dry, make certain it doesn't eat the colour from the fabric!
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#7 Post by Troubleshot » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:05 am

+1 to what Robert and nine sixteenths said.

I like Simple Green and Spray Nine. Like others have mentioned letting the cleaner soak will help with the really deep dirt, scrub it with a fairly stiff brush then rinse well.

I also use a shop-vac that can suck up water as the final stage. Let dry out side of the aircraft or the windows will get condensation on them (along with other things).
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#8 Post by Chris M » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:40 am

Thanks gents. The plane is all apart right now so I'm just going to bring the carpets home where it's nice and warm and have a go at getting them cleaned up.
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#9 Post by Redneck_pilot86 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:09 pm

http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/bissell-lit ... 0001828161

This thing is amazing on seats, carpets and sideliners.
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Chris M
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#10 Post by Chris M » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:40 pm

So after spot cleaning a few stains I gave up and threw the whole thing into the laundry tub with some laundry detergent and let it soak. Worked wonders. Lots of swishing with the carpet facing down and the dirt poured out of it. Took care of most of the discoloration too. Now I get to practice my hand sewing to restitch the edging in a few spots.

As a sidenote, I'm blown away by how much water the open cell underpadding can hold. Each third of the carpet must have weighed 15 lbs saturated and took more than 24 hours to dry.
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Re: Shampooing carpets

#11 Post by Chris M » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:42 pm

Redneck_pilot86 wrote:http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/bissell-lit ... 0001828161

This thing is amazing on seats, carpets and sideliners.
Actually I've used one of those before on my car... Methinks it would make a good investment.
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