When we got home, I vacuumed like an insane person.
I also spot cleaned some nasty stains with a solution of 2 tablespoons oxygen bleach to 2 cups of HOT water. I scrubbed the spots with a scrub brush and rubbed with a white terrycloth towel. This was really effective. Trust me--you don't want to see what that towel looked like!
We got up on Saturday morning and moved all the furniture off of the carpet. We then laughed at the perfect rectangle of filthy carpet in the footpaths around the furniture. Then, I vacuumed again--seriously, it has been a while since I could properly vacuum my floors! That's when we got to the fun part.
One cup of oxygen bleach went into a small bucket with about two cups of water. I stirred with a long-handled wooden spoon to get the bleach to completely dissolve. Then, I poured the mixture into the soap tank of the cleaner with more HOT water. And I cleaned. And cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned the carpets.
Look what came out of the carpets!
We did, but only slightly. (We have GOT to change the carpets! But a baby comes first.)
Fans blew onto the carpets all afternoon and night to dry the carpet so we could put our furniture back.
On Sunday morning I got up a little early and vacuumed again. My carpets feel so soft and look so good!
So, what's the moral of this story? Well, quite simply, don't spend a fortune on specialty cleaners. Just oxygen bleach, well dissolved in hot water. Secondly, don't forget to rinse. The soapy residue will make your freshly shampooed carpets look dingy and dirty.