Carpet Cleaning Methods
Hot Water Extraction “Steam Cleaning”
This method is often called “Steam Cleaning” which is a misnomer as it doesn’t actually use steam but rather a fine spray of heated water solution that penetrates deep down into the pile. This is the only method of carpet cleaning that is recommended by Shaw Industries which is one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world.
Shaws choice: Hot water extraction
Research indicates that the hot water extraction system provides the best capability for cleaning… Shaw warranties require that the homeowner be able to show proof of periodic cleaning by hot water extraction (commonly called “steam” cleaning) by a professional cleaning service
In fact by not having your Shaw carpet cleaned by an IICRC certified professional carpet cleaner using the hot water extraction method you can void your carpets warranty.
With the Hot Water Extraction Method a fine spray of cleaning solution and hot water is sprayed into the pile loosening up deep down dirt. After sitting for a few minutes the water / solution combination is vacuumed up into a holding tank for later disposal.
There are two types of Hot Water Extractor machines. Truck Mounted and Portable. Each has their strengths and
weaknesses. Truck Mounted Extractors are more powerful than portables and allow for the dirty water solution to be contained outside the home. Nothing is worse than cleaning a house full of carpet just to have all the dirty water accidentally spill out of your portable unit while transporting it out of the house. This may rarely happen but but leaks do occur.
Although there are many advantages to Truck Mounted Extractors there are some places they simply cannot reach.Most large
multi-floored business buildings will not be able to use Truck Mounted as the length of hoses needed would be much more than can be practically carried. Portable units are perfect in this case.
This is a common method used by home owners to clean their carpet. There are many types of carpet shampoos on the market. Many homeowners try this method first and are met with short term results. Shampoo is a foaming agent that lifts dirt and grime away from the individual carpet fibers (pile). Once the Shampoo is applied it can be later vacuumed up taking the dirt with it.
The problem with Shampooing carpets is most often they leave behind a sticky residue that will attract dirt. Since no rinse is performed carpet can actually be dirtier than before cleaning in a short amount of time. Some Shampoos add a resin that will reduce the amount of re-soiling while others add a brightening agent that can actually give your carpet a yellow tint.
Dry cleaning compounds have been around for years and provide an alternative method to carpet cleaning. This method involves sprinkling dry chemicals over the top of the carpet which is later worked into the pile using a machine. This compound (usually made up of petroleum byproducts and solvents) loosens up the dirt allowing for vacuum extraction. It is recommended that these dry cleaning agents not sit more than 15 minutes on the carpet.
One disadvantage of this system is the need for a vacuum cleaner that has sufficient power to remove all the chemicals. Most residential vacuum cleaners lack sufficient power to effectively remove the cleaning compound. Remaining dry cleaning compound can leave behind a white powder that can be tracked to other parts of the house or stain clothes.
“Bonnet” or Carbonated Cleaning
This method of carpet cleaning is seldom seen anymore. It uses a mixture of carbonated water to suspend dirt for easierremoval by the Bonnet Spinner. A Bonnet Spinner looks very similar to a floor buffer and works in the same way. A pad or “bonnet” is soaked in cleaning solution and then placed on the spinner machine which is worked in a circular motion. Many bonnets can be used to thoroughly clean the carpet. This method is a wet carpet cleaning method even though a wate extraction unit is not used. This can leave a drying time of several hours if the pads are overly wet. Since no extraction is used a chemical residue can be left behind
According Shaw Industries (large carpet manufacturer) this method is not recommended.
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