What is The Best Way to Clean Carpets
There are always choices for us to make in life. Things just seem to go smoother when we make the right choices, even when it comes to simple things such as deciding what company or what cleaning process is the best to use to clean my carpets. I will try to be short and summarize some of your options.
For the sake of simplicity I will refer this discussion to cleaning of wall to wall carpets in your home. Commercial carpets and the cleaning of area rugs brings on an entire different conversation. There are really three primary methods of cleaning a carpet. A dry cleaning method, which used a compound usually containing an absorbent mixture of ingredients like sawdust, corn meal and corn starch which then a liquid dry cleaning solvent is added to the compound. The solvent becomes the carrying agent and all the other ingredients are purely for the absorption of any soil that the solvent has broken down the bond from the fiber or dissolved. The problems with this procedure is solvents are petroleum base and therefor only dissolve petroleum base stains such as oil, grease, tar, wax and will do nothing to dissolve water base products like food spills, liquid drinks containing sugar or general soil. The second problem with this method is it takes time for the absorption of anything that has been dissolved by the solvents. In fact, it usually takes between 4 to 12 hours for this to happen. As a result, this process when used in a home is never really given the correct time to complete its’ function since most jobs are completed with one to three hours.
The next type of carpet cleaning I will discuss is referred to as sometimes a dry carpet cleaning method also due to the short drying time. This process started out in the 70’s designed to only clean commercial carpet, since the physical wear created by this method was considered equal to one year of normal wear and tear on a carpet, which drastically shortens the overall life of a carpet. The original name or process was referred to as Bonnet Cleaning. One company, Chem Dry, actually used this method exclusively for years finding little competition since most companies realized this wasn’t a proper method to do to residential carpet. This process involved a topical spraying of a cleaning solution onto the top of the carpet. Then a bonnet pad made of usually a blend to synthetic fibers and cotton were used on a rotary buffer to go veer the top of the carpet fibers that were now moist with a cleaning agent. As the bonnet would spin, the synthetic fibers generated heat t both speed the action of dislodging any surface soil and also to speed the drying. The cotton fibers would absorb any soil that was dislodged into the fibers removing it from the carpet fibers. The results were in a short time the top surface of the carpet fibers appeared very clean. Impressive, yes but what about all the soil that is wasn’t on the surface. That deeply embedded soil that you don’t see but is there and is damaging the carpet fibers and causing fiber loose or the spills that were deeper into the fibers that will soon wick back to the surface. So, as you can see this too is not a wise carpet cleaning procedure. Not one I’d ever consider doing to my carpets.
Finally, we have what is undeniably considered the best carpet cleaning method in the industry. Steam cleaning or often referred to as hot water extraction. This method is not only used by 90 % of professional carpet cleaning companies but is also recommended by every carpet manufacturer as the premium method of their choice. With this method, there are both truck mount units and portable equipment. Years ago, the truck mount equipment offered more heat, more pressure and greater suction than portable equipment but not today. Today's portable carpet cleaning equipment offers heated solution to over 200 degrees, even higher than a truck mount can deliver at the point of cleaning since the hoses are so long on the truck mount which cause a significant lose in both heat as well as suction. As far as pressure, again the truck mount can deliver much higher pressure but it’s not only needed, it’s not recommended. To high of pressure will cause over wetting, fiber distortion and create a host of problems.
In summary, I would not only recommend Steam cleaning as the best method of cleaning wall to wall carpets but I would also suggest that you consider the experience the company has as well. With over 50 years in the carpet cleaning business, I find I am still doing research. Looking at new cleaning agents, new techniques, anything that will improve the performance of our work and the results. It takes years of experience to become knowledgeable and proficient at any trade. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Alec’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning LLC at 781-871-4428 or e-mail me at Alec@Alecscarpetandupholsterycleaning.com.