Wall to Wall Carpet
Here are Five Main Methods of Professional Carpet Cleaning
1. Hot Water Extraction/Steam Cleaning: The most common type of residential and commercial carpet cleaning method. It is recomended by most carpet and fiber manufacturers such as; Shaw Industries, Mohawk, Masland, Fabrica, Monsanto and Dupont.
This method can be done by portable or truck-mounted equipment by spraying heated cleaning solution into the carpet pile while simultaneously extracting the dirt and solution with a powerful vacuum - never allowing the carpet to get soaked. The Hot Water Extraction method can be very effective provided the following rules are followed:
- A non-soap cleaner is used so that no soapy residue is left behind to attract dirt to the carpet.
- Solution temperature is maintained for optimal cleaning. Typically 150 degrees or higher is optimal.
- The pressure of the solution being sprayed onto the carpet high enough to penetrate the carpet fibers deep down.
- The Vacuum power of the machine is sufficient to remove the majority of the cleaning solution and soil particles. Rental units are NOT recommended since most are considered inferior to what a professional uses.
- Using a company that has certified technicians.
2. Bonnet Cleaning: This is a very common type of commercial cleaning method generally used to clean the surface of a thin pile carpet such as a commercial carpet. This method usually involves vacuuming the carpet before cleaning to remove loose dirt and larger particles from the carpet. A cleaning solution is then sprayed on to the carpet and then agitated in by using a carpet brush to ensure even penetration of the cleaning solution.
Using a rotary buffer, a soft cotton or synthetic pad is used to lightly wipe the carpet removing the cleaning solution along with the surface dirt. This type of cleaning is considered to be an interim maintenance method only but can be effective provided these rules are followed:
- Never use a soap based cleaner because there is no way to completely extract it out of the carpet using this method. If soap based cleaner or shampoo is used it will leave a soapy residue behind that will attract dirt to the carpet and can eventually ruin some carpets.
- Always use a good vacuum to remove loose soil before cleaning.
- Using a soft pile solution brush before the absorbent pads will make a dramatic difference.
- Most importantly, the cleaning tech must not rush this process otherwise the results will be minimal.
3. Shampooing: This method is used by many do it yourselfers with some type of vacuum attachment or rotary scrub brush they have purchased. This carpet cleaning method is performed by adding detergent solution or carpet shampoo into the machine which is released onto the carpet through openings in a rotary brush. The rotary action converts the solution into foam and works it into the carpet. Once the shampoo is dry, vacuuming removes some of the residue, which contains the loose encapsulated soil.
Many times, chemicals may be added to the detergent solution to reduce odors, retard soiling, or contain color brighteners to give the carpet a brighter cleaner look. We recommend that you never use color brighteners. They help the appearance of the carpet look good short term, but over time may cause slight yellowing of the carpet which is very tough if not impossible to remove.
Although this carpet cleaning method is still common in many places or homes, we do not recommend it. Especially, due to the fact that a soap or shampoo based cleaner is being used and is not completely rinsed out of the carpet. This will cause a large amount of soapy residue to attract, and hold in dirt and soil to the carpet.
4. Absorbent Dry Compound/Dry Cleaning: This carpet cleaning method uses a dry compound which contains detergent and/or solvents. This compound is then sprinkled onto the carpet and worked into the pile using a machines or carpet rake. The soil particles are encapsulated in the absorbent dry compound and are removed by vacuuming. This carpet cleaning method is usually referred to as dry cleaning because it usually uses no water and dries almost instantly. Although this method can be effective for lightly soiled carpets, it is usually very difficult to remove large amounts of soil and deep down stains or spots. Due to the lack of water a powerful extraction method we feel that this type of cleaning is not recommended as the best way to maintain your carpets.
5. Encapsulation: This method of carpet cleaning is becoming more and more popular in commercial carpet maintenance. It should be used as an interim maintenance method and should be followed periodically (every 2-3 cleanings) by a thorough hot water extraction.
The encapsulating chemical (a liquid cleaning agent) is sprayed on and then brushed into the carpet using a cylindrical or rotary brush machine or bonnet. The encapsulation chemistry surrounds each soil particle and crystallizes it so it can't attract other soils. The encapsulated soil particles release from the carpet fiber and are removed by normal vacuuming which will generally be done by the janitorial staff at regularly scheduled times.
Since its a low moisture system, carpets can be put back into use promptly. This process allows maintenance companies to provide a continual high level of appearance at a lower price than other traditional methods while generating high levels of productivity. Encapsulation is designed for commercial maintenance only.