Carpet cleaning is done in order to remove dirt, stains, and pet allergens in carpets used in homes, offices, hotels, schools, and many more places. Common methods used for carpet cleaning include dry-clean, hot water extraction, steam cleaning, and carpet shampooing. Dry cleaning is the process of drying the carpet by using mechanical or chemical means, such as with a dryer or oven. Dry cleaning requires the immediate removal of soil and other materials that remained on the carpet once it was cleaned.
High-quality carpets require dry carpet cleaning, as soil contaminants like dirt and oil remain on carpet even after it has been cleaned. In order to keep the surface clean, it’s recommended to employ encapsulation. Encapsulation is a patented cleaning method wherein carpet cleaning chemicals are applied on the surface of the carpet in order to suspend the soil particles from being attracted to the fibers. This prevents soil particles from sticking to the fibers, which enhances their longevity.
Carpet shampooing, steam cleaning, or hot water extraction are the common techniques used by carpet cleaners to clean carpets. These methods work by applying a carpet cleaner to a large area of carpets, saturating them, washing the dirt away, then vacuuming the entire area. With hot water extraction or steam cleaning, the carpet cleaner sprays a concentrated cleaning solution onto the carpets, allowing the solution to permeate the fibers. The resulting carpet is thoroughly cleaned, leaving the carpet looking new.
Vacuum cleaning, however, is not always effective. There are times when even the most thorough extraction is not enough to completely remove all traces of soil and pet allergens. In this case, carpet cleaning professionals can opt to apply dry foam or ionic air cleaners, which are dryers that emit an air stream containing moisture, causing dust particles to be blown away. Dry-cleaners, on the other hand, have a shorter drying time so they can be utilized more frequently, up to twice a week. Some dry-cleaners also use chemicals to accelerate the drying process, although these chemicals are more toxic than those used in steam cleaning or hot water extraction.
Carpet cleaners can also opt to use a combination of techniques to fully clean carpets, depending on the situation. If a stubborn stain requires more than one treatment, the cleaner may combine the techniques for maximum effectiveness. Commonly used technique is hot water extraction or steam cleaning, which both extract soil and bring out dirt and stain particles. A dry mop or brush is then used to extract the excess water from the carpet, as well as any residue remaining from each cleaning technique. A heavy dousing with a non-abrasive cleaning agent such as shampoo is often used to finish the process.
Another technique sometimes used by carpet cleaning services is called chem-dry. This process uses a machine that combines the dry cleaning techniques of hot water extraction and dry foam. Instead of using water, a chemical solution containing Formic acid is used. The product, which is odorless and colorless, reacts with the perspiration that emanates from the carpet, removing the oily soil from deep within. Chem-dry machines must be rented from a professional company.