Carpets play a really important role in our homes. Not only are they an integral part of our decoration, but they are great at keeping the floors warm.
But just like your furniture and any other home accessories, they are bound to get dirty and need some cleaning on a regular basis.
While it is very possible to clean your own carpet, you probably lack the vital equipment and skills that will help you clean the carpet to perfection.
Unclean carpets pose serious health risks to you, your family, and your pets. Hiring a professional cleaning service is definitely worth it.
Professional Carpet Cleaners
Professional cleaners have two advantages over home owners who are trying to clean their own carpets.
- They have more expertise. Pros know how to handle any type of carpet situation, like tough stains or fabrics that require extra-sensitive care.
- They have much more advanced equipment. Pros have access to tools that may not be available at the local hardware stores.
People who prefer carpets over other types of flooring have a lot of responsibility on their hands. For one, you need to be acquainted with the maintenance and care of the carpet if you want it to remain clean and good as new. The carpet may appear dirt free, but I guarantee you that it harbors loads of dust and grime under the surface.
Having your carpet cleaned is much like spring cleaning: it’s definitely necessary but not very fun to do. And it also needs to be done at regular intervals.
Most carpet owners tend to have their carpet cleaned once every several years, which is not advisable. Cleaning carpets is very important to remove stains and germs, and improve the performance of the carpet. Vacuuming and cleaning the carpet on a daily basis is commendable but it needs a deep clean by professionals to kill bacteria and keep a neat, clean look in the home.
Different Carpet Cleaning Methods Used By Professionals
Hot water extraction (HWE) team cleaning
This method is commonly known as steam cleaning even though it is an entirely different process. Using real steam would be too hot for many carpet fibers and has the potential to damage the carpet completely.
Carpets made with velvet or wool materials can become fuzzy and shrink after a harsh steam cleaning. The industrial steam can also melt artificial fibers, as they cannot take that degree of heat.
Steam cleaning is basically like hot water extraction cleaning, except hotter. Machines used by professionals for hot water extraction spray the water onto the carpets while simultaneously sucking it up. This way, any dirt that is in the carpet is dislodged and sucked away by the extractor.
Cleaners add some chemicals that produce better results. The chemicals are selected depending on the carpet fiber.
Truck-mounted vs. portable machines
There is a wide variety of equipment used during carpet cleaning by professionals. They range from small machines to big machines that need to be mounted on a truck. The truck-mounted machines have more unique benefits and are overall more effective.
Pros and cons of the truck mounted machines:
- This type of machine uses a long hose that runs between the operator and the truck; it means your house must be completely open when you are operating the machine. The hose may be too short to reach high rises and large buildings.
- There is less noise indoors during the operation because the machinery stays outside. But because the noise is outside, it can be very upsetting to neighbors. The sound of the truck on the roadside is against residential laws in some areas.
- On the positive side, truck mounted equipment is very efficient when it comes to the time needed for the whole cleaning process. The extra suction power of the machine helps to dry the carpets faster.
- Manufacturers recommend hot water extractions because other methods like deep down dirt removal can cause abrasion and even wear.
This helps loosen up any stubborn dirt. Preconditioning depends highly on the fabric of the carpet.
For instance, woolen carpets are preconditioned with diluted acetic acid. A scrubbing machine is then used to work the agents into the carpet.
After that, a hot water extraction tool is used to rinse the agents out along with the dirt. A final step is needed, especially if you are using chemicals with a high PH.
These chemicals can make the texture of the carpet scratchy and hard. To solve this, an acetic acid solution is used on the carpet.
Extraction and drying process
The hot water extraction machine uses a lot of water and will leave your carpet feeling damp. It does not matter how powerful the equipment is, there will still be some water in the carpet.
The last drying process is very important. The carpet must be dried completely to prevent any mold growth or permanent marks on your natural woolen carpets.
For good air circulation, professionals use dehumidifiers and fans.
Drying and extraction go hand in hand, but you also need experience and good equipment if you want to find the right balance. The aim is to get as much dirt out of the carpet as possible.
Vacuum wash systems work on all kinds of surfaces, including carpets. Professionals use a wash head to spray the water on the surface, and the machine sucks it back up immediately.
This is a basic carpet cleaning system but will not work well for heavily soiled carpets. Vacuum wash is great for a light cleaning and will not leave your carpet wet.
For minimal issues that follow after cleaning your carpet with water, various dry cleaning methods were created. While some of the methods are not completely “dry,” they do not use much moisture during the process.
Professional carpet cleaners use the following dry cleaning methods
VLM (Very Low Moisture systems)
These are relatively new cleaning systems that combine purpose-designed cleaning solutions with dry compounds.
Some professionals prefer these systems because they are better at drying and they get the carpet cleaning job done faster.
They are, however, less effective than the hot water extraction method.
The cleaning teams apply special treatments to high traffic areas and dirt spots. Special emulsifying agents are sprayed on the areas to loosen the dirt. The compounds should remain on the carpet for 15 minutes or more if you want effective results.
Dry compound cleaning
Dry compound is basically dry but it can dissolve in the carpet and attract grime. After the professionals work the compound into the carpet, it is left to dry before being sucked away with an industrial vacuum cleaner.
The dry compound cleaning may sound easy, but it’s more complex than you may think. The compound is worked into the carpet with a machine as opposed to a brush.
Here, the cleaning professionals use detergent polymer chemistry to bind the dirt particles and form tiny crystals.
In the past, encapsulation formulas were very problematic because they made carpets rapidly re-soiled after the cleaning and they continue to attract dirt. New formulas are more effective; professionals apply the products using special applicators or a compression sprayer.
This steamer requires a considerable amount of skill. The operator applies a detergent mist to the bonnet (a round buffer pad) which picks up dirt from the carpet.
The detergent should be enough to keep the bonnet lubricated, or it will damage the pile. A bonnet that is too wet will leave some residue behind and cause the carpet to become dirty again at a faster rate.
Bonnet cleaning will only clean 1/8 of an inch, which means it may leave some residue behind.
Foam is not a completely dry product, but it is great for water sensitive carpets. If your carpet cannot be cleaned with hot water extraction, the professional cleaners will use dry foam cleaning.
Everything You Should Know About Carpet Cleaning
How often should you clean your carpets?
To keep your carpet looking good as new and performing as it should for the longest possible time, you should have it cleaned every year or so. The frequency also depends on the amount of traffic in your home, as well as other factors.
You can maintain your carpet warranty by having it professionally cleaned.
How long does carpet cleaning take?
It should take the professionals about 20-30 minutes per room.
How long will it take to dry?
The drying process can take anywhere between two hours to a full day. The length of time depends on the humidity, airflow, and process used to clean the carpet.
Important notes about the drying process
- You can reduce drying time significantly by opening the windows and turning on the ceiling fans to increase airflow.
- Cranking up the heat will not speed up the drying process. Most carpets dry best at a temperature range between 60-70 degrees.
- You are free to walk on the carpet as it dries as long as you are wearing clean shoe coverings or clean socks.
- At the end of the process, no dangerous solvents are left behind. But you should still keep the pets and kids out of the carpet until it dries out.
How do you maintain your carpet?
- Clean spills immediately to minimize dirt. Dilute with water, vacuum up all the remnants before anything else is set on the carpet, and use a spot remover depending on the type of stain.
- Vacuum frequently. Vacuum multiple times weekly to prevent the dirt from becoming permanent.
- Use doormats to minimize dirt transfer to the carpets. Place them at the entrance of the home.
What Should You Do About Carpet Beetles?
Carpet beetles are mostly found in natural carpets. They seem like harmless bugs but can cause major damage to your carpet, clothing, and upholstery.
They are harmless to humans unless you have an allergy, but if they start laying eggs it can be an issue. They feed and lay eggs on natural organic carpets, bedding, foods, and clothing. They can eat your carpet pile down and cause major damage.
Carpet beetles are found around the edges and corners of the room. Watch for insect droppings, loosened carpet pile, and dead bugs.
To eradicate them completely, you need professional help from carpet cleaners and pest control. Once pest control kills all the beetles, professionals should be able to clean off all the residue.
How To Handle Top Carpet Stains
- Coffee – spray hydrogen peroxide over the coffee stain. Dip a towel in water and lay it on top of the stain. Put a steam iron on the towel for a few seconds, then repeat all the steps a couple of times.
- Blood – use hydrogen peroxide and dish soap to blot the stain. Apply pressure on the spot. Clean with cold water afterwards to remove soapy reside.
- Ink – solvents like hairspray and anything else with alcohol will lift out the ink stain. Dip a towel in the solvent and use it to dab off the ink.
- Grease – industrial soap can remove any grease stains from your carpet.
- Juice and red wine – this simple stain can be removed with a towel/cotton cloth and warm water. Treat the affected area with a stain remover to avoid any permanent stains.
Carpet Cleaning Facts You Need To Know
Carpet cleaners should pre-vacuum before they start the job. Dry soil may turn muddy when combined with moisture and that can be an issue.
Most stains should be removed during the general cleaning process. However, some “new” stains may appear during the process because they require a specialized stain removal process.
Always use an acidic conditioning rinse during the cleaning process. All the chemicals are alkaline and an acid should balance out the cleaning products.
Not all carpet cleaning services will be the same. The results will depend on the skills of the carpet cleaner, the equipment used, chemicals, and time taken to complete the process.
Carpet cleaning will not remove any stain protection applied to your carpet by the manufacturer. The only reason the stain protection breaks down is due to wear and tear.
Benefits Of Hiring Professional Carpet Cleaners
DIY carpet cleaning is only effective for quick fixes and clean ups between your regular professional carpet cleaning. Using DIY carpet cleaning as a long term solution to clean the carpet is a big mistake. The challenges and benefits of DIY cleaning depend on multiple things, but mainly on your proficiency.
Even if you enjoy the benefits and the activity itself when it comes to DIY carpet cleaning, hiring professionals is definitely the way to go.
One of the greatest benefits you get from contracting or hiring a professional carpet cleaner is that they are experts in cleaning any type of carpets.
Carpet cleaning is really much more than using equipment and cleaning solutions on the carpets. The user must know what equipment and solutions they need to use for a certain type of carpet. This requires extensive knowledge not only of products but of the proper approach for unique circumstances, such as the condition of the carpet material and the type of stains.
Only professionals who have experience in the carpet cleaning business can give you the perfect approach for a particular type of stain on a certain material.
The knowledge presented by professionals comes from long and thorough experience, plus the training and practical experience they get on a regular basis.
Experienced carpet cleaning service providers have expert cleaners that have handled all kinds of carpet cleaning complications. This means that they know it all when it comes to treating different types of stains, as well as removing dirt and grime.
Hiring commercial cleaners guarantees you that the carpet cleaning process and job will be done right on the first try. You will not have to worry about getting the carpets re-cleaned.
Your carpet is in good hands
Working on the carpet yourself might be a good idea at times, but it has its fair share of drawbacks. You might ruin your carpet with inappropriate detergents and cleaning tools.
When you hire cleaning experts, there is nothing to worry about; they use high-end, top-grade products/cleaning equipment to make their work more efficient, safe, and timely. Professionals also disinfect the carpet to kill all the allergens and bacteria.
Professional cleaning equipment is top quality
Carpet cleaners use professional cleaning equipment which provides different results from the brush and vacuum cleaners we all have at home. Simple DIY solutions are not enough to clean stubborn stains, dirt, and germs.
Cleaning professionals use suitable equipment to clean your carpet depending on the quality and fabric of the carpet.
Professionals use the right detergent
The detergent you use on your carpet will determine the lifespan of the carpet as well as the final product after cleaning. Most people just use any type of detergent with their carpets without checking manufacturer recommendations. This can be dangerous to the material of the carpet. Over time, it will ruin its integrity and make it age faster.
Professional cleaners will determine the right detergent for a particular carpet and know how to use it correctly so your carpet can remain clean and germ free, as well as extending the lifespan of the carpet.
Professional cleaning: done to perfection
Most home DIY cleaning methods will not get rid of all the stubborn stains or bacteria. Many people lack the basic knowledge of cleaning carpet and go online for answers that may not necessarily be right.
If you have any doubts or questions about carpet cleaning, it’s definitely time to bring in the professionals.
Professional Carpet Cleaning: The Final Word
Cleaning your carpet yourself or hiring a fly-by-night cleaner may not cut it. You may have to wait for several hours or even days to get the carpet cleaned, dried, and ready for use.
Instead, hire professionals to help you get your carpets cleaned fast and efficiently. It may cost you some extra cash, but the services are excellent and the job will be done right. It’s definitely worth it!