Unlike many years ago, carpet cleaning has emerged as an industry with many solutions.
Regardless of whether you want to do the job yourself or hire someone else, it’s always a good idea to select a method that is best for you depending on the type of carpeting that you have.
This article will serve as a primer for picking the best carpet cleaning method for your situation.
Also called the hot water extraction method, steam cleaning uses a specially designed machine that applies highly-pressurized steam to the fibers of your carpet to dissolve dirt and extract it back to a holding tank.
Besides steam, the hot water extraction method also uses some type of cleaning agent with the water and is agitated with brushes that are part of the machine.
The steam and the cleaning agent are what penetrate and loosen the dirt, while the the brushes “clean” the carpet.
A final rinse is done after the water and the dirt are removed.
Carpets that are steam cleaned are normally dried by leaving them alone in room temperature for about four hours, although it is usually a good idea to try and time your session so that it dries overnight while everyone is asleep.
Cleaning a carpet with shampooing was popular until the 1970s when encapsulation became popular.
Carpet shampooing does remove a lot of dirt from a carpet, but this leads to its major disadvantage, the leftover shampoo that leaves a sticky residue behind. Not only does this residue take a long time to dry, but the sticky surface can attract more dirt after you start using the carpet again.
Foam encapsulation machines apply a layer of a chemical foam that crystallizes around dirt particles and, once dry, can be removed by a standard vacuum cleaner or a brush. The encapsulation method has gained popularity in a great number of circles since it does not use as much water as other methods, leading to a quicker drying time.
There is also less chemical residue left after the cleaning process is finished. The main disadvantage with the encapsulation method is that it is less effective on carpets with a heavy dirt build-up.
Bonneting is most popular in places like hotels and other areas where high traffic causes carpeting to be very dirty. It involves using a machine with a heavy pad underneath that is immersed in chemicals and rubbed on the carpet.
Between the rubbing of the pad and the action of the chemicals, dirt is removed from the carpeting.
The main disadvantage to this method is that it only removes dirt from the top surface of the carpeting, making it an easy solution to a problem that in part, still remains.
Dry Carpet Cleaning
This method has been popular since the 1980s when machines were created that use counter-rotating brushes to apply a cleaning compound, thus removing dirt. Since this method does not use water, there is no drying time.
The good news is that all of these methods are effective to one extent or another. Better yet, if you are so inclined, you can save money by doing it yourself.