When it comes to a carpet cleaning service, you should carefully consider the different methods available and choose what is right for your home. While you can do your part with quick stain treatments and regular vacuuming, a deep cleaning treatment is a good idea to keep your floors fresh and looking like new.
Consider these common methods that may be used by a carpet cleaning service:
This method may also be known as steam cleaning. A machine sprays a hot detergent solution onto the surface and then vacuums it out immediately. A professional company will be very careful about how much water is applied. If too much is used, the underlying padding could get soaked. This could cause mold and mildew problems. If too much detergent is applied, or if it's not adequately removed, it can actually attract new dirt more easily.
This method will take a longer time to dry than other methods. Homeowners can speed up the process by opening windows, using fans, or turning on the air conditioning for those rooms.
Dry or Foam Extraction
The dry extraction method uses a powdered detergent. It is brushed into the material with special machines that agitate it into the fibers. Dirt and dust in the fabric bond to the dry chemicals, which can then be removed by vacuuming. Many times, a special spray is used to pre-treat stains before applying the dry chemicals. It is important that all of the powder is vacuumed out, causing it to show up on shoes and clothes later. This is a popular method because there is no drying time.
Foam extraction is similar to using hot water. An air compressor creates a dry foam, which is then applied to the fabric. A rotating, cylindrical brush combs the foam through the fibers. Once the dirt and dust have bonded to the foam, it is vacuumed out while still wet. It is important to thoroughly vacuum the surface before and after this technique is used, in order to ensure the most dirt is removed. This is another method that may take longer to dry.
With this method, a cleaning compound is actually pushed into the fibers by a machine with rotating brushes. The solution then becomes a dirt-filled foam that is removed by wet vacuuming. Many carpet manufacturers discourage this method because of the potential damage the brushes can have on the fibers. Because this is another wet method, the drying time may be significant. If the surface becomes too wet or takes too long to dry, it can cause shrinkage and odor.
The absorbent pad method uses a solution that is sprayed onto the surface. Time is allowed for the chemicals to work their way into the fibers and actually move dirt up to the surface. The chemicals are then removed by a machine with a large, absorbent, spinning pad. The machine looks similar to a commercial floor buffer. Only experienced professionals should use this method. If done improperly, the carpet can become puckered.
A carpet cleaning service may offer one or more methods. They have all been used for many years, so each one has its advantages and disadvantages. If done properly, any of these techniques will do a good job on most surfaces. Talk with several different companies about the methods they use and what method is best for your needs.