CARPET CLEANING BASICS
Carpet is everywhere! People who understand carpet know that its immense success and consumeracceptance is not due to chance. Few construction materials offer the advantages that carpet does.Carpet is colorful, comfortable and yet easy to maintain. Even though it appears expensive, it is oftenthe most economical choice for floor covering. Carpet and rugs found on the floors of residences andcommercial buildings still represent a substantial investment. In light of this, is it not wise to maintainthem correctly?Like all textile materials, the beauty and life of a carpet depends largely on the care that it is given.Proper maintenance can add years of attractive life. Specific maintenance procedures for carpet aredetermined by where the carpet is installed. In general, proper maintenance involves regularvacuuming and periodic cleaning by methods such as hot water extraction, shampooing, bonnetcleaning, foam cleaning, etc.Regular vacuuming is essential as it removes particulate soil that damages the fibers. Vacuumingmaintains the surface appearance of a carpet and keeps the level of soil in the pile at an acceptablelevel. Vacuuming should be done at least once every two weeks, preferably once each week andeven twice per week in soiled or heavily trafficked areas. It is important to use a well-maintained, goodquality vacuum. Vacuuming removes only particulate soil and surface dirt; therefore, other methods ofcleaning are periodically required to improve the appearance of the carpet. Wet cleaning methods arebetter for removing oils, greases and other forms of matter that cause soiling on carpet. Thesemethods are mostly used by professional cleaners and trained personnel, but smaller, less powerfulunits, can also be rented for use by customers.
Brief Description of Carpet Cleaning Methods
It has been said that ignorance is bliss. Sometimes, maybe, but not always. Before having a carpetcleaned, you may find it helpful to understand some of the carpet cleaning methods. The best methodfor cleaning a particular carpet is dependent on a range of factors. All carpet cleaning methods offervarious advantages, but also have some limitations. No single method is superior to all others.Properly performed under appropriate conditions, each method can provide satisfactory results.Often, several methods can be combined to achieve the desired results. The following are some ofthe more prevalent carpet cleaning methods. (Note: There is no significance to the order in whichthese techniques are presented.)
Hot Water Extraction or "Steam" Cleaning
In this method, hot water cleaning solution is sprayed on the carpet and immediately extracted (alongwith the dissolved soil) by a wet vacuum. Extraction equipment can be portable or truck-mounted, thelatter being more powerful in terms of spray pressure, heating capabilities and power of the vacuumpumps. Hot water extraction is often referred to as "steam" cleaning. In actuality this is a misnomer asthe temperature of the heated solution never reaches the point to generate steam.