We actually feel that if some company is willing to charge, for example, half of what we charge and then does half as good a job, we think that is fair and you got what you paid for. The difference from us is that we have always specialized in superior cleaning for “fussy” customers. For example, many companies offer hot water extraction or “steam cleaning” and whether you use us or not, this is the type of cleaning that we and most carpet manufacturers recommend. If you have never seen others do it, a combination wand is used to inject a cleaning chemical into the carpet under high pressure. It then takes maybe a tenth of a second to break down and mix with the dirt and stains before powerful vacuums suck it out. As a system, nothing removes more dirt. There are some drawbacks however. First, the cleaning chemical is not on the carpet long enough to break down the soil and stains completely. Second, like all cleaning systems, you are putting a cleaning chemical on the carpet and, though for the most part you are sucking it back out (with some systems they tell you to let it dry and vacuum it out later), the bottom line is that you are not truly rinsing it out. This is a problem because any cleaning chemical left in the carpet will become sticky and cause more rapid resoiling. So what we do differently to solve these problems is apply our special cleaning solution to the entire carpet separately first, from a pump sprayer. This gives the solution the time it needs to work, much like soaking your clothes before you wash them. Then, because the cleaning solution is already on the carpet, we can use a special neutralizing rinse in the machine. So when we come along with the wand tool, we are not only rinsing out the dirt, we are rinsing out the cleaning chemicals, as well. So your carpet gets cleaner because the cleaning solution has had time to do its job, but it also stays cleaner because we have rinsed the cleaning chemicals out. We do a similar process with upholstery, except that we do a full hand shampoo of the fabric before rinsing it and the soil out. “If It’s Not Rinsed, It’s Not Really Clean.” Q: I purchased carpet cleaner, will using it harm the carpet? A: Well, I’m not really the person to ask, but if used correctly, probably not, or at least not directly. The only real harm from using personal carpet cleaners or rentals for that matter, may come from the fact that they are simply not anywhere close to as powerful as professional equipment. Therefore, they may not remove all the damaging soil and only do a surface cleaning. Also, the cleaning products that can be supplied to consumers will not be as effective as those available to professionals. It is also possible that cleaning the carpet yourself may void your warranty. If you use the cleaner incorrectly, however, there may be other problems. For example, there are many who believe that if a little is good, a lot is better, and they excessively wet the carpet, which may cause the carpet backing to separate. Having said this, I believe that personal carpet cleaning machines do have one great use. If you do get a spill or have a pet accident and can pull out a cleaner to immediately clean up the spot, they may pay for themselves for this purpose alone. It’s always better to clean up a spill immediately than to leave it and let it set in. Q: I used a spot cleaner. The spot came out, but seemed to come back. Why? A: First of all, you may not have gotten all the stain out. Often, when something is spilled on the carpet it can penetrate quite deeply, making its way into the underpad or even the floor underneath. When you cleaned it, you may have gotten it out of the carpet fibres, but as things dry there is a wicking action that takes place and the stain that is in the backing of the carpet may have wicked back to the surface. Another possibility is that the cleaner you used left sticky residues in the carpet and over time soil was attracted to the spot, making it look like the stain came back. At this point, people will often apply more spot cleaner to the carpet only to leave more residue and cause more rapid resoiling. Try a little lukewarm water on the spot. If it foams up with a little massaging with your finger, you probably have a lot of residue. Rinse the area with more water and blot with an absorbent white cotton towel or paper towels to remove the foam residue, even stand on the towel on the spot to absorb as much as possible. If there was no foam in the carpet or if the spot again comes back when dry, apply a solution of about 25% white vinegar and 75% water to a colour-safe cotton towel and use it to gently rub and dampen the carpet only enough to remove the stain. Returning stains are a common problem even for professional carpet cleaners. The advantage that we have is that we rinse all carpets with a mildly acidic rinse. This removes and neutralizes the cleaning chemicals and puts the carpet back to its natural slightly acidic state, thus greatly reducing the chance of stains returning. Q: Should I have my carpet stainguarded? A: That depends. If your carpet is new or even if it is less than 10 years old, it has likely been treated for stain and soil protection from the factory. The treatments work so well and are so easy to apply at the factory level that very few carpets produced anymore don’t have some sort of treatment. If your carpet is less than a year or two old and you have never had it cleaned, the existing stainguard treatments will likely survive one or two cleanings if done by a knowledgeable professional cleaner. I say knowledgeable because some cleaners will use chemicals which are too harsh, meaning too high in alkalinity, and can strip off the stain treatments. If your carpet is older or heavily used, you would likely benefit from a stain and soil repellant treatment, but only after cleaning. Remember that stainguard treatments are not a stain proofing; some things can still stain a treated carpet. The problem with stainguard is that we feel it has been somewhat overhyped. Much of this comes from cleaning firms that may lead you to believe that it’s a wonderful, magical, impervious product that you simply must have.
Wet-cleaning systems naturally require drying time, which may lead to concerns about very slow drying, the risk of discoloration returning during drying, and odors, bacteria, fungi, molds, and mildews. Carpet cleaning specialists try to find a balance between rapid drying (attributable to lower flow rate through the cleaning jets of a spray system) and the need to remove the most soil (attributable to higher flow rate). Pretreatments similar to those in dry-cleaning and "very low moisture" systems are employed, but require a longer dwell time of 15 to 20 minutes, because of lower amounts of carpet agitation. Ideal pretreatments should rinse easily and leave dry, powdery, or crystalline residue that can be flushed without contributing to re-soiling. Dry-cleaning For more details on this topic, see Dry carpet cleaning. Many dry carpet-cleaning systems rely on specialized machines. These systems are mostly "very low moisture" (VLM) systems, relying on dry compounds complemented by application cleaning solutions, and are growing significantly in market share due in part to their very rapid drying time, a significant factor for 24-hour commercial installations. Dry-cleaning and "very low moisture" systems are also often faster and less labor-intensive than wet-extraction systems. Heavily soiled areas require the application of manual spotting, pretreatments, preconditioners, and/or "traffic-lane cleaners", (commonly sprayed onto carpet prior to the primary use of the dry-cleaning system) which are detergents or emulsifiers which break the binding of different soils to carpet fibers over a short period of time. For example, one chemical may dissolve the greasy films that bind soils to the carpet, and thus prevent effective soil removal through vacuuming. The solution may add a solvent like d-limonene, petroleum byproducts, glycol ethers, or butyl agents. The amount of time the pretreatment dwells in the carpet should be less than 15 minutes, due to the thorough carpet brushing common to these "very low moisture" systems, which provides added agitation to ensure the pretreatment works fully through the carpet. The benefit of dry carpet cleaning, over wet solutions, is that dry chemical compounds don't attract dirt, like dried shampoo. While dry carpet cleaning is more expensive and more time consuming to clean than Bonnet or extraction, dry cleaning formulas put less stress on the carpets themselves. Dry compound This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) A 98% biodegradable or others, slightly moist absorbent cleaning compound may be spread evenly over carpet and brushed or scrubbed in. For small areas, a household hand brush can work such a compound into carpet pile; working like "tiny sponges", the attracted cleaning solution dissolve dirt, dirt and grime is attracted/absorbed to the compound, after a short drying time (the cleaning solution which is attracted to the compound must evaporate), it will be removed with a vacuum cleaner, the drier the better, leaving carpet immediately clean and dry. But it's very difficult to remove all residues, the residues can cause allergies and biological compounds may cause discolourations on carpets. For commercial applications, a specially designed cylindrical counter-rotating brushing system is used, without a vacuum cleaner. Machine scrubbing is more typical, in that hand scrubbing generally cleans only the top third of carpet. Encapsulation In the 1990s, new polymers began literally encapsulating (crystallizing) soil particles into dry residues on contact. In the conventional cleaning process surfactant molecules attach themselves to oily soil particles, suspending them (emulsification) so that they can be easily rinsed away. Surfactant (detergent) molecules and emulsified soils which escape being rinsed away, remain in the fibre and continue to attract soiling, causing the condition of the carpet to degenerate; often re-soiling faster than before it was subjected to the cleaning process. Encapsulators are speciality detergent polymers which become part of the detergent system.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Dry foam cleaning involves applying cleaning foam and immediately vacuuming the foam. It is not a completely dry method since the foam is 90% air and 10% liquid. A dry foam machine consists of a pressure tank in which a solution of water and shampoo is added. This method is used for water sensitive carpets, needle felt, and other carpet types whose construction inhibits sufficient water extraction. Vacuum wash This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Vacuum washing employs a washhead that sprays water without detergent and immediately removes it by suction, creating a swirl of water. This ensures high cleaning performance, extracting the dirt from the carpet to a depth of half inch. By immediately reabsorbing the wash water, the drying time greatly shortened. This method is suitable for intermediate and basic cleaning. Because it does not require cleaning products, it leaves no detergent residue. Vacuum washing has long been in use in Europe, mostly in larger train and bus companies, schools, and historic preservation. The system works on all surfaces which are water resistant (carpet, upholstered furniture, wooden floors, stone, plastics). A great advantage is that this system works without brushes or pads so there is no abrasion on pile. Household processes Other household carpet-cleaning processes are much older than industry standardization, and have varying degrees of effectiveness as supplements to the more thorough cleaning methods accepted in the industry. Vacuum For more details on this topic, see Vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners use air pumps to create partial vacuums to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors and carpets. Filtering systems or cyclones collect dirt for later disposal. Modern carpet cleaning equipment use rotary vacuum heads and spray jets to deep clean the carpet through hundreds of multi-directional cleaning passes. Some add steam and agitation. Models include upright (dirty-air and clean-air), canister and backpack, wet-dry and pneumatic, and other varieties. Robotic vacuum cleaners have recently become available. Stain removal Cleaned and uncleaned areas of a carpet Tea leaves and cut grass were formerly common for floor cleaning, to collect dust from carpets, albeit with risks of stains. Ink was removed with lemon or with oxalic acid and hartshorn; oil with white bread or with pipe clay; grease fats with turpentine; ox gall and naphtha were also general cleaners. Ammonia and chloroform were recommended for acid discoloration. Benzine and alum were suggested for removing insects; diatomaceous earth and material similar to cat litter are still common for removing infestations. Candle wax is removed by placing a towel over the affected carpet area and applying steam from a clothes iron until the wax absorbs into the towel. Some traditional methods of stain removal remain successful and ecological. Caution should be addressed when treating natural fibers such as wool. The longer the stain material remains in the carpet, the higher the chance of permanent color change, even if all the original stain material is removed. At times pets urinate on the carpet and this results in a bad odor especially when it is hot and humid.The carpet or rug is usually taken outside and immersed in water to remove such stains. Immediately blotting (not rubbing) the stain material as soon as possible will help reduce the chances of permanent color change. Artificial food coloring stains are generally considered permanent stains. These may be removed by professional cleaners or deep cleaning rental machines with heat-transfer stain-reducing chemicals, but carry risks of burning the carpet. Stain removal products can be combined with anti-allergen treatments to kill house dust mites. Other Carpet rods, rattan rugbeaters, and carpet-beating machines for beating out dust, and also brooms, brushes, dustpans, and shaking and hanging were all carpet-cleaning methods of the 19th century; brooms particularly carry risks of wear. Steam cleaning increases the lifespan of your carpet. Misconceptions Robert Wittkamp (1942–2007), IICRC-certified master Carpet Cleaners technician with 30 years' expertise in carpet cleaning, commented that old wives' tales persist and thrive within the industry. For instance, the concept that walking barefoot on a carpet may lead to damage from body oils has not been supported or disproven by standardized reports or testing or by industry evidence.