Another big source of oily film is pets; they have oily coats and they sweat from their feet (I know, I have three large dogs!). Now it’s not that this oily film in itself looks dirty, but what happens is that all the dust and dirt we all have sticks to the oil and therefore to the carpet. At this point, your vacuum can no longer remove it and you must have it cleaned to remove the oil and dirt. The good news is that the cleaning method and products that we use are the very best at removing the oily film and soil. Q: How often should I have my carpets cleaned? A: Well, I would like to give you two answers here. First, I must tell you that you should have it professionally cleaned at least every 12 to 24 months. One reason I say this is that most carpet manufacturers require this to maintain the warranty on your carpet. They do this because soil and grit in the carpet is the major cause of carpet damage and wear. The soil and grit are abrasive on the fibres, causing them to become rough and then mat together. If left longer, the abrasion will even cut the carpet fibres causing them to fall out. The abrasion can also wear off any stainguard treatments that have been applied, causing the carpet to soil even faster and absorb more stains. The second thing is, warranty or not, it just makes good sense to have your carpet last longer and be healthier for your family. You wouldn’t wear the same shirt for a year without cleaning it, would you? Having said all that, some people are exceptionally clean, as there are rooms that they rarely use or have no warranty. For them, my best answer is to have the carpet cleaned when it starts to look a little dull. The problem is that it can be hard to tell. One way to tell this is to compare the look of the carpet in a traffic area to that under a piece of furniture, or to a piece of unused carpet that you may have left over. When you start to see a bit of a difference, that is when it is time to clean. If you have come to a point where you say to yourself, “This carpet is filthy, and I’ve got to get it cleaned,” this is usually an indication that you waited a bit too long. We can still do a great job, but by then you may have some carpet damage. Q: How long will the carpet take to dry? A: It depends on many factors. Generally, carpets are fairly dry overnight. However, if they are very thick piled or if we have to go over them several times to get them cleaned, they may take longer. Carpets in basements, especially damp basements, may take a little longer, as well. Note: There are cleaning methods that dry faster. However, they are generally considered by the industry to be more of an interim or surface cleaning method. Our cleaning is considered a restorative or deeper cleaning. Q: Why do you recommend area rugs be cleaned in your shop? A: For one thing they go through a more extensive process when done in-shop. When in the shop, we are able to flip them upside down and use a special machine called a rug beater. This machine uses a rotating drum with special belts that vibrate the carpet to dislodge the damaging grit, while it vacuums the back. “We Beat The Dirt Every Time.” This of course can’t be done in the home. Then, after a surface vacuuming, we clean the rug much in the same way we do in-home and handwash any fringe. The second advantage is that we have a proper dry room where area rugs are hung to dry. This allows them to dry faster and air out. This is especially important for fine wool rugs. Note: Although we will clean synthetic area rugs in-home if you wish, we strongly recommend that wool rugs be done in-shop. Q: Can I drop my rugs off to be cleaned? A: Certainly. We just ask that you make an appointment.
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.
Even worse, some of the less reputable companies may not apply the product at the full and proper rate, leaving you with little or no protection. The truth is, when applied properly, it works, and your chances of getting a stain out of a treated carpet are much, much better than a nontreated carpet and any soil on the carpet will be easier to remove. But if you think you can stainguard your carpet and then do anything you want to it and it will still come clean, you have been misinformed and oversold in my opinion. Q: We found a used chair we want to buy from a smoker. Can it be cleaned? A: Yes and no. Although I’m sure that we could clean the chair very satisfactorily for the old owner, it’s very unlikely that all the smoke odour could be removed to your satisfaction. The smoke will have penetrated deep into the cushion foam and would be expelled every time you sat down. Q: What causes carpet ripples and can it be fixed? A: There are several reasons that a carpet may buckle. It may be that the house has settled and/ or the carpet relaxed over time. It may have stretched due to heavy traffic over time. It may have been damaged by rolling friction like a wheelchair or office chair (Rolling friction is one of the worst things for a carpet. Use a plastic protector mat under rolling office chairs). Of course it may also not have been stretched enough in the first place. It’s also possible that a carpet may stretch from excessive moisture like a flood or even extreme over-wetting by a carpet cleaner. Most of the time carpets can be re-stretched. As trained carpet installers, we do offer this service. Q: My carpet is old. Will it clean up and is it worth it? A: Possibly. If you’re in town, we could do a free inspection and quote. We would let you know how we think the carpet would respond and if we think there are any issues with the carpet itself. Unfortunately, you often can’t really tell just how a carpet will respond to cleaning until you try. So the other thing we would do for you is if you want to go ahead and book the job, we could do a test cleaning, for a minimum charge. If we have cleaned a section of it, and you don’t feel that the results are worth it, you would be under no obligation or pressure to finish the job. I will tell you, though, that it’s very rare that people are not surprised how well an older carpet will respond to our cleaning. Carpet, Upholstery and Area Rug Cleaning FAQs Here are answers to some of our customer’s most frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for please feel free to contact us. What method of carpet cleaning does AspenClean use? We use a green cleaning method of course! Hot water extraction cleaning combined with our natural cleaning products will leave your floors or furniture in immaculate condition. How does hot water extraction carpet cleaning work? First we pre-treat carpets, high traffic areas and spots using our natural cleaning products . Then, we run our state-of-the art, high-powered hot water extraction cleaning system over the entire area. Hot water is injected into the carpet to further loosen up dirt and remove any cleaning solution. Finally a powerful vacuum sucks out all the debris leaving your carpets sanitary, clean and free of residue or odor. How long will it take for my carpets to dry? Typically between five and eight hours. Drying time depends on a number of factors such as the type and density of your carpet, room temperature, humidity and air movement. To speed up the drying time, keep your windows open for a few hours after the carpet cleaning is completed. Do you use portable or truck mounted equipment? Our technicians are equipped with both portable and truck mounted hot water extraction systems.