Q: Once you have your carpets cleaned, do they get dirty faster? heard that saying a lot of times myself. It’s been around a long time, and years ago it was true. It comes from a time when most carpets were shampooed. The carpets were scrubbed with a foaming cleaner and then the foam was either sucked out with a wet vacuum or in some cases, allowed to dry and then dry vacuumed in an attempt to remove the residues. The problem was that the shampoo or other cleaning products were never actually rinsed from the carpet. The remaining residues made the carpet slightly sticky and from then on the carpet would attract dirt faster. Many years ago, we were the first in the area to offer hot water extraction or “steam cleaning” and this greatly reduced the amount of residues left in the carpet. However, it did not completely solve the problem because there was still no separate rinse performed. Unfortunately today, many cleaning firms still use the steam cleaning machines or truck mounts in the same old way. Fortunately, we’re proud to tell you that we were also the first cleaning firm in the area to modify the steam cleaning process and develop it to include pretreatment of all soil and stains and a final rinse step. We call it our “Clean & Rinse Process.” With this process, residues are no longer a problem, and your carpet will not get dirty faster after a cleaning from us. So with dirt causing damage to your carpet, if your carpet is even a little soiled, you would do best not to wait to have it cleaned. Q: I vacuum regularly and we’re careful with spills. Why do I need the carpets cleaned? A: Great! Regular vacuuming is one of the best things you can do for your carpet. Don’t forget to use the hose end or a small tool to vacuum the outer edge of any carpeted stairs you may have. The soil really gets impacted in this area from traffic and most people just vacuum the top of the tread area. Eventually however, vacuuming will not be enough to maintain the carpet. The problem is that over time, an oily film builds on the carpet. This can come from pollution, moisture and cooking oils in the air, perspiration from bare feet, etc. 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?
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.
The acid rinse thus neutralizes the alkaline residues, and can contribute to softening cleaned fabrics. The hot water extraction method is the preferred method of many carpet manufacturers. Extraction is, by far, the most important step in the hot water extraction process. Since the hot-water extraction method uses much more water than other methods like bonnet or shampoo cleaning, proper extraction and air flow are critical to avoid drying issues. Drying time may also be decreased by extra use of fans, air conditioning, and/or outdoor ventilation. Older surfaces, such as double jute-backed carpets and loose rugs with natural foundation yarns, could shrink after a wet treatment, leading to suppositions that wet-cleaning could also remove wrinkles. However, this notion is antiquated and this method could also occasionally tear seams or uproot strips. Newer carpets, such as with synthetic backing and foundation yarns, do not shrink, and they smooth easily; in such carpets, wrinkles indicate an underlying problem, such as adhesive, that may need a certified carpet inspector to determine. 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.