WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN A CARPET?
Carpets Cleaned with Excellence
It doesn’t matter how often you vacuum a carpet, after a while it simply needs more than that to make it look fresh and clean.
But what method should you be using to clean your carpet?
Cleaning Carpets Correctly
1. Steam Cleaning/Hot Water Extraction:
Pros: The best choice for those with allergies. Detergents and shampoos that can cause irritation are absent from this method, and the steam kills any bacteria, mould and other irritants found in the carpet.
Hot water is applied to carpet fibres using a high-pressure wand.
Pressure works with the hot water to dissolve thick dirt, dust and any other debris, making it easier to remove. It can then be extracted.
This method removes more than 90% of dirt and bacteria.
The steam also serves to ‘fluff’ up previously matted/trodden down carpets – making them look newer, feel fresher and softer.
Cons: Takes a few hours to completely dry.
2. Dry Cleaning:
Pros: The best method to use if you need it to be ready for people to walk on as soon as possible. Consequently, it is the preferred method for offices and busy homes.
Carpet dry cleaning usually involves a powdered detergent combined with a little water – then a rotating brush pushes the mixture deep into the carpet fibres loosening the dirt. The mixture, including the dirt etc is then extracted using a specialist tool.
Cons: Requires proper ventilation due to the pungency of the detergents and chemicals used. May adversely affect those with allergies or breathing difficulties.
Pros: This method is best for removing very stubborn stains. A little like shampooing your hair, it involves detergent and lots of water. Carpet shampooing can also involve brushes to scrub the carpet down and free any debris. Clean water is then applied to rinse all the detergent and dirt from the carpet.
Cons: Requires thorough extraction. If any sticky detergent residue is left behind - then it will quickly pick up and trap more dirt/dust – this can make it look dirtier than it did before.
4. Foam Cleaning:
Pros: This method is usually saved for the extremely dirty carpets. Special foam is applied – which then bubbles and expands - drawing dirt away from the fibres and trapping it. Steam extraction then removes the foam with the dirt/debris. Using this method means that the carpet will dry quickly, due to the low moisture levels used in the process. Cons: As with shampooing, foam cleaning requires effective extraction – otherwise you risk debris being left behind.
And what mistakes should you avoid?
- Don’t use too much pressure when scrubbing. This may damage the carpet - causing the fibres to loosen and leaving it looking threadbare.
- All traces of shampoo, foam and detergent must be thoroughly removed. This can be difficult to achieve – so you must do your research (ensure that you have the right equipment) and make sure that you do not rush the extracting, steaming or rinsing stages.
- Always use fresh water when steaming or extracting.
- Don’t rush – allow the steam to penetrate the carpet fibres and don’t stop until the water is clear.
- Wait for the carpets to dry properly before walking on them or putting any furniture back in place. Walking on damp carpets can crush the fibres and make them look flat and worn.
- Ventilation is extremely important when carpet cleaning. It allows the carpet to dry effectively, reduces the risk of mould or mildew developing in the room and prevents any chemical build up from the fumes. Open all available windows and use a dehumidifier to remove any excess moisture.
The most effective way of having your carpets cleaned is to call a reputable carpet cleaning company. This will take all of the stress out of the job – by putting it in the hands of a professional.