Hints and tips on carpet care

Carpet cleaning tips: Pros and cons of different carpet cleaning methods
Professional carpet cleaning companies use several carpet cleaning methods to clean a home's carpets. Each cleaning method has its own particular advantages and disadvantages. But how do you choose between them? Review these pros and cons before deciding which method you would like to be used to clean your carpet.

Carpet cleaning methods may be placed in one of two categories: wet cleaning or dry cleaning. Wet cleaning includes hot water extraction and can include cleaning with an absorbent pad. Dry carpet cleaning involves the use of chemical powders or foams applied by special machines with counter rotating brushes, pads or cylinders.

1. Wet cleaning How it works
Water is used with a detergent that liquefies soils and oil-based substances which may be present in the carpet fibers. A brush action is used to loosen dirt. This is called the deep cleaning method. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the solution is extracted with a powerful vacuum cleaner that removes most of the water. This ensures that the carpet dries as fast as possible to ensure speedy use of your carpet again.
✔ Gets out soiling from deep down in the carpet
✔ Detergents and degreases effectiveness is ensured by using it in combination with the brush head.
✔ Most widely used method
✔ Recommended by carpet manufacturers and industry cleaning experts and professionals

✘ Drying time required, but this can be reduced with the use of powerful equipment by competent technicians
✘ Expensive equipment usually required for maximum efficiency
✘ Relatively high cost factors

2. Cleaning with an absorbent pad How it works
This carpet cleaning method is also commonly known as bonnet cleaning and is most often used for routine light maintenance. It can also be used for regular carpet cleaning. The carpet is first vacuumed, and then a chemical solution is sprayed unto it with a hand pump or electric sprayer. The solution is allowed to stay on the carpet for a suitable dwell or reaction time.
The absorbent pad or bonnet, which looks like a towel, is placed on the drive block of a rotary floor machine and spun over the carpet surface at 100 to 300 rpm. This action serves to impregnate the carpet fibres with the chemical solution and then pick it up with the soils afterwards.

✔ Fast, simple and inexpensive
✔ Excellent results with lightly soiled carpets

✘ Only cleans the top one-third of carpet fibers, incapable of reaching deeper down
✘ Leaves dirt and chemicals to accumulate at the bottom of the carpet fibers

3. Dry cleaning with an absorbent compound How it works
A powder that has been mixed with special solvents and cleaning agents is spread over the carpet, and then worked into the carpet fibers with a machine fitted with counter-rotating brushes. The powder absorbs soils in the carpet fibers. After it's allowed to set on the carpet for 10 to 15 minutes, it's vacuumed up.

✔ Very simple system with no special technical training required
✔ Very fast drying, it typically only takes about 20 minutes before the carpet can be back in service
✘ Powder may be trapped in plush pile carpets and left to build up over time
✘ Can cause excessive dust build-up in the home
✘ Unable to clean deep down into the carpet

4. Dry foam or rotary shampoo method How it works
A cleaning agent is applied to the carpet to help suspend dirt and debris in the carpet, which is then whipped into foam and worked into the carpet fibers with the rotating brushes of a special machine. After a short dwell time, the foam is extracted with a vacuum.
✔ Fast, simple to apply and inexpensive
✔ Rotating brushes provide excellent agitation
✔ Small amount of moisture allows fast drying of carpet

✘ Unable to achieve thorough soil extraction below the surface of the carpet
✘ High temperatures usually not achieved
✘ Excessive wetting possible with equipment malfunction

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