We have a winner
when it comes to results!
You've probably heard that there are several methods of carpet cleaning on offer that professionals use to clean homes and business properties.
Each method has its place. But overall, is there a method that's considered the best?
When you decide to bring in a professional carpet cleaner for your home or business, it's a good idea to ask which method they use if you want the best results possible. Of the several methods on offer, some really only clean the visible surface of the carpet, and some will likely leave behind soapy residues which can cause all kinds of problems, such as fast re-soiling. In this case, rapid re-soiling of your carpet would completely defeat the whole purpose of having your carpets cleaned in the first place.
If you have high standards, and you want the deepest and most thorough professional carpet cleaning job — one that completely removes oily and soapy residues, dust mites, allergens, and other debris from the surface to deep within the carpet fibers — or if you have new-carpet warranties that you need to keep intact — then there is one method that is the ultimate winner:
"Hot Water Extraction" (HWE)
sometimes referred to as "steam cleaning".
According to a majority of the major carpet manufacturers, regular Hot Water Extraction cleaning by a professional is the preferred choice out of all the cleaning methods.
Let me briefly explore some of the most common other cleaning methods that some professionals use. Then we will explain why Flawless Cleaning Systems has chosen Hot Water Extraction for most of our professional work.
There are five methods commonly employed by carpet cleaning companies — each having different levels of effectiveness:
- Carpet Shampoo
- Encapsulation Method
- Bonnet Dry Cleaning
- Dry Powder Cleaning
- Hot Water Extraction
The Carpet Shampoo Method
Carpet shampoo methods of cleaning were the most popular until the encapsulation method (explained next) was introduced in the 1970s. Shampooing uses a sudsy detergent and water, which is then scrubbed along the carpet surface. After application, the dirt and soap were then vacuumed from the carpet with a special wet-vac.
The clear downside of the shampooing method is that it often leaves a lot of soapy residues in the carpet, and the residue becomes sticky — which ends up attracting more dust and dirt, so your carpets get dirty again faster.
When you hear commercials talking about residues left in your carpet after cleaning, shampooing is the old, high-residue method they are talking about.
The ENCAPSULATION Cleaning Method for Carpets
In then 1970's, this method was introduced which uses the application of a foam detergent with polymers that dries and "encapsulates" loosened dirt particles that are worked into the carpet using rotary brushes, and then it is vacuumed up.
It's a good method. It can be done quickly and more often, and it uses less water during the cleaning process which results in shorter drying times and less harmful shampoo residues. But this method is also limited — it’s good for cleaning top surfaces, but it's not very effective at deep cleaning carpet.
It's best used for cleaning business facilities that need more frequent cleaning and fast drying times, so facilities can be put back into service faster.
The DRY Carpet Cleaning Method
Some of the national franchises you've heard of love to promote this method for every occasion — it's a low-moisture job that is quick to perform, the technicians need relatively little training, and the equipment is a relatively cheaper investment.
The cleaner will spread a dry chemical compound over the surface of the carpet, and then use a machine to work it into the fibers. The chemical uses carbonation to bring dirt and grime to the surface. After the solvent sets in, they vacuum up the solvent and the dirt.
Unfortunately, this method is only effective for removing dirt from the surface, and it's not optimal for a deep carpet cleaning. Dry chemical cleaning may also leave behind a powdery residue which can cause dust and dirt buildup over time.
The main benefit is that the carpet drying time is very short — less than one hour — which makes it a good fit for business properties in which down-time would affect their profits.
The BONNET Cleaning Method
This method was designed for quick, superficial (surface level only) fast-drying commercial applications. It’s a maintenance method for high-traffic commercial spaces to be performed every few weeks, not for deep cleaning home carpets.
The bonnet method will only produce results on the top surface of a carpet fibers by using a machine with a spinning pad that has been soaked in cleaning solutions. The machine picks up dirt from the surface of the carpet. Because bonneting is not intended to deep-clean carpet, dirt and other debris will accumulate under the surface, still making periodic deep cleaning necessary.
Therefore, professional cleaners that use the bonnet method for quick maintenance jobs should still follow up every 6-12 months with a deep-cleaning method to remove the residues and dirt left behind.
So, what is the deep cleaning method that is recommended by the cleaning industry and the carpet manufacturers?
Hot Water Extraction, sometimes referred to as "Steam Cleaning".
Of all the carpet cleaning methods available, research has determined that powerful, truck-mounted Hot Water Extraction — when performed by a trained and experienced professional — is the most thorough cleaning method available in the industry, and it is recommended that Hot Water Extraction be performed every 12-18 months.
At Flawless Cleaning Systems we will clean your carpet using the Hot Water Extraction (HWE) method, using powerful, truck-mounted equipment that uses high pressure, very hot water, and safe & effective cleaning agents. The water, cleaning agents, dirt and other contaminants are immediately and thoroughly "extracted" from the carpet with a powerful suction, leaving your carpets deeply cleaned, soft, fresh, and free from soil-attracting residues.
The Hot Water Extraction method requires a highly-trained and skilled technician. It takes more time and more water to thoroughly and deep-clean your carpets. The powerful equipment used in this method is a higher but solid investment, and it takes more time to perform the best possible job.
The strong vacuum in this equipment "extracts" virtually all the water used in the cleaning process, however it may take a few hours to completely dry. Hot water extraction often costs a little more compared to the above methods, but the results are far superior, and our clients have a more healthy, deeply-cleaned carpet that will far outlast the other methods.
In fact, hot water extraction is the method recommended by the top carpet manufacturers including Shaw, Mohawk, Dupont, and others. Shaw Industries is one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers with over $4 billion in carpet sales annually — and Shaw actually requires proof of periodic Hot Water Extraction cleaning, specifically, to keep their warranty on new carpets intact.
At Flawless Cleaning Systems, we're dedicated to helping you keep your carpets and upholstery in the best possible clean and healthy condition. We carefully choose the best hot water extraction equipment — and use the best, safest, and most effective solutions — to provide each of our clients the most thorough results possible — soft, deeply clean, fluffy, beautiful carpets — leaving behind virtually no soil-attracting residues.
If you have any questions about this article, or anything related to cleaning carpet, upholstery, tile and grout, and maintaining a clean and healthy home or business facility, please feel free to give me a call, and I'll be happy to help.