Everything You Need to Know about Carpet Cleaning

Posted on: June 8th, 2017 by The Carpet Guys

how to clean a carpet

When carpeting starts to look dull and dingy, carpet cleaning solutions are the first things that cross the mind. Now you may be questioning if carpet cleaning is the right option for you and your carpet.

What cleaning will work best for my carpet? Do I work with a professional carpet cleaner, or do I try it myself; what is the best choice for my situation? Carpet cleaning tends to remain a mystery to most people, so making a decision can be a little difficult.

Thankfully, The Carpet Guys are here to clear up any confusion you’re facing.

Types of Carpet Cleaning Methods

Carpet cleaning is an important factor in maintaining the life of your carpet, but that doesn’t mean that all cleaning techniques will work on your specific product.

The various types of carpet cleansing and maintenance methods include:

  • Steam Carpet Cleaning – Also sometimes referred to as hot water extraction cleaning, this process uses high pressured hot water to disturb and dislodge the dirt embedded in the carpet fibers. A cleaning agent is typically applied on the surface of the carpet and is left to settle a little bit. Then the carpet will be agitated with a brush and then rinsed. The carpet must be left to dry overnight.
  • Carpet Shampooing – A method that was popular until encapsulation was introduced in the 70’s. Shampooing is great for cleaning heavily soiled carpet, but it tends to leave wet foam residue, which takes a long time to dry and it becomes sticky. The sticky residue left over naturally attracts more dirt, dust, debris, allergens, and germs, so the carpet will soil much faster. This method has become the least popular in today’s technology and standards.
  • Encapsulation – This approach uses synthetic detergents that foam and crystallizes into a powder form when it dries. The detergent will loosen the dirt, allergens, grit, and debris when it’s applied and will surround the dirt as it dries. The encapsulation technique is considered more environmentally friendly because less chemical residue is left behind, especially compared to carpet shampooing. The downfall to this method is that it does not thoroughly deep clean.
  • Bonnet Carpet Cleaning – Basically a quick fix, surface cleaner. A heavy machine has a spinning pad that is absorbed in a cleaning solution to absorb the dirt from the surface of the carpet fibers. This process is popular in places like hotels. Bonneting is not a deep cleaning method, so the dirt and debris beneath the surface will arise quickly. Over time, bonneting can accumulate chemical residue beneath the surface due to the heavy machine and spinning pad pushing into the carpet. The accumulation will eventually rise to the surface.
  • Dry Carpet Cleaning – Also called compound carpet cleaning, this method is relatively one of the newer procedures and is quickly becoming more popular. It is very effective, convenient, and does not necessitate drying time. The process entails applying the powder deep into the carpet by using a motorized counter-rotating brush machine that will open the carpet fibers. The compound is made of biodegradable substances that act as micro-sponges which will dissolve and breakdown binding soils, grit, and allergens. After letting it settle for a while it just needs to be vacuumed up.

To figure out the best method to clean carpets, it’s a good idea to get a few quotes from different cleaners. Every company is different, and their methods of carpeting cleansing may be different.

We recommend working with a pro because all carpet manufacturers suggest a professional carpet cleaning every 12 to 18 months. This will help maintain your warranties as well as lengthen the lifespan of the new carpet installation you received.

carpet cleaning machines

6 Myths about Carpet Cleaning

People don’t generally think too much about their carpeting, so not many know there are some carpet cleaning myths including:

  1. Carpet cleaning will cause carpeting to get dirty faster. This is not entirely true. As discussed above, some cleaning methods will leave a residue and will certainly attract dirt, allergens, and debris. Also, improper cleaning will also make your carpeting soil quickly. Choosing the correct technique for your type of carpet will ensure a longer lasting clean. Properly performing the various techniques is also important.
  2. Steam cleaning will cause mold or mildew to grow. This, again, is not entirely true. If the carpet is cleaned improperly, mold and mildew can undoubtedly occur. Oversaturation will soak too far into the carpet and into the padding. This will ruin the pad and will cause the carpet to delaminate. The moisture will be trapped in the padding underneath and will certainly mold and the carpeting will mildew. Properly using the equipment is crucial in achieving clean carpet the right way. A machine that uses too much water is not conducive to obtaining a deep clean.
  3. Vacuuming too much will damage the fibers. Vacuuming every other day is recommended. Modern carpet is manufactured to uphold considerable vacuuming. There are many machines that claim to be the best vacuum cleaner on the market. Some are expensive and some are reasonably priced, but they may be too aggressive for considerable use. The brushes are not designed well for carpet fibers and tears or shreds the ends. Some vacuums do not have enough sucking power to removed deep debris. These factors can wear out, soil, and damage the carpet faster.
  4. Carpet can cause allergies. This is also not wholly true. Some people’s allergies are triggered because allergens are trapped in the fibers and need to be vacuumed up. People do not vacuum as often as they should. It doesn’t mean the carpet is causing the allergies. Another reason people claim that carpet causes allergies is the way it is manufactured. The materials give off chemical emissions. Carpet is one of the lowest chemical emitters in the indoor environment, according to the EPA. 72 hours after installation, carpet emissions are almost undetectable and can reduce the occurrence of most allergic symptoms. Just air it out.
  5. Carpet isn’t that old and doesn’t need to be cleaned. Some people tend to think their two- or three-year-old carpet is still new. Many would agree with that statement, but considering what carpet goes through daily and the things it attracts, it should be cleaned every 6 to 12 months.
  6. Any grocery store cleaner can remove stains. This myth can be very detrimental to your carpet. Many cleaners can attract soil and even ruin the carpet. Some can discolor or break down the fibers.

spot cleaning

A little note on Kirby vacuums and what they offer:

  • Excellent air flow and sucking power
  • Less likely to clog,
  • Have the most suction when full of dirt
  • Extremely durable
  • Brushes are softer and not as stiff and abrasive and
  • Will not ruin the carpet fibers.
  • Benefits for you and your carpet’s longevity.

Kirby vacuums are fantastic vacuums and the only ones we recommend.

Common Carpet Cleaning Mistakes

It is always advantageous to be aware of possible mistakes. Avoiding these things will be helpful in keeping your carpet clean, fresh and new for many years to come.

Carpet can be cleaned too often. The frequency of carpet cleaning is contingent on the amount of traffic and the type of carpet. If carpet is cleaned too much, the carpet can fray, wear out, and possibly cause other issues as discussed above.

Spot cleaning too meticulously can also be a mistake. Scrubbing too hard and using a harsh cleaner can be harmful to the carpet. The carpet can fray or you could push dirt further down into the carpet. Another common mistake is using the wrong equipment to clean the carpet. Over-shampooing and oversaturating the carpet with water are damaging.

In the end, it depends on your carpeting and who you work with.

best carpet cleaning machine

Is Carpet Cleaning not Working for You?

Is your carpeting too old or worn to go through the carpet cleaning process? No matter how many times you clean old carpet, there are times where it just won’t cut it. If cleaning is not advantageous for you and your home, new carpet or flooring might be the answer. The Carpet Guys are fully knowledgeable in

If cleaning is not advantageous for you and your home, new carpet or flooring is the answer. The Carpet Guys are fully knowledgeable in design and offer affordable prices on carpet, laminate, hardwood, and vinyl.

We bring our store to your door with many options to choose from. The Carpet Guys desire a stress-free experience during an easy in-home shopping session, complete with a free carpet estimate, so give us a call and get your floors taken care of today!

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