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Posted on January 1, 2018
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Sacramento Carpet Cleaning methods are not all the same. In fact, there are many different ways to clean various types of carpet. What many people do not understand is that carpet fibers are not all made the same, so certain types of carpet will require a different type of cleaning method. Certain cleansers may also be harmful for some carpet fibers while they work wonders for other types. It is important to complete preliminary research before having just any carpet cleaning company in Sacramento CA come to a home and clean the carpet with whatever method they feel like using without regard to what is best for the carpet.
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To keep informed, it is probably a good idea to learn about a few of the different carpet cleaning methods in California and how they work. Below are a few different carpet cleaning methods:
1. Shampooing a Carpet - Typically this seems to be the least effective method on any carpet. What occurs during a carpet shampooing is that formulated detergents are applied directly to the carpet and then the professional carpet cleaners will use a machine that agitates the cleanser. Then they will use a vacuum to extract the cleanser and make the carpet look very clean. The detergents used are formulated to make the carpet seem bright and smell nice. However, it does little more any caked on dirt deep down in the pad of the carpet. So if the main purpose of a carpet cleaning for a home is to make it look nice, maybe for a special occasion where a lot of people will be walking around so the carpet will need to be cleaned again anyway, shampooing can be the right choice. However, for health and wellness reasons, it is typically not the top choice.
2. Dry Carpet Cleaning - Most people recommend the dry cleaning method over any other. It is certainly helpful since there is little to no down time since the carpet will not need to dry for a long period of time as is necessary with other methods. Most of the time, using a special cleaning powder completes the process. It is sprinkled all over the carpet and it will automatically start attracting dirt. After it has stayed on the carpet an appropriate amount of time to absorb, it is then sucked up by a vacuum, leaving the carpet almost as good as new. A few carpet cleaning companies have made modifications to this method with different cleansers, such as an oxygenated cleanser. This method works well too, because although it may make the carpet wet just briefly, the oxygenated bubbles help lift dirt out of the base of the carpet, allowing it to be cleaned up even more effectively.
3. Foam Carpet Cleaning - This method is also very useful. It basically takes a little bit of the shampoo method and then combines it with the dry cleaning method. A cleansing foam and a small amount of water are applied to the carpet. The cleansing foam is also designed to attract dirt dust and harmful fibers like the powder in a dry cleaning method does. It works its way through the carpet and then the foam, along with all the dirt and dust particles it has collected are extracted from the carpet. This method works best of tougher carpet due to the nature of the foam as well as the vacuum.
4. Steam Carpet Cleaning - Steam carpet cleaning is probably one of the most well known cleaning methods and is also used often by Sacramento Carpet Cleaners. It does have its disadvantages though because it uses an awful lot of water. When the water soaks deep down into the pad of the carpet, it can damage it so severely that the carpet may need to be replaced. However, if steam cleaning is done properly, and not too frequently, it can be effective. It is also known as "Hot water extraction" and basically it works by having a very powerful machine put a hot water and cleanser solution deep down into the carpet. Then the machine will extract the cleanser with a powerful suction. All of this will most likely get the most dirt out of the carpet, however, it may cause the carpet damage over time. It also means the carpet will be wet for a while, so do not use this method as a quick fix, since there is nothing quick about it.
The Hot Water Extraction (HWE) method, is a method used in chemistry for extraction and for "steam cleaning". The pressurized hot water extraction (PHWE) process uses a combination of high water pressure for agitation, and hot water to increase reaction rate.
Though commonly called "Steam Cleaning", no actual steam is involved in the HWE cleaning process, apart from steam that may escape incidentally from hot water. When the cleaning solution comes in contact with the carpet/rug, it is anywhere between 50-120 degrees Celsius, according to the heat available from the cleaning unit. For instance, in a modern truck-mounted carpet cleaning machine, water can be heated under pressure to 150+ degrees Celsius, but after passing through high pressure steel braided hose and several manifolds, the water loses much of its heat.
The typical cleaning method involves a preconditioning of the soiled surface with an alkaline (7 or above on the pH Scale) agent, followed by light agitation with a grooming brush and appropriate dwell time. Next, the surface is passed over several times with a cleaning tool (either manual or automatic) to thoroughly rinse out the preconditioner and, using an acetic acid solution, lower the pH of the fibres to a neutral state. Finally, the surface is dried sufficiently to avoid any possibility of saturation.
Hot Water Extraction Machines
Professional machines range from portable machines, which use electricity to heat the water and power the water pump and vacuum motors, to larger truck mounted machines. Truck mounts are normally stationary gas/diesel engine or PTO powered machines installed in a van or truck. The portable machine is able to access difficult to reach buildings and high story floors, while the truck mount's advantages are its power to heat the water and power of vacuum and faster cleaning and drying times. DIY and rental machines use some of the technology from the professional systems, but with less power and usually without an element to heat water (filling the unit with hot water is advised) the results are limited; these units are not typically called HWE systems.
5. Bonnet Carpet Cleaning - This method is mostly used for commercial buildings due to the amount of carpet inside of them. It is not meant to be incredibly effective, since commercial buildings experience so much traffic anyway. Basically this method will keep the carpets looking fresh and clean, even though some dirt and dust may still be lurking under the surface. A chemical detergent is applied to the carpet and then a rotary machine is equipped with an absorbent pad and then worked across the carpet.
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A few years ago a new piece of equipment was introduced to the carpet cleaning industry that will change it forever. This technology will replace the standard carpet cleaning wand and all the back pains and soreness.
When a technician uses a standard carpet cleaning wand he has to push the wand back and forth to achieve a "scrubbing" motion. The "scrubbing" loosens tough dirt and oils from the carpet and the vacuum extracts it all out. Generally the technician moves the wand in only two directions, backward and forward. If the particular area requires more extraction the technician may turn perpendicular to his original position and extract from the opposite directions.
This requires physical strength and stamina and can wear a man out. The new technology is called rotary extraction because it has moving heads that spin in a circular motion. These rotating heads spin at over 200 RPMs. That is much more efficient than scrubbing back and forth over and over. It is virtually impossible for a technician to achieve 200 passes per minute with a standard wand.
And the best part, the rotary extraction method extracts from all directions. On the bottom of the rotating head are 3 vacuum inlets and 3 spray jets. The jets and vacuum inlets spray and extract from every direction while the head is spinning. Because the machine is extracting from all directions more water and soil is taken from the carpet, therefore dry times are significantly reduced and results are much better.
There are a few different machines that fall into this category. One machine has two smaller heads rotating in different directions for maximum extraction. This machine has to be pushed back and forth but has wheels so it glides across the floor. Another machine has just one rotating head but is significantly larger to make up the lost area. This machine "floats" on the carpet. The spinning head allows for it to move like a buffer. To control the machine you lift the handle up or down and it will float right or left, respectively. This machine does not need to be pushed.
The maintenance on these machines is pretty similar. The manufacturer recommends using your vacuum extraction hose to clean the bottom of the machine after every job. That's all there is to it. These machines are built very strong so you don't have to worry about breaking your investment.
This machine will significantly improve your quality of work and take major strain off of your body. Your clients will be impressed and your referral's will sky rocket. This machine will truly work wonders for your business.
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The debate on dry carpet cleaning vs. carpet steam cleaning (or steam extraction cleaning) continues to rage on among carpet cleaning professionals and consumers alike. Questions about cleaning capability, drying time and water usage are just some of the issues surrounding this debate. Let's take a look at these two methods and see if we can't help clear up some confusion.
Dry carpet cleaning is not a single process but a collection of different products and techniques for cleaning carpets with a minimum use of water. They can be grouped into two basic categories as described below.
Absorbent dry compounds are the 'driest' way to clean carpets. These compounds, containing detergents or solvents, are sprinkled on the carpet. After 30 minutes of dwell time (carpet cleaning talk for 'let the chemicals do their stuff'), these compounds dissolve the oily film on carpet fibers thereby allowing them to be vacuumed out along with the compounds themselves. There is no water used so drying times are not an issue. This method is popular with commercial establishments with high traffic areas that need to be cleaned and dried quickly. They produce satisfactory results but eventually a deeper cleaning will be required.
Very low moisture (VLM) carpet cleaning is the other category. This method, in general, uses some type of absorbent material (each company seems to have their own unique product) that is combined with a small amount of water. The wetted material is then spread over the carpet and usually agitated into the carpet with a machine. The dirt and oils in the carpet are attached to this material (a process called encapsulation) which then dries on its own. It's then vacuumed up and the carpets are dry in 1-2 hours. Some of these companies advertise heavily as 'green' due to the organic nature of their products.
The most common concern with both these methods is the amount of cleaning residue left on the carpet. It all sounds good in theory but customer reviews are mixed. One comment likened it to washing your hair by sprinkling on a cleaning shampoo and just combing it out.
Carpet steam cleaning has been around for years and is still the 'king of the hill' for deep, penetrating carpet cleaning. The combination of hot water and cleaning agents forced into the carpet under pressure then immediately vacuumed out is hard to beat.
New advances in the way truck mounts mix the chemicals with the water and deliver it to the wand tip have improved overall efficiency while reducing the amount of chemicals needed. Also, wand design and the use of glides, in addition to powerful vacuums, helps get most of the water out of the carpet. This helps eliminate the problem of excess wetting and improves drying times.
The choice for which carpet cleaning method to provide is not an easy one. Customers are more demanding that ever and the array of products and equipment keeps getting bigger. You may have to offer both to satisfy the needs of all your customers. Either way, it's a good idea to learn about all the various methods so you can make the right decision for your business.
So it is clear that not all carpet cleaning methods in Sacramento CA are the same. Now that the different methods are clearly outlined, it's time to figure out which one will work best in your own home. Choose wisely, as different methods will affect different types of carpet in various ways.