Frequently Asked Questions
- Should I wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet?
No. Dirt is an abrasive - like sandpaper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps -- by itself, it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.
- The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt.
No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust -- and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up - you guessed it - in your carpet. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems - one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus and chemicals in your carpet.
In addition, as you may know, tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical compound, 43 of which cause cancer. And even if you don’t smoke, those chemicals get on your shoes, you track them into your home, and you leave them in your carpet. If you’re sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you’ll breath easier after you hire a company to get those harmful chemicals out of your carpet. So, in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpet is to get rid of pollens, fungus, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco smoke.
- I believe one method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. You can choose from two primary methods: Dry Cleaning or Hot Water Extraction.
First, I’ll explain Dry Cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothing. This is not true. All carpet cleaning methods use water in one form or another. Here are the three methods of dry cleaning carpet.
When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, he applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then sucks the dried shampoo into vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method can leave residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very effective.
The dry-chem method is similar to dry foam. The major difference is that when dry-chem is used, the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins from side to side, absorbing the dirt that’s in the carpet. After the bonnet is saturated with dirt, another cotton bonnet is applied. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet. Like dry foam, it’s not very effective.
The dry-compound method spreads an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust all over your carpeting. Then the machine brushes the mixture into the carpet, which in theory causes dirt to absorb into the mixture. When the mixture has dried, a vacuum cleaner sucks the material out of the carpeting. Because the carpet is not rinsed in any way, this method is not very effective.
The second carpet cleaning method is called Hot water extraction. This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then sucked out of the carpet. This method is also referred to as steam cleaning even though steam is not used.
Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction and you can choose from two different types: portable extraction, which is done with a small machine, or truck mount extraction which means the large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van.
Not surprisingly, the truck mount extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature - and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at a higher pressure - which breaks up the dirt, bacteria and pollens. Then the machine uses high suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet. This is the method my company uses.
No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a hot-water unit mounted in a truck. It’s the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that thoroughly cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.
Methods that use cold and even warm water remove dirt-- but are not as effective as the hot-water truck mount method.
Some people believe that hot water damages a carpet, but this isn’t true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely -- in the same way that the person who showers and then rinsed off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath.