July 21, 2014
Have you been considering a professional carpet cleaning? If it has been more than 12 months, you should. According to The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, most households should have their carpets cleaned at least once per year. Households that include pets or smokers should have their carpets professionally cleaned more often than this.
When you start thinking about actually choosing a professional carpet cleaner, you will probably want to know more about the cleaning methods and techniques they use, including the credibility , effectiveness and environmental impact of each method of carpet cleaning. A quick search of the Internet should most produce a selection of local carpet cleaners, each offering their own take on one of three most common carpet cleaning methods – shampooing, “dry cleaning” (using a dry cleaning solution or powder), and hot water extraction which is commonly called steam cleaning.
Of these methods, hot water extraction (Steam Cleaning) is the most popular and the one method of carpet cleaning that all carpet manufacturing mills recommend using. But what Hot Water Extraction? And why is it the most recommended method of cleaning?
Sometimes commonly referred to as “steam cleaning”, hot water extraction involves the use of a stream of highly heated water up to 250 degrees to loosen and force dirt and soil out of the carpet while a vacuum sucks it away. First, excess soil is removed with a dry vacuum. Next, a pressurized, heated, hot water-based cleaning solution is injected into the fibers of the carpet. As the injected solution flushes the dirt and soil from the carpet fibers, it is removed by a high powered wet vacuum.
So is hot water extraction the best choice for your carpet? Here’s what you need to know about this popular carpet cleaning method.
Recommended by Manufacturers
Most major carpet manufacturers recommend hot water extraction as the most effective way to clean their carpets. And for some types of carpet, hot water extraction is the only safe method. Unless you’re sure that your carpet will not be damaged by alternate methods, opt for hot water extraction – better safe than sorry!
Deeper Clean
Hot water extraction offers a much deeper clean than its alternatives, namely shampooing and dry cleaning, which only provide a surface clean. Hot water extraction is also much more effective at removing stains and odors than surface cleaners.
Less Residue
Other carpet cleaning methods—those that involve the use of shampoo, a dry cleaning solution or powder will leave behind large amounts of sticky residue. When performed properly, hot water extraction leaves your carpets virtually residue-free.
Environmentally Friendly
When performed using natural, non-toxic cleaning solutions, hot water extraction can be an safest and eco-friendly approach to carpet cleaning. Many alternative cleaning methods rely on harsh chemicals that can pose health risks for people and pets. Thanks to the power of softened highly-heated water, gentler solutions are sufficient to produce a satisfactory result.
Requires Precision and Skill
When selecting a carpet company that uses the hot water extraction method, be sure that the company provides thorough training and that your technician is experienced. Although hot water extraction is extremely effective, it is a more difficult technique to learn than some of the alternatives, and over wetting can occur if your technician has not been properly trained. Poke around carpet cleaners’ web sites – if their technician training requirements are not mentioned, be sure to ask about them before booking your appointment.

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