Today there are several carpet cleaning methods used by different professional carpet cleaning companies and households. Each type of cleaning has its own advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you choose by listing the most common methods and describing their advantages and disadvantages.
Basically, carpet cleaning methods can be divided into two categories: wet cleaning and dry cleaning. Wet cleaning involves hot water extraction and cleaning with an absorbent mat. Dry cleaning involves the use of powders or chemical foams applied by machines equipped with brushes, pads, or rotating cylinders.
(a) Hot water extraction or deep steam cleaning.
The carpet is first pre-treated with a chemical agent to saponify or liquefy any substance containing dirt or oil. Water at near-boiling temperature and pressure of 50 to 500 psi is then applied to the carpet, and after an appropriate soak time (usually 10 to 15 minutes), the resulting solution is extracted with a vacuum of 5 to 14 inches HG.
– Removes contaminants deep within the carpet.
– Allows the use of high temperatures, pressures, and chemical concentrates.
– Allows longer reaction times for cleaning solvents.
– The chemical reaction is facilitated by agitation with a cutter or extraction nozzle.
– This method is most often recommended by carpet manufacturers, cleaning experts, and professionals.
– Relatively long drying time. This can be reduced by the use of powerful equipment by skilled professionals.
– Expensive equipment is usually required for maximum efficiency.
– Relatively high cost
(b) Cleaning with an absorbent mat.
This method, commonly referred to as beanie cleaning, is most often used for routine light maintenance, but also for regular carpet cleaning. The carpet is first vacuumed, then sprayed with a chemical solution using a hand pump or electric sprayer. The solution remains on the carpet for a certain contact time. An absorbent pad or towel-like cover is placed on the drive unit of the floor rotation machine and rotated over the carpet surface at a speed of 100 to 300 revolutions per minute. During this process, the carpet fibers are impregnated with a chemical solution and then collected along with the dirt.
– Fast. Simple. Cost-effective.
– Excellent results on lightly soiled carpets.
– Cleans only the top third of the carpet fibers. Cannot penetrate deeper.
– Dirt and chemicals accumulate on the underside of the carpet fibers near the backing.
(a) Cleaning with an absorbent medium.
A powder mixed with special solvents and detergents is applied to the carpet and penetrates the fibers with a special machine equipped with rotating brushes. The powder absorbs the dirt and leaves it on the carpet for 10 to 15 minutes, after which it is absorbed.
– A very simple system. No special technical training is required.
– Very fast drying time. It takes about 20 minutes to get the carpet back in working order.
– Powder can linger in plush carpets and build up over time.
– This usually causes excess dust in the room.
– Deep cleaning of the carpet is not possible.
(b) Dry foam or rotary shampoo method.
A foaming surfactant is applied to the carpet to form a solution or suspension of the dirt, then whipped into a foam and beaten into the carpet fibers by the rotating brushes of a special machine. After a short dwell time, the foam is removed with a vacuum cleaner.
– Fast. Easy to apply. Cost-effective.
– Excellent circulation due to rotating brushes.
– A small amount of moisture allows the carpet to dry quickly.
– Does not completely remove dirt below the carpet surface.
– High temperatures cannot usually be reached.
– Excessive wetting may occur if equipment malfunctions.
– Brushes can damage carpet fibers, especially on new carpets.
It is helpful to become familiar with these advantages and disadvantages before deciding on a method for cleaning your carpet.
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