Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning vs Dry Carpet Cleaning
Monday, April 9, 2012
A common misconception is that one method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. You can choose from two primary methods: Dry Cleaning or Hot Water Extraction.
There are several types of dry cleaning with varying degrees of effectiveness.
DRY CLEANING: First, I’ll explain dry cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothing. This is not true.
Clothes are dry cleaned with an intense solvent cleaner called “Perc” (a product that has been show to cause cancer). Solvents like Perc are waterless liquids and they are not used in carpet cleaning because the solvent oils in the solution dissolve the latex glues that bind carpet yarns to the backing.
The truth is…all carpet cleaning methods use water in one form or another. Some use less water than others.
The reasons some companies use low moisture cleaning methods are: 1) They dry fast, 2) They are easy to produce, 3) Technicians can work very fast, 4) The price is cheaper than a properly done hot water extraction process.
Four Methods of “DRY” or Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning.
DRY FOAM METHOD: When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, he applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then sucks the dried shampoo into a 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 a residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very effective.
DRY CHEMICAL PROCESS: 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 pad (called a bonnet) on your carpet. Using a rotary 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, its not very effective.
DRY COMPOUND CLEANING: 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. Products such as Capture, Host, Kobosan and Spotless are Dry Compound Cleaners.
ENCAPSULATION METHOD: Similar to the dry foam method the cleaning solution mechanically lifts the dirt to the surface of a light foam. Then when the carpet’s dry, an acrylic polymer additive in the cleaning solution crystallizes. Then it cracks off the fiber when the vacuum runs over the carpet. This method is NEW and seems to work well especially on commercial carpets. Not a restorative remedy.
Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning
This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet fibers and then extracted out of the carpet with a powerful vacuum system. This method is also referred to as “steam cleaning” even though actual steam is not used.
RESEARCH SAYS RINSING IS BEST: The main benefit to hot water extraction cleaning is the FLUSHING action of the water moving through the fibers. SHAW Industries (the world’s biggest carpet manufacturer) recently did testing on professional cleaning systems and determined that the amount of soil removed from a carpet is directly proportional to the AMOUNT or volume of water used to RINSE the carpet after cleaning products were applied.
Of course a powerful vacuum system must be used to remove soiled water!
Professional Cleaning Companies compete based on the systems they use to clean carpets. Here are two types of hot water extraction systems.
Portable extraction, which is done with a 5-12 gallon machine. Generally these units are under-powered to deliver adequate water flow. These units generally don’t produce much heat. Portable systems can deliver exceptional results IF the technician is experienced and knowledgeable.
Truck mount extraction: a large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van. These systems work well because they take advantage of three mechanical advantages to make cleaning fast and efficient. 1) The truck generates 190-260 degree heat (which aids tremendously in soil removal). 2) Cleaning products are automatically fed into the machine at a precise rate. 3) The truck contains water tanks for fresh and wastewater.
Not surprisingly, hot water extraction cleans much better than the other processes because it shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at a higher pressure — which breaks up the dirt, bacteria and pollens.
Then the machine uses high-velocity suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet.
No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a high volume extraction unit. A Clean Solution, LLC uses the most powerful truck mounted cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that thoroughly cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.
There are several misconceptions about Hot Water Extraction Cleaning: 1) it causes mold and mildew, our system is so efficient at removing water that the carpet dries typically dries within 2 hours; 2) it shortens the life of a carpet, if carpet manufacturers require this method to maintain 15 year warranties, enough said. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely — in the same way that a person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than a person who takes only a sponge bath, in fact, not only does hot water clean better, faster and with less cleaning agents. It also dries much quicker and even SANITIZES your carpet. This makes your home or office free of DUST MITES and other harmful microorganisms for a safer, healthier environment. (Wool carpet must always be cleaned with lower temperature and milder cleaning solutions.)
Contact us at 919-878-1915 for appointments.