Carpet Cleaning – Wet Or Dry?

Carpet Cleaning – Wet Or Dry?

The Carpet & Rug Institute recommends that you should clean your carpet – with a wet or a dry extraction method – on average every 18 months or so. Normally standard carpet maintenance is practiced by most people or organizations. This means regular vacuuming as well as on the spot cleaning as and when particular stains or spills occur.

There are some carpet cleaning methods used professionally. A complete vacuum application should be made prior to using any of these methods which makes it easier for the overall cleaning exercise.

Carpet Shampooing – Wet Clean. The carpet cleaning machine (either cylindrical foam or rotary shampoo) generates a lot of foam in the carpet, stirring the dirt and stains up into the foam. This is then left to dry, perhaps overnight, after which it is removed with a vacuum cleaner.

Carpet Absorbents – Dry Clean. A dry powder is sprinkled over the carpet and then spread into it with a machine, so that it penetrates. This powder contains detergent, solvent, an absorbent and very little water. For heavily soiled areas it is spread about by means of a spray, which is then rubbed in. Finally a complete and profound vacuuming is applied.

Steam Cleaning. This method is not only the most widely recommended by manufacturers, it is also the only one that lives up to the “deep cleaning” description as it is capable of extracting soil set deep into the carpet. A fine spray of hot water mixed with detergent is applied to the carpet and this moves and blends in the dirt with the solution, however deep it may be. A very powerful vacuum extracts the hot water and stores this in a tank. A portable system can be brought into the house, or alternatively a truck mounted system is used, with extra long hoses that allow the extraction to the holding tanks in the truck.

Manufactures recommend the steam cleaning option, but so long as it is conducted by a professional, not necessarily for doing it yourself. Additionally this is a practical solution for offices and commercial enterprises. For residential needs, where traffic and therefore potential soiling is much less, it is not necessarily the best option once you take into account the costs.

Regarding carpet shampooing and the dry clean method, both these methods are surface cleaners, not “deep cleaning” methods. This means that some of the dirt and the detergent will be left behind.

Imagine you are washing your hair. You finished applying the shampoo and then you proceed to rinse it out. In a carpet some of the shampoo will always remain behind. And the problem with this is that if it is not dried out completely and the water extracted out, the damp yarn will always attract and capture more dirt. This is why after a wet cleaning, circles with slight dirt rings appear a few days later. With a dry clean this will not happen (if instructions are followed properly).

Before you decide on the method you could use, and after exhausting the continuous vacuuming and preventive measures, check out local prices of a professional service or the hiring of the necessary equipment.