The Top Five Carpet Cleaning Methods Compared With Pros And Cons

Carpet Cleaner / January 1, 2016 /

Carpeting is a major investment for most homeowners, it’s important to take care of any investment as best you can, and carpeting is no exception. Most manufacturers will recommend that carpets be professionally cleaned about once every six months, but more often with pets, children, or high dirt and traffic locations. But in addition to that, there are health reasons to keep your carpets cleaned. Failure to keep a clean environment can lead to asthma, bronchitis, and allergies.

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Mold Spores Can Be A Major Allergen And Possibly Dangerous

There are hundreds of different molds that can infect a carpet, especially one that has become damp due to flooding, humidity, spills, or poor cleaning methods. The mold and mildew can attack the dirt and carpet fibers or the backing that hold the carpet together. Most fungi produce millions of spores that can cause sneezing, breathing problems, and in those with allergies serious asthma or worse.

There is also the risk of infection with black mold that can be toxic to the homeowner and any pets in the home. While not all black molds are dangerous, the few that are should be avoided at all cost. Since children tend to play on carpets, they are especially at risk of inhaling the spores, so it’s important always to be on the lookout for hazards at home and when visiting others with carpet.

Dust Mites Are Also A Problem

Any carpet that has organic residue from cooking, pets dander, spills and walking traffic is at risk of harboring dust mites. These are microscopic insect-like creatures that feed on whatever dirt and food they can in your carpet. If you find yourself with a stuffy nose only when in a carpeted room, most likely you’re allergic to dust mites. A thorough cleaning will eliminate them, and you’ll notice the difference.

The Oldest Method Of Carpet Cleaning Is Antiquated

The old method that you may have seen your mother use was to dampen the carpet with water, sprinkle on some laundry detergent, then use a machine with rotating brushes to scrub the carpet. Then after washing every part, a wet vacuum was used to extract the soap and water.

This method works well to clean the upper layer of carpet, but doesn’t deep clean, and because there is no heat, won’t kill many bacteria, molds, dust mites, or flea larvae. It’s also hard to completely extract all of the detergent, which may build up over time and cause more problems when the soap and dirt stick together.

The Improved Detergent Spray On Method

The step up from the rotary scrub brush method is to rent the machine down at the local grocery store that sprays a cleaning agent into the carpet and then immediately extracts the cleaners into the machine. This method is better than the scrubbers, doesn’t leave lots of residue on the carpet, and penetrates deeper as well. It can use hot water, but isn’t steam so that it won’t kill all the bugs, but will clean better than cold water.

Real High-Pressure Steam Cleaning Is Far Better Than Just Hot Water

A typical steam cleaner sprays high-temperature steam deep into the carpet fibers. Steam can be much hotter than any hot water you could use and will immediately kill dust mites, bacteria, molds, and fleas. Plus, the steam is way better at loosening dirt and grime, which is many times nearly glued onto the carpet fibers like candy.

Steam has the added advantage of not using as much water to do the job as the scrubbers or the spray on detergents. When the steam cools, it’s far less water than what would typically come from a standard grocery store rental machine. This makes the extraction quicker and easier, plus the final drying time is considerably shortened as well.

The disadvantage of this method is that It’s not usually something the average homeowner could do himself, the machines are expensive and many times truck mounted, so a professional like¬†http://www.portlandcarpetcleaningllc.com/ will have to be called to do the work. It’s a better process with better results; you may be able to see the difference in quality.

The Store Bought Spray Can Cleaners Are The Last Resort

Those large spray cans that you can buy down at the store are fairly good at cleaning the very top of the carpet, but don’t reach much farther down where most of the dirt lies. They also tend to leave a residue deep down that will eventually have to be cleaned and extracted with a steam cleaner. Plus,¬† you’ll be amazed at the huge quantities of soap and detergents that come out of your carpets if you’ve used these spray cans repeatedly over the years. They will work temporarily though if you need a quick cleanup before guests arrive for the holidays or something similar.

The Dry Carpet Cleaning Method Works Well And Dries Fast

Another method that has been gaining in popularity is one using a dry solvent that has almost no water at all. The solvent is sprayed onto the carpet liberally, and then a machine is used to work it into the deep pile where it loosens and attracts the dirt particles. Then an extraction machine is used to vacuum the solvent and the dirt out of the carpet.

Its advantages are that the solvent kills bacteria, molds, dust mites, and fleas, plus does a decent job of penetrating the fibers. Then after the solvent has been extracted there is no waiting for the carpet to dry; you can put the furniture back in immediately. Plus, it leaves almost no residue or moisture to cause problems at a later time. The solvent is excellent for removing many types of stains that water based detergents have trouble with, so pre-treatments are usually not necessary, saving time and money.

Getting your carpets cleaned is a fairly labor intensive job that requires moving lots of furniture, hauling machines, chemicals, and water or hoses, back breaking work to say the least. Having a professional team do the work for you while you watch is the only way to go if you want the job done right, with the right methods and equipment.


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