The best carpet cleaning method that will effectively clean any carpet?
It is a growing trend that Singaporeans are putting carpets to accessorize our homes. We had acquire finer taste and demand more in our standard of living. It is no wonder why that companies like Crate & Barrel, Hip Van who sells quality designer furnishing are so popular in Singapore. Just look at their rugs section, they look like big pieces of art isn’t it?
While we invested in such beautiful carpets for our homes. Like many things in life, they gets old and need maintenance. But what is the best way to clean and maintain our carpets? Here we will discuss the most popular carpet cleaning methods and which is the best carpet cleaning method.
1) Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning ( “steam cleaning”)
This method is also popularly known as Carpet steam cleaning. It is a little misleading because often, it involves no steam. How Hot Water Extraction works is as the name suggest, the cleaning process uses hot water. The typical cleaning process involve preconditioning the carpet surface, agitating and loosening the soil, debris and dirt in the carpet. Hot water with high pressure is sprayed on the carpet and extracted by a vacuum at the same time. Thus washing and removing the dirt and debris effectively.
It is the one of the most common and effective method in the market. Many considered this as one of the best carpet cleaning method because it is a thorough cleaning process. The high water temperature also sanitizes the carpet, which kills bacteria and pest like dust mites effectively. This method is especially suitable for families with young kids or people who allergy issue.
Hot Water Extraction Method does not work on all carpets , due to different nature and color of the carpet. Silk carpet is one good example that this method cannot be use. Silk is a very delicate material and hot water can damage the fabric and discolor it. This method also uses quite a bit of water during the cleaning process. If not done properly, the carpet will be left too damp causing odor, mold growth and other headaches. Thus good ventilation and dry process is critical.
As this method is a rather thorough and tedious process; and the extraction and drying process goes hand in hand, it is best to left be done by professional carpet cleaners, who have the experience and good tools to find the right balance to make the cleaning process effective.
2) Carpet Shampooing
Carpet shampooing is one of the earliest modern carpet cleaning method. It is a popular cleaning method that cleans first with rotary machines and then wet vacuuming.
It was a popular method until the 1970s when encapsulation technology was introduced. The method is similar to Hot Water Extraction. The difference is that no additional clean water to rinse and extract dirt from carpet simultaneously. The problem with this method is it leaves behind excessive moisture and soap residues after cleaning. This cause the carpet to take a long time to dry, often 2-3 days. After the drying, the carpet often becomes sticky, making it appears ‘dirtier’ after cleaning. As a result, the carpet has the tendency to soil quickly after cleaning. This is why carpet wet shampooing is not regarded as one of the best carpet cleaning solution in the industry.
Today some older generation carpet cleaning companies are still using this method. However often when people talks about carpet shampooing, they aren’t talking about the tradition carpet shampooing. It is usually with a combination of the water extraction or other method
3) Dry Carpet Cleaning
Also known as Dry Compound Cleaning, is a type of Very Low Moisture Cleaning Method (VLM). The method isn’t totally dry, it involves using a cleaning solvent to dissolve and absorb dirt to the compound. After a short drying time, carpet cleaner vacuum away the debris. The process sound easy and convenient. You may even hear the dry carpet cleaner saying the solution is biogradable, anti allergy – it is not exactly so.
First work the compound into the carpet using a specialized brushing machine. The carpet may look clean and dry quickly after cleaning. And from a professional stand point – this method indeed save a lot of time and drying headaches. However it is not as effective as hot water extraction method.
Problem with dry carpet cleaning
The common problem with dry carpet cleaning is that the compound itself is very difficult to remove after the cleaning. The residue often associates with allergies. Don’t get me wrong, the carpet will look cleaner and even feel cleaner. However the tiny residues that cannot be easily seen by the eyes are often trapped in the carpet. Dry cleaners often claim the compound to be biodegradable, anti dust mite.However the same biodegradable residue often traps in carpet after cleaning. This often causes allergy problems. And due to the nature of the compound, it may cause discoloration of the carpet.
Another limitation of dry carpet cleaning is that it cannot remove odor or stains. It is like taking a dry powdered bath without actually taking a shower. Yes you may feel clean after being powdered all over, the fragrance of the powder may even cover the odor. But is it as effective as actually taking a bath? Not exactly the best carpet cleaning method I guess.
Wow.. is dry carpet cleaning that bad..? Not really, it still have it’s advantages. In my opinion, dry carpet cleaning is great for place where it’s fast moving with high volume of people. This maybe the best carpet cleaning solution for cafes, shopping malls and likes where down time cannot be afforded. However for homes with children, elderly, eczema and allergy problems, you may want to avoid this method for health reasons.
Encapsulation is also a type of VLM cleaning system. It uses specialty detergent polymers to bind dirt to form tiny crystals which turns into powder when it dries. The cleaning process involves spraying the encapsulation chemical onto the carpet using rotary or cylindrical brush machine. After the soil and dirt particles crystallizes, the dirt particles were loosen and released from the carpet fibre. Then finally brush away or vacuum the dirt normally.
Like the above mentioned dry cleaning method, it is faster and dryer method. It is more environmentally friendly comparing to traditional carpet shampooing. This is because the residue breaks away from the carpet fibers easily and thus leaving behind less chemical residue.
Many carpet cleaners accepts encapsulation cleaning as it has shown good cleaning results like dry cleaning method but it has its limitations. It is not effective in giving thorough cleaning especially for heaving soiled carpets.
5) Dry Foam Cleaning
Again it is not completely dry since the foam is 90% air and 10% liquid. It involves applying a cleaning foam agent to the surface of the carpet and vacuumed out immediately. This type of cleaning is suitable for water sensitive fabrics that water based cleaning methods cannot clean. Dry foam cleaning requires a specialized machine to get the job done.
6) Bonnet Cleaning
Bonnet cleaning is a popular method in hotels because it is fast to clean and dry. Thus preventing down time and inconvenience to the guests of the hotel. The operator first applies a mist of detergent to the bonnet, then scrubs with the chemical in a rotating motion. It works like a floor buffer, with an oscillating pad that attracts the dirt and rinses repeatedly.
The process of bonnet cleaning requires some serious skills. First apply enough detergent to lubricate the bonnet or it will ruin the pile. If overwet, the residues left behind will worsen the carpet’s condition than before. Replace the bonnet frequently. Once it fills with grime, the cleaning will be ineffective
One major flaw of bonnet cleaning is that it does not really clean the carpet at all. The carpet may look ‘clean’ on the surface but it is not. This is due to the fact the bonnet cleaning only cleans the surface, 1/8th of an inch deep. Dirt beneath the carpet resurfaces quickly. That said, it is still the best carpet cleaning method to be used on thin and sturdy carpeting. It is ideal for commercial offices and shops where low down time is critical. Complemented with this cleaning method with sanitization for more effective results.
So what is the best carpet cleaning method?
In a nutshell, hot water extraction is most ideal for effective deep cleaning result. However, there is no one best carpet cleaning method per se. Every cleaning method has it’s pro and con. Depending on the carpet material, who’s using it and for what situation, any cleaning methods can be the perfect method. On the wrong type of carpet, one method may damage the carpet tile. It is more important to engage the knowledgeable and reliable carpet cleaning company who understands your concern and suit your needs.
Not sure what type of carpet cleaning is best for you? Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.