What is the best way to clean carpet? The carpet manufacturers are almost unanimous: Hot Water Extraction, or more commonly called steam cleaning. Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends only hot water extraction. Truck-mount units are preferable since portable units don't have the same suction power, water psi, or heat capacity. The portable units were originally designed for high rise office buildings were you have commercial grade carpeting with no padding.
There are several variations of a method called Dry Cleaning. It's worth mentioning that none of these methods rinsing your carpet when finished. Can you imagine what your laundry would feel and look like if it didn't have a rinse cycle. One method uses a foam that dries in your carpet and is then vacuum up. It is debatable whether all the residue is extracted from the carpet.
Another variation of Dry Cleaning uses a large bottom that spins. This is suppose to absorb the dirt in your carpet. Obviously, there are some questions as to how deeply this method can clean your carpet. If you have ever tried to clean up a spill by rubbing a towel over the carpet area then you have some idea why this method is questionable. Finally, there is a compound that looks like wet saw dust. A machine brushes this into your carpet, where the dirt is suppose to adhere to it. When it is dry, it is vacuumed out.
STEAM CLEANING CARPET:
The correct term us hot water extraction (it looks like steam) and it is the best way to clean carpet. A good truck mount hot water extraction unit forces hot water into the carpet under high pressure (300-500psi), and then sucks it out thoroughly. This method has the following advantages:
1). The high heat used kills bacteria, fungus, mold, and dust mites; Above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, every 18 degree rise changes chemical reactivity by 100%. We typically clean carpets between 180-220 degrees Fahrenheit. It it worth noting that bacteria will die at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
2). Done correctly it won't leave a residue that can actually attract dirt and ultimately damage your carpet;
3). High pressure rinsing cleans carpet more deeply;
4). A strong vacuum system will clean the carpet deeper and will dry out faster.
Bottom line it is just the best way to clean carpet, rugs, and upholstery.
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