Carpet Shampooing vs Steam Cleaning:
Just about every week we get calls for carpet cleaning, and at least one person will ask us if we "shampoo the carpet"? I always chuckle because carpet shampooing was invented in the 1970s when I was still in junior high school. Wet Shampoos, or carpet shampooing, were once formulated with coconut oils. The carpet was wetted with this shampoo and it was scrubbed with a rotary machine, followed by wet vacuuming. It took hours if not days to completely dry, and it was a very labor intensive process. Today synthetic detergents based shampoos are used instead. The shampoo is still scrubbed with a rotary machine but the shampoo is dried to a powder. The client vacuums up the shampoo and hopefully the dirt the NEXT DAY.
Steam cleaning on the other hand is completely different and it is also the only carpet cleaning method recommended by the manufactures of carpet. Not only do they recommend steam cleaning but you will VOID your carpet's warranty IF you use any other methods. Depending on who you talk to most agree that residential carpets should be cleaned every 6-12 months.
Steam cleaning, or more accurately "Hot Water Extraction', uses hot water under pressure to thoroughly clean your carpets. First the carpets should be thoroughly vacuumed and the carpet raked to untangle matted fibers. Imagine if your hair was matted and dirty, you would first comb it out so that it can be properly cleaned. Second you want to treat spots and stains with special chemicals to release them from the fibers. Third a carpet pre-spray should be applied over all carpet surfaces that need to be cleaned. Here at Liberty Floor Solutions we include sodium borate into our cleaning solution because it is an all natural disinfectant. It will knock out any and all bacteria, athlete's foot, etc. Next the carpets should be flushed with hot steamy water, and the water and dirt is extracted at the same time. About 90% of the water is removed when done properly. In the hot water rinse we include a chelation agent, a deodorizer, and a conditioner. The chelation agent removes hard water deposits, the deodorizer makes the carpet smell nice, and the conditioner returns the carpet to a pH neutral state - the carpet will be soft and fluffy when it is dried. Finally you always want to re-set the carpet knap, apply carpet protectant and a final application of deodorizer.
As you can see there are some major differences in the two cleaning processes, maybe that is why the results are dramatically different too.