Now that you’re ready to clean your carpets, you have to ask yourself two questions. 1. Do you steam clean or dry clean? 2. Do you have the cleaning done professionally or do it yourself?
Steam cleaning, when it’s done well is probably the best process—and the one most often recommended by carpet manufacturers. Being “done well” includes several factors: the water is hot enough, the technician is well trained (best if he’s IICRC Certified), his truck- mounted equipment is in good working order—particularly the vacuum, and the cleaning agents are the correct ones for your carpet. A correctly operating truck-mounted vacuum will reclaim about 95% of the moisture from the cleaning process. This significantly increases soil removal and reduces drying time.
You probably don’t want to try steam cleaning on your own. Most of the home maintenance tools you can buy or rent are unable to generate enough heat, power or suction to really clean your carpet—despite how aggressively they are marketed by their manufacturers. For spot cleaning, they may work well; for a true deep extraction cleaning, invest in a professional cleaner, operating with a truck mounted unit that truly produces steam. For steam to actually reach your carpet, the water must reach about 250 degrees at its source!
It is imperative that all the cleaning agents are well-rinsed and removed—and that in the process, the carpet does not get too wet. Too much water can cause backing separation or leave wrinkles in your carpet. Cleaner residues, if not removed, will accelerate future soiling. You don’t want that!
Take care of your carpet and you will be pleased with the longterm results.