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Carpet Cleaning Challenges

There are so many different types of carpeting available today that choosing the wrong cleaning method can result in worsening things or even causing damages to a carpet. General maintenance can be done simply by regular vacuuming, but after that the challenges can occur. Carpets that exhibit spots and stains, traffic wear, and embedded hard dirt, are special challenges. Most essential in determining the correct cleaning method is to identify the type of carpet and it construction.

Professional carpet cleaners are trained to identify types of carpets and the best cleaning method to use. Using the wrong cleaning method can leave the carpet in a worse condition. Examples of unwanted cleaning results include:

  • Color fading, bleaching
  • Fiber elimination, carpet thinning
  • Warping, edge lifting
  • Shrinking the carpet
  • Conglomerating of fibers
  • Dirt getting trapped under the loops
  • Creating moisture, mildew and mold
  • Chemicals used creating health hazards, allergies
  • Damaging the environment

Knowledgeable carpet cleaners use the tools and methods to deal with the problems. They know that each job is different. Performing a good job entails using modern machines and cleaning chemicals that are certified green products, safe to human as well as the environment.

A professional carpet cleaner may use one or a combination of cleaning methods:

  • Dry-cleaning
  • Dry compound scrubbing
  • Steam cleaning extraction
  • Encapsulation deep cleaning
  • Bonnet, for serious spill type stains
  • Wet shampoo, the old standard

Carpet cleaning methods include a combination of strong commercial vacuuming, pre-conditioners, green detergents, rinsing agents, safe chemicals, oxygen boosters, and machines that can rotate, agitate, extricate dirt and residuals, and fast drying.

Commercial carpets are usually different from those used in the home. Typically commercial carpets get more traffic and heavier use, they are low loop and tightly loomed. The fibers used in commercial applications are typically made of olefin, a man made material that has been proven to take much traffic. Commercial carpets made of olefin are characterized by their low absorbent capabilities and stain resistance.

Commercial carpets are very hard to clean. A much more aggressive cleaning method needs to be employed. Dirt tends to accumulate deep inside the loops, becoming trapped and hard to reach. Challenging carpets such as this need strong commercial vacuuming and preconditioning. The machines used agitate the carpet to loosen dirt and help make successful extraction.

Many homes use Berber carpeting, but not all Berbers are made the same. Berbers are made with many types of yarn; some contain olefin fibers; others contain wool, nylon, and cotton. Using the wrong cleaning method can cause problems for this type of carpet.

No matter what cleaning method is used, professional carpet cleaners abide by a set of industry approved good practices:

  • Vacuum first. This means using commercial grade vacuums that can lift as much loose soil as possible.
  • Choose the correct preconditioner and amount for the type of carpet.
  • Method used should not help dirt to go down into the carpet.
  • If initial cleaning results are not acceptable, re-apply preconditioner, or consider another method.
  • Make sure to do a final rinse, removal of chemical residuals.
  • Make sure the carpet is fully dry, use commercial fans.

A professional carpet cleaner knows the chemistry of the detergents and chemicals. For example some of the detergents are alkaline, which means that an acid rinse needs to be done afterwards in order to neutralize the products. Not balancing the chemicals properly can result in long term damage to the carpet.

The types of carpets out there today coupled with the available and sometimes confusing choices for cleaning, make it essential to become knowledgeable with the subject.  Your carpet investment may depend on it. It is not all bad, there is plenty of help. Doing a little research and getting free estimates from various professional carpet cleaning companies can help in the long way. In the mean time, remember to get into the habit of regular vacuuming, daily if the carpet is heavily used, or weekly for most homes. You want to vacuum the loose dirt that is on top of the carpet and hasn’t had a chance to penetrate lower into the yarn. Skipping this chore will make carpet cleaning another challenge to deal with in the future.

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