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by Jason Neale
Deciding whether or not to have your carpets dry cleaned or steam cleaned can be a difficult decision. Both methods work well if done correctly. This is the important thing to remember – it will always come down to the operator doing the clean.
Steam cleaning is a very effective way to clean carpets. It gets deep down to the base of the carpet fibres and also cleans the surface. But some people have been put off steam cleaning because they have had a bad experience in the past. If a steam clean has been done correctly and by a professional company with the latest up to date cleaning machines, then they shouldn’t take too long to dry.
In most cases, a steam clean will take about 1-2 hours to dry. This is if the carpets are not too heavily soiled. If there is a lot of dirt through the traffic areas, then it can mean the cleaner will have to use the steam at a higher pressure resulting in the carpets taking slightly longer to dry out. But even in this situation, it shouldn’t take more than about 4-5 hours to dry.
An experienced carpet cleaner could easily have the carpets dry before they leave the house. This may also depend on the weather somewhat. After a steam clean, the carpets should never be sopping wet. If this occurs, then the machine used has a problem or the cleaner has rushed through the job.
With dry cleaning, the results can be as good as if they were steam cleaned. But the thing to understand here is that dry cleaning isn’t really dry cleaning. The reason for this is because a wet cleaning solution if still used to clean the carpets with. The solution is applied to the surface of the carpet and then agitated with an orbital machine with a scrubbing brush attached to it.
After the carpet has been thoroughly scrubbed with the orbital machine, it is then buffed with a cotton pad that absorbs the dirt and moisture from the carpet. When doing a carpet dry clean, the important thing is to do a thorough pre vacuum of all the carpets or rugs to be clean. By doing the vacuum, it is releasing the loose dirt within the carpet.
When dry or steam cleaning, deodorisers and sanitisers can be applied during or after the cleaning process. With either cleaning method, your carpets can be left feeling and looking fresh and clean again.
Removing stains with a dry or steam clean is much the same. The main difference is that the solution used to remove stains when dry cleaning would have a crystallisation affect to it. This is so it can absorb the stain and then be removed with the cotton pad at the end stage of the dry cleaning process, whereas the solutions used to remove stains with a steam clean can be extracted out with the dirty water.
Sometimes it’s best only to do a steam clean. This has to be determined by the cleaner when they arrive at the property being cleaned. With stains such as oils or urine that may have seeped into the underlay of the carpet, then a steam clean or hot water extraction is going to be the best method as this method will extract the affected areas fully, leaving no trace of the stains and more importantly the smell associated with the stain.
With stains such as vomit or urine, the smell can be the hardest part to remove. Using an extraction machine is the only way to fully remove the odour from a carpet.
Carpet dry cleaning is not the best method for removing stains or odors that have worked their way down to the base or underlay of the carpet. This is because dry cleaning has no way of effectively removing the mark because there is no suction with a dry clean. Using a carpet cleaning company that can do both methods and that understand in which situation to use either method is very important.
Some carpet types can favour a dry clean and some may favour a steam clean. Knowing how to identify the many different carpet types we have in the world today is a big part of a cleaners work. Knowing what sort of fibre is being cleaned can determine the type of clean to do and will also mean the job can be done more efficiently, saving the customer time and money. This is where a cheap carpet cleaning company can just end up costing a customer more money in the long run. Because if the right cleaning technique isn’t used, it can mean the carpets will need cleaning again by another company as the stains may not have been fully removed.
Too many people get court out by a cheap carpet cleaner that has no experience in the cleaning industry. The carpet cleaning industry is not regulated so this means that anyone can start up a business and go out and start cleaning carpets, rugs or upholstery with no experience at all.