Although vacuum cleaning can remove a majority of the dry soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a frequent basis to remove the oily, sticky soil that builds up in the pile as a result of odors and dirt that is tracked in from outside.
If you can clean the carpet before it becomes too bad, the cleaning chore will be easier to do and a lot more successful. There is a myth that is totally false, which states that cleaning the carpet before it is necessary will get it dirtier faster. The carpet with the typical household should be cleaned every 6-12 months depending on the number of people living there and the amount of traffic that walks on the carpet.
The choice of the right vacuum is important as well. There are some vacuums that will leave residues behind, which will promote re-soiling and basically defeat the whole purpose of household cleaning.
Professional carpet cleaners
It is in your best interest to use professional cleaners simply because their experience will enable them to do a much better job than you can do yourself. The equipment they use has more extraction power than the units available to you, and the carpet will dry faster as well. They know the cleaning agents to use, and they know the differences in carpet construction and fibers.
Doing it yourself
If you have made the decision to rent a steam cleaning machine and do the job yourself, you should check on several systems before you make a selection. Most of the units available for rent don't clean well enough and may end up damaging your carpet. Therefore, you should always consider the following:
- Several rental companies offer cleaning equipment that is similar to what the professionals use. The equipment should have enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry within 12 hours of cleaning. You should always avoid rental units found in retail and grocery stores that don't have the power to extract the cleaning solution from the carpet fast enough, as it can actually damage the carpet due to over wetting.
- Make sure you avoid over wetting the carpet. Any prolonged dampness can lead to mildew growth and bacteria in the carpet, or cause a seperation of the backing. A wet carpet that stays this way for longer than 24 hours can develop problems. You can control this by using proper equipment and the right training.
- Carpets that have stain resistant treatments have to be cleaned with products that are formulated for this very purpose, or the stain resistance will be impaired and the warranty will be voided. Never use cleaning or spotting solutions that contain bleaches as they can mess up the color of the carpet.
- Never use any silicone based treatments on the carpet.
- You can help to reduce the drying time by using several fans to move the air around the carpet. You can use a dehumidifier as well, as it will pull moisture from the air.
Hot water extraction
The hot water extraction system is highly recommended, as it considered to be one of the best methods for carpet cleaning. Also known as steam cleaning, the process consists of spraying a mixture of water and detergent into the pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum that puts it into a holding tank. You can use a truck mounted unit or a portable self contained unit as well. This method is easily one of the best, and is ideal for soiled carpets or pet stains that you have yet to get out of the fibers.