The Clean Truth About Carpet Cleaning
It seems at any given time of year there’s a compelling reason to have your carpets cleaned. The winter is finally over; let’s do some spring-cleaning! It’s Back to School time; let’s tidy up the house! The Holiday season is upon us, let’s get the house freshened up before those family visits start! Or depending on what your family is like…it’s post New Year; time to clean up after the family visits! But with all the “professionals” out there vying for your business and with so many different methods of carpet cleaning, it can get very confusing. After all, it’s no small investment to have good quality carpet professionally installed in your home…you should protect that investment so it can look, feel and smell like new as long as possible. So what is really the best method and when is really the best time to get these carpets cleaned?
Let’s start by defining “carpet cleaning.” Based on slews of carpet manufacturer testing, recommendations and requirements, we know today that all carpet – regardless of fiber content – should be professionally hot water extracted, not “shampooed” or cleaned with any type of soap. Soap leaves a sticky residue on the surface of the yarns in your carpet, turning it into a dirt magnet. The immediate result of cleaning your carpet with soaps can be dramatically improved look, but very shortly after the process they become soiled much worse than before the process was done!
Homeowners errantly blame the carpet thinking its stain treatment is gone or performing poorly, when in fact the stain treatment is being smothered by layers of sticky soap. The correct way to really clean your carpet while still allowing the stain treatment to do its job is to use very hot water with a high level of pressure and suction. Certified carpet-cleaning companies will have the knowledge and professional truck mounted systems to do it the right way. Don’t forget that they can also give all your area rugs and upholstered furniture a thorough cleaning in your home while cleaning your installed carpet!
Worried about being left with soaking wet carpet or that you can’t move all that furniture around for the process? Properly trained professional carpet cleaners will be able to move your large furnishings out and back in raised up on special foam feet after the cleaning. They will leave your carpet simply damp, not soaking wet so that it can be walked on immediately and completely dry in less than 24 hours depending on the humidity level in your home and the time of year.
But what about seriously stinky, dirty carpet you ask? Sure there is a point of no return when it comes to carpet…especially if your carpet has been severely neglected for years. But pet stains, odors and oil based stains can be eradicated from your carpet with some additional attention beyond hot water extraction. Be sure you point those areas out when your professional cleaning crew arrives so they can be given the extra attention they require. Eco friendly, natural enzyme sprays can be applied to kill odor-causing bacteria and will continue to work on your smelly carpet issues even months after the pros are gone! Cleaning solutions equally safe for pets and children such as TEC spot cleaner can be used on those oily stains prior to the hot water extraction or even as touch up in between professional cleanings.
And now’s the time you hope you chose your carpet pad wisely. The right carpet pad not only gives your carpet a stable foundation to help it wear evenly, but it can also make your home a cleaner and healthier place. It allows the stains to truly be removed with spot extraction rather than continuing to wick up through the carpet, pad or even subfloor. In addition to making stain removal a snap, a pad with a moisture barrier allows all those dusty grimy allergens to be vacuumed out instead of becoming trapped down inside and under the pad. Some carpet pads even have fancy odor fighting enzymes applied to the moisture barrier so they work 24/7 to kill bacteria and dissipate stains and odors.
Outside of leaving it squeaky clean and fresh, there is another very important reason to have your carpet professionally hot water extracted. It actually revives your carpet, reactivating the memory in the fibers so that it looks newer and less “tired.” Many home owners believe the only time your carpet needs professional hot water extraction is to clean it, not true. In fact, carpet manufacturers require routine professional hot water extraction for warranty fulfillment every 18-24 months relative not only to stain and soil warranties, but also for texture retention and abrasive wear warranties.
If you’ve had your carpet for longer than two years and have not had it professionally hot water extracted yet, don’t call your carpet retail store to look into a claim of any sort…first call your professional carpet cleaning company to do a hot water extraction. All carpet will absolutely begin to lay down and look tired out in high traffic areas with time and use…some constructions and fiber types more quickly than others. But with proper vacuuming and regular hot water extraction, you will be following the manufacturer’s recommendations and doing everything you can to ensure your carpet has a long beautiful life.
When purchasing new carpet, be sure you get your carpet’s specific warranty and care information. This should include vacuuming do’s and don’ts, spot stain treatment instructions and the recommended time in between hot water extraction cleanings. Contact your local certified carpet cleaning professionals at H.J. Martin and Son to schedule your hot water extraction today…whatever the time of year!