Carpet Cleaning Basics
Carpet Cleaning El Dorado Hills CA is essential for maintaining a healthy home environment. The dirt, dust and allergens that build up in carpet can cause health problems if not removed regularly.
A good rule of thumb is to run your hand over your carpeting; if it feels gritty, it’s due for a professional clean!
Vacuuming removes loose dirt particles, hair strands, and pet dander that may be embedded in your carpet. It also helps prevent dirt buildup that causes your carpets to look dull and dingy. Vacuuming should be done at least once a week and daily in high-traffic areas or homes with pets.
Before vacuuming, move any furniture pieces and toys out of the way. It will make the job go much faster. Start at the furthest corner of the room and work your way across the carpet, overlapping each pass slightly. Make sure to get under furniture as well. The best type of vacuum to use for your carpet is a canister, ideally one that has attachments. This makes it easier to get into corners and around the legs of heavy furniture. The crevice tool can be especially helpful for getting rid of dirt trapped between the floor and baseboards.
Once you’ve finished vacuuming, don’t forget to go back over each area again. This will help to ensure that all the dirt has been sucked up. When vacuuming rugs, be gentle with them to avoid damaging them. Try to work in a grid pattern so you can go over each area twice. This will get your rug as clean as possible and extend its lifespan.
It is important to pre-vacuum before having your carpets cleaned professionally. This will ensure that any dust, soil, or dander is removed before the professionals arrive. It will also make it easier for the professional to vacuum each area of your carpet, as they won’t have to move any furniture or items out of the way.
It is also recommended that you vacuum before having your carpets professionally cleaned if you have pets, as it will help reduce the amount of cleaning residue left in your carpet. This can cause your carpet to look dull and dingy and can lead to mold or mildew in high-moisture areas. Pre-vacuuming will ensure that your carpets are as clean as possible and will allow them to dry quickly after being cleaned.
2. Hot Water Extraction
Hot water extraction, or steam cleaning, is one of the most popular carpet cleaning methods today. It involves injecting hot, water-based cleaner into the pile of the carpet to dissolve dirt and stains before it is extracted by power wet vacuums. The resulting dry carpet requires 6–12 hours to fully dry. It is a much stronger cleaning method than traditional shampooing or dry powder cleaning, and it can effectively eliminate dirt, dust mites, and other harmful bacteria.
Professional hot water extraction cleaning starts with a pre-inspection of the carpet, followed by a test to determine which type of detergent is appropriate for treating the fabric and identifying any stains or soiling. After that, the specialists will apply a pre-spray to agitate and loosen the soil in the carpet fibers before using powerful wet vacuums to extract the dirty solution and the trapped dirt. Hot water extraction is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning,” but it’s important to note that the temperature of the steam does not necessarily reach boiling point and may not be visible at all.
The main reason why hot water extraction is considered a more effective and safer cleaning method than shampooing is because it rinses the carpet thoroughly. It is important to rinse the carpet because residue left behind can attract more dirt and lead to premature wear and tear. The rinsing action provided by this process also allows for better stain removal than shampooing alone.
This type of carpet cleaning typically uses a heated detergent solution that is fed into a special machine through a hose and then into a wand or carpet tool. The wand or carpet tool is then used to spray the detergent solution into the carpet, which then gets extracted by the wet vacuums.
There are various machines that can be used to perform hot water extraction carpet cleaning, ranging from small portable rental units to large truck-mounted units. Regardless of the equipment used, it is imperative that professional technicians have training and knowledge in the proper use of these machines to ensure that carpets are not damaged during the cleaning process. This is particularly important because many synthetic and wool carpets are not colorfast and will fade or bleed if exposed to too much heat or harsh chemicals.
During normal use, carpet fibers collect dirt and dust that becomes embedded. These can become allergens or even contribute to respiratory problems for those with breathing issues. Professional shampooing treatments remove these allergens from the fibers, leaving them fully sanitized. It also helps to wash away mold and mildew that may have grown on carpet padding. This is especially important for those in commercial buildings, where the air can often become quite stuffy.
Getting a good cleaning before these substances have the opportunity to settle into the deeper carpet fibers is essential to maintaining the lifespan of the carpet. If you do have a stain or spill, pretreating it with a carpet stain remover or a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water can help keep the spot from becoming permanent. After the spot is treated, the carpet needs to be thoroughly cleaned with a high-powered vacuum.
A vacuum cleaner will not get all of the dirt out of the carpet, especially if it is trapped between floorboards or underneath furniture. The shampooing treatment used by professional technicians will get all of the buried dirt out of the carpet, as well as any stains. Depending on the type of shampooing method, a wand with a brush may be used to scrub the carpet fibers and the soil that is embedded in them, or the professional may use a bonnet machine that is similar to mopping a floor. This will involve a hose that is attached to the shampooing machine and moves the shampoo, water, and dirt out of the carpeting.
Another benefit of having your carpet shampooed is that it can restore the color and make it look fluffier. The dirt and dinginess that are often trapped in deep fibers can cause the carpet to look dull, muted, and matted down. The hot water extraction process, along with the shampooing, will restore the carpet to its original color and brightness.
The lingering odors that are sometimes present in carpet can be hard to eliminate. Professional carpet cleaners will use the steam created by water to reach these deeply buried odors and force them to the surface for removal. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your home or office smells fresh and clean.
4. Spot removal
With children and pets in most homes, it’s not a matter of if but when a spot will appear on the carpet. When a spot occurs, you must act immediately to avoid permanent damage. Most spots can be eliminated if treated correctly.
First, make sure to scoop up as much of the spilled material as possible. Using a clean wet or dry vacuum or paper or white terry cloth towels to soak up the majority of the staining material will ease the next steps and help minimize the spot size. Next, blot; do not rub the area of the carpet with white cloth or towels. Rubbing can actually push the staining materials deeper into the carpet fibers, making them more difficult to remove.
If the stains remain, apply a solution of warm water and a teaspoon of a mild, non-bleach liquid laundry detergent (not dishwashing detergent). Apply a generous amount to the stain and use a clean white towel or cloth to blot it. Be sure to change cleaning cloths frequently, as repeated rubbing can alter the texture of the carpet fibers. Once the stain is gone, blot again to remove any residual moisture. This step is critical, as mold can grow under damp carpet.
After blotting, spray the area with clean water to rinse any remaining treatment chemicals from the carpet. Once the area is dry, vacuum or brush to remove any dents the weight of the towels may have left behind. If the stain reappears, repeat the previous steps and consider stacking a clean white towel over the spot with some type of weight overnight. This will keep the stain from absorbing new dirt that could cause it to reappear when walked on.
If the stains persist, consult a professional carpet cleaner that uses truck-mounted hot water extraction cleaning. This is the best method for removing stains, bacteria, hair, and ground-in soil that regular vacuuming cannot reach. This will also extend the life of your carpet and improve its appearance. Having a well-maintained carpet is a major asset to any home or business.