The purpose of any professional carpet cleaning service is to maximize soil removal while minimizing any damage caused by the cleaning process. Some carpet cleaners lack the equipment or experience to deliver on this purpose, so you need to be on your guard when hiring a carpet cleaner. While the right one will be able to do a great job that exceeds your expectations, the wrong one will permanently damage your carpeting and charge you for doing so.
The first step in hiring a competent carpet cleaner is to look into their credentials. The Australian Cleaning and Restoration Industry acknowledges two training programs as the very best, the IICRC and Jena Dyco. Carpet cleaners are required to show you their credentials if you ask, so do so! The IICRC, for example, distributes ID cards to the carpet cleaners certified by the organization. Certifications are also frequently displayed publicly with pride, so be leery of any carpet cleaner that does not do so. The difference between an expert carpet cleaner and a hack is night and day.
No professional carpet cleaner employs one approach to all jobs. Instead, the best tailor their equipment choices and techniques to the specific task at hand. Every carpet is different, so it is only natural to expect different methods to be the best approach for each one. Therefore, it is a very good sign if your prospective carpet cleaner asks you about your carpet when you call for an appointment. They should also personally examine all of your carpeting before touching any of them. This helps to ensure that they are using the best possible method for the specific job they are undertaking.
The first step in professional carpet cleaning is dry soil removal. Crushed or flattened debris are first removed with a grooming rake or brush. This is sometimes referred to as “pre-vacuuming.” Once the biggest pieces are out of the way, a vacuum takes care of the rest. Professionals take excellent care of their vacuums, so you can expect high quality suction capable of removing most debris. Its airflow will not be obstructed, its containment chamber will start out empty, and its beater brush will be in good condition.
Even the best vacuum won’t pick up everything,however, and professional carpet cleaners know this. The next step is soil suspension, a series of techniques designed to loosen debris by destroying its bond to the carpet’s fibers. This can be done with chemical detergents, the application of heat, agitation (separating the dirt from the carpet manually), and time. Professionals try to use the lowest effective amount of cleaning agent possible to reduce the final drying time. They also look for non-toxic and biodegradable solutions to ensure your family’s safety. Heat should only be utilized by experts, as excessive heat exposure can damage or discolor your carpet. Finally, time is necessary to allow the other methods listed above to work as intended. It is not an immediate process.
Once the soil is suspended, it is time to remove it. Hot water extraction, dry compound absorption, carpet shampoo, flushing, and dry residue vacuuming are all viable methods to pick up the soil loosened by the previous step. In this sense, flushing is the act of submerging a smaller rug in water to remove debris, while dry residue vacuuming involves using foam to pick up debris and then vacuuming it up. The optimal choice for your carpet will depend on the size of the mess and your carpeting’s unique characteristics.
A good carpet cleaner will next groom the carpet. This doesn’t actually help clean the carpet at all, but it helps to maintain the carpet’s original look while promoting evaporation. The latter point expedites the final step in the process, drying.
Drying times will vary based on a number of different factors, including how much moisture was needed to clean the carpet, the methods used, the air circulation of the treated areas, local atmospheric conditions, the type of carpet, and the quality of your carpet cleaner’s equipment and performance. An expert carpet cleaner will employ tricks to dry your carpet faster, such as running the heat, air conditioning, or ceiling fan to improve airflow to the area. Dry passes between rinsing cycles and the utilization of hot water, which evaporates faster, also make drying go faster.
Regardless of all of the variables listed above, your carpet should be completely dry in hours, not days. The biggest benefit of faster drying times is the increased convenience for you and your family, but it is not the only one. Wet carpets are especially prone to resoiling if walked upon, so faster drying times reduce the risk of immediate resoiling. Moisture from the carpet can also cause people to slip and fall more easily, an accident best avoided. Wet carpeting makes an ideal breeding ground for mold and other undesirable organisms, potentially resulting in an unpleasant odor if allowed to fester too long. Finally, wet carpets are more likely to fall victim to dye-bleeding, permanently discoloring the carpeting you just got cleaned.
Never base your carpet cleaning decisions on price alone, as to do so is a great way to pay more over time. If you need help finding a certified carpet cleaner, the IICRC posts accredited services in your area on its website. Hopefully, these tips help you separate true carpet cleaners from scam artists looking to separate you from your money. Having trouble? Find a cleaner here.