Are you wondering which method cleans best out of the different types of carpet cleaning techniques available on the market? Don’t fear, we look at the most common cleaning methods and tell you exactly what they do.
Dry Foam: The carpet cleaner applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method leaves dirty residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very effective.
Absorbent pad (bonnet cleaning): This method is similar to dry foam, except that the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet and with a floor polishing buffer machine on top, “buffs” the carpet. The rotating motion causes the bonnet to absorb dirt from your carpet. This method is also called bonnet cleaning. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large cotton towel or mop to rub the dirt out of your carpet. It is not very effective.
Dry, absorbent powder: The dry-compound method spreads a moist, absorbent powder through the carpet. The powder is allowed to dry and then sucked into a vacuum. This method leaves dry sponge particles at the base of the carpet yarn. And because the carpet is not rinsed, this method is not very effective.
Hot water extraction: This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into your carpet and then sucked back out of your carpet.
In a recent Technical Bulletin, Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, “recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning”.
You can choose from two different types: Truck-mount extraction, which is done with a large machine mounted in a truck or van. Or portable extraction, which is done with a small, hand-held unit. On which type to choose, Shaw’s Technical Bulletin states: “[cleaning] can be done form a truck mounted unit outside the facility with only the hose and wand brought inside, or where a truck mounted unit cannot reach, by a portable, self-contained system brought into the facility”
As you can see, Shaw recommends the truck mounted unit first and this isn’t surprising. You see, the truck mounted unit cleans much better because it heats the water to a high temperature and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at higher pressures. This breaks up the dirt, bacteria, chemicals and pollens in the carpet. Then the machine produces huge vacuum volume to draw the dirt and chemicals out of your carpet. This is the method my company uses.
No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a hot-water unit mounted in a truck. It’s the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that cleans your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals pollens and tobacco residue and dust mites.
Some people believe that hot water damages you carpet, but this is not true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely – in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath.