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About Carpet Cleaning

There are four basic methods of carpet cleaning:
Shampoo Method
The oldest form of carpet cleaning. The cleaning agent is a foamy chemical similar to hair shampoo. It's sprayed on the carpet, generally with a tank type floor machine, and agitated with a rotary brush. The shampoo method is sometimes effective at breaking up heavy soiling on commercial or short pile carpet. The disadvantage is that the process works the chemical and soil deep into the carpet and no extraction is employed. Other problems include overwetting, rapid resoiling, yellowing, shrinkage, and odor.
Dry Powder Method
A product like talcum powder containing small amounts of water, detergent and solvent is sprinkled into the carpet and agitated. The soil is absorbed into the carrier and then removed with a vacuum cleaner. Although the process is called "dry" cleaning, water is actually involved. Because there is very little water employed the drying time is very fast. Unfortunately as much as 90% of the soil in carpet is water soluble. Solvents have little effect on these soils. Therefore the dry powder methods also employ a prespray for heavily soiled areas consisting of detergent and water. Again, because no rinsing is employed resoiling is often a problem. This process is relatively ineffective on deep soiling.
Bonnet cleaning
Also referred to as "dry" cleaning, this is a cleaning solution consisting of detergent and carbonated water is sprayed on the carpet. The carpet is then agitated with a rotary floor polisher with an absorbent pad. This method does have the advantage of a fast drying time due to the fact that a small amount of water is employed. However Shaw Industries, America's leading manufacturer of carpet, does not recommend this method for several reasons; It has a very limited ability to remove soil because it employs no real extraction. The other disadvantage is that the spinning bonnet may distort and fuzz the carpet causing swirl marks.
Extraction Method
Often called steam cleaning. Although temperatures vary with equipment, seldom does the temperature reach the boiling point. A water solution under pressure is injected deep into the carpet pile and then immediately vacuumed out into a holding tank along with the soil. This method flushes residual matter reducing the risk of resoiling. It is a well-known fact in this industry that major carpet manufacturers and fiber producers recommend hot water extraction. The major risk with this method is overwetting.
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