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The Difference Is Steam & Dry Carpet Cleaning

A nice carpet can really make an area look warm and inviting. Whether it’s a hallway, a waiting room, an office or a more personal space, a beautiful carpet is a great way to add a sense of comfort. As any carpet owner will tell you, though, carpets are notoriously dirty. Carpets in high-traffic areas are basically attractors for dirt, dust, lint and any other type of particulate matter that can get trapped in the fibers. And once they get dirty, carpets are almost impossible to clean by conventional means. Sure, you can vacuum them, but that only gets up a small percentage of what’s actually in the carpet. What it doesn’t get up, and what you can’t see, is all the rest of the dirt and contaminants that have been trapped below the surface and even under the carpet itself. If you’ve ever seen what’s left behind when a carpet is finally pulled up and replaced, then no doubt you know this first-hand. In a typical carpet you can find all sorts of gross contaminants, including:

  • Dirt

  • Oil

  • Dust mites

  • Bacteria

  • Allergens

  • Mold

  • Hair and skin cells

  • Food and drink

To really clean a carpet requires knowledge, chemicals and equipment. There are actually two preferred methods to carpet cleaning – dry cleaning and steam cleaning. While they both produce results, you might be wondering what the difference is between the two, and whether or not they are equally as effective. Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more. Steam Cleaning As the name suggests, steam cleaning involves the use of hot water. However, there’s much more to this method of carpet cleaning than just spraying hot water on a carpet and walking away. In fact, the name “steam cleaning” is a bit misleading, because steam cleaning involves a lot more than just hot water. To steam clean, it’s important to first pre-vacuum the carpet. This helps get up excess dirt and grime, which gives the actual cleaning process more room to work. A thorough vacuuming gets up a lot of matter which could get in the way of the steam cleaning, and leads to a better, deeper clean overall. Once the carpet is vacuumed, the steam cleaning can begin. Rather than only using hot water, steam cleaning actually involved using chemicals in addition to the water. Typically, the chemicals are sprayed onto the carpet first. These chemicals are specially formulated to break down dirt and release its hold on the carpet fibers. In addition, these chemicals go to work on the various oils that have become trapped in the carpet – oils that otherwise would probably never come up. Once the chemical/water mixture has been sprayed and given time to work, the next step is to suck up the water. This can take a while to do, as it is important to soak up as much water as possible. You don’t want to leave any water behind where it can cause problems later on. While this method leaves behind a thoroughly cleaned carpet, it’s not without its drawbacks. First, a steam-cleaned carpet is going to be wet for a while afterwards – for as long as 24 hours! This means that you have to time when you’re going to get this done and plan accordingly. You can’t steam clean a carpet on Monday evening and expect it to be ready for traffic the next morning. The second, and more concerning, problem comes from the water not being completely removed after the process is finished. If too much water is left behind, certain issues can arise. These issues include mold and mildew that can start to grow in the pockets of moisture left behind or moisture damage on some subfloors. It’s important to always make sure as much of the water as possible has been remove. Dry Cleaning Dry cleaning, on the other hand, does not have to worry about any of these water-related problems because, as you can no doubt tell, there is considerably less water used in this cleaning process. It isn’t a completely dry process, however, as there is some moisture used in both the application of chemicals as well as their removal. Dry cleaning can take different forms depending on who is doing the cleaning and what chemicals are being used, but in a typical process, dry chemicals are sprinkled onto a carpet. Then, a slight amount of moisture is applied to the carpet, which helps to activate the chemicals and being the cleaning. At the end of the process, the chemicals are removed from the carpet through vacuuming and scrubbing. There is sometimes a little bit of moisture involved in this step as well. Because of the lack of moisture being used, dry-cleaning takes a lot less time from start to finish. Whereas steam cleaning can take hours (not to mention the long drying time), most dry-cleaned carpets can be finished and ready to walk on within an hour or two. This makes dry cleaning much easier to do during the course of a typical cleaning. In addition, there are far fewer problems that come with the potential of leaving too much water trapped in or under the carpet. The only problem is that dry cleaning is often not as thorough as steam cleaning. Sure, it might work faster and bring up a lot more dirt than just vacuuming, but it does not have the penetrating power that water does, which means that stuff trapped way down in the fibers is often left untouched. If you are looking at dirty carpets and would like them deep cleaned, it’s important to speak to a professional about your options and which method is best for you. We would love to speak to you about your carpet cleaning needs. Please contact us today, so we can schedule a consultation and start working for you! Title: Do Green Cleaning Products Matter? Over the last decade or so, there has been an increasing amount of interest in eco-friendly goods and services. These “green”-minded ideas reflect an ever-growing awareness about humanity’s impact on the environment. More and more, people are committed to acting in an earth-responsible manner, and because of that more companies are offering green alternatives to make this possible. Some of these alternatives, such as using biodegradable packaging instead of plastic, make an obvious difference. Others are more questionable, and require research and answers to know if they are really worth seeking out. One group of alternative products that people question is that of green cleaning products. Because some traditional cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can harm people, animals and the environment, it seems like it would make sense to try and find alternatives that are safer and more environmentally-friendly to use. But do these green cleaning products make a difference? Or is it just marketing? Here’s what you should know: What is a “Green” Product? The first thing we should do is define what it is that makes a product “green,” because that is a term that gets thrown around a lot more than it should. There is no actual, legal definition for this term, which means that any company can slap it on a label and fool unsuspecting customers. Typically, though, when a company labels a product as green, it usually means one of a handful of things:

  • The product is made from chemicals that are less harmful to the environment.

  • The product is made from non-toxic chemicals that will not harm people or animals that come into contact with it.

  • The product is made from more natural substances such as plant-based sources.

  • The product is made from resources that are sustainably produced.

When it comes to cleaning products, most people assume “green” means that the chemicals in the product are non-toxic and environmentally-friendly.

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