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Difference between carpet shampooer and Hot Water Extration

I have had a lot of customers ask me the difference between carpet cleaning from a carpet shampooer and our method of Hot Water Extraction.

There are a lot of cowboys coming into the market, who get a carpet shampooer from Kirby, Bissell, rug doctor etc. and think they can become a carpet cleaner. They would not have a clue. We have had formal training, have licenses, years and years of experience and most importantly we are fully insured. There are different procedures for different fibres of carpet – to prevent shrinkage, resoiling and browning. Stain treatments – some chemicals can set the stains and you will never get it out. And not to mention the PSI and PH Levels.

Don’t be fooled when the words carpet shampoo and deep clean are used together. These cowboys will undercut prices because they don’t use the best chemicals and they are not insured. Don’t take the risk, if it sounds cheap there is a reason why.

Carpet Shampoo Method

The theory in the shampoo method is to generate a lot of foam in the carpet, allow this foam to dry, have the resulting residue attract the soil and vacuum up the residue and soil the next day.

Carpet shampoo products must have the following characteristics which dictate their ingredients:

• Very high foam levels to reduce wetting.

• Very stable foam.

• High lubricity to reduce damage to the carpet fibres from the brushes.

• Dry to a non-sticky residue.

Therefore, a carpet shampoo must contain a very foamy chemical. The most common ingredient is sodium lauryl sulphate or one of its relatives. Sometime when you're taking a shower or bath, look at the ingredient statement on your hair shampoo bottle. It will say "Contains sodium lauryl sulphate" or some similar wording. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and its relatives exhibit very high and very stable foam and are only fair detergents. The problem is that they dry to a soft, sticky residue which will cause resoling.

Because of the resoling problem, carpet shampoos will frequently also has an anti-resoling additive such as a resin to reduce this resoling tendency.

Because shampoos are actually very poor detergents and basically simply bury the dirt, they frequently also contain high levels of optical brighteners which take invisible ultraviolet light and convert it to visible light, thus making the carpet appear cleaner and brighter than it really is, for a while. It will eventually give the carpet a yellow cast and the yellow cannot be removed.

Shampoo methods are inferior due to poor cleaning plus resoling problems. The Rotary Shampoo method can damage the carpet, especially cut pile (which is what most residential carpet is).

Hot Water Extraction

Hot water extraction or warm water extraction or steam cleaning is THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN CARPET according to nearly all carpet manufacturers

This method, the best way to clean carpet, is the cleaning method nearly all carpet manufacturers and carpet fibre producers recommend.

This is the only cleaning method classified as "deep cleaning". All the others are considered "light surface cleaning" or "interim cleaning" because they are incapable of removing soil deep in the pile. Also, all other methods leave large amounts of cleaning agent in the carpet after cleaning.

The maintenance brochure published by the world's largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, recommends this method, because its own research indicates that it provides the best capability for cleaning carpet and rugs.

This carpet cleaning method is frequently called steam cleaning due to the fine spray of water used to force dirt out of the carpet which is sucked up by the vacuum slot immediately in front of the spray. Seldom is real live steam used, however. This process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and floor tool brought inside, or by a portable, system brought into the home or office.

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