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When Are Professional Steam Cleaners Needed?

Certified steam cleaners can restore carpet back to a like new state, no matter how badly soiled it has become. If homeowners want to keep their carpeting in good shape, they should bring in certified professionals at least once a year, but the truth is, most homeowners don’t do this. Instead, the carpet is allowed to take on a huge amount of wear and soil before it is cleaned. While this will reduce the lifespan, and isn’t recommended, a certified professional can still produce amazing results with badly soiled carpets. That’s because technicians certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) have been taught the best methods, and have access to the best equipment available.

How can steam cleaners preserve the carpet’s look and feel?

First, it’s important to note that this form of treatment is not chemical-free. Many homeowners believe that the evaporating water is what does the heavy lifting, but heated water is actually needed because it activates the detergents injected into the carpet during treatment. However, these detergents are formulated to be completely safe to people, animals, and the area itself, so they can be employed without worry.

During cleaning, the technician will use a powerful machine to apply hot water and a formulated detergent (alkaline detergents are used on synthetic carpets, while acidic detergents are better for wood based and natural fibers) deep into the fibers. Steam cleaners dislodge soils, and the detergent suspends them so they do not adhere to other fibers. Finally, a powerful vacuum extracts the suspended soil and excess moisture, leaving the carpet free of any grime and debris. It is a simple form of treatment, but a highly effective one that has been used for decades.

Why should homeowners only consider professional, certified steam cleaners?

Although the treatment process may be fundamentally simple, it is still easy to botch if an untrained person attempts it. And even among homeowners who do know what they are doing, certified professionals have better equipment and detergents on hand, ensuring more effective treatment. For example, homeowners usually have to rent equipment or buy their own (which can be expensive), and consumer-grade equipment cannot match commercial equipment in power or speed.

As a result, when homeowners or poorly trained professionals attempt to treat the carpet, they will likely use too much or too little water or detergent. Too little water will leave detergent behind, while too little detergent will result in a poor job overall. Too much water will extend drying times and may provide the perfect breeding ground for mold or pests. Too much detergent can produce lingering residue, which will expose the carpet to premature soiling. And judicious use of any treatment materials is important, as they can discolor or cause damage if they aren’t thoroughly tested and carefully applied.

Of course, these issues can be avoided by opting for steam cleaners certified through the IICRC. These technicians have undergone extensive training from an organization that has instructed treatment personnel for decades. In short, they will be prepared for any job.

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