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Why Do Professionals Use Carpet Steam Cleaning?

One of the most effective, and most tested, forms of carpet treatment is steam cleaning. Also known as hot water extraction, the process has been around for more than 50 years, and it’s still a staple among technicians. This makes sense, as many fabric manufacturers consider professional hot water extraction to be the treatment method of choice for their products. That being said, it is not a process that should be handled by someone without the proper training and certification. That’s because hot water extraction can damage flooring if it is not executed properly.

Why do carpet treatment professionals use steam cleaning extensively?

Steam cleaning is a slight misnomer most of the time, as the process typically uses hot water to provide the muscle. During hot water extraction, a small amount of cleaning agent is mixed with a controlled jet of water, and both are injected deep into the carpeting to loosen up soil, suspend it, and extract it. Before treatment starts, the technician may precondition the flooring to improve the efficacy of the process, soften fibers, or restore color to the fabric. Some forms of hot water extraction use very little water, and in these cases, it will be necessary to pretreat the flooring with special compounds to loosen up the soil.

Once the hot water and detergent are injected into the carpet, the technician will agitate the flooring using a gentle carpet agitation tool. Agitation activates the detergent and loosens up the soil, which makes it much easier to suspend and capture. By the time the entire area that is to be cleaned has been agitated, the floor will be ready for extracting. Professionals have access to commercial quality water vacuums that can reliably extract moisture, soil, and any residual detergent.

However, it is not possible to remove all of the water, so homeowners should expect the carpet to be slightly damp for up to 24 hours. During this time, if resoiling is a concern, minimize traffic through the area  for optimal results. Professionals have access to special products that reduce the likelihood of resoiling and staining, though, and these can guard the fabric while it dries.

Why is it important for a professional to seek certification before treating carpet?

Steam cleaning has to be done just right. If the technician lacks proper training, they may use too much water, or not enough. If too little water is used, there could be a lot of residue left behind, which may accelerate resoiling or make the fibers feel stiff. However, using too much water may be even worse. Excess water will also accelerate resoiling, and can also allow mold, bacteria and viruses to grow in the fibers, potentially causing significant health concerns.

These are some of the reasons a homeowner should always choose a certified professional to handle their carpet cleaning needs.

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