Which Type of Carpet Cleaning System is Best For My Carpet

There are several types of carpet cleaning procedures that you might consider for your carpet. The most popular is the steam or hot water extraction system, but you may prefer one of the other systems that leave the carpet relatively dry after cleaning. These would include the absorbent powder extraction system, the bonnet/spin pad system, the dry foam shampoo system or the rotary shampoo system.

With the ABSORBENT POWDER EXTRACTION SYSTEM, a cleaning compound is distributed on the surface of the carpet, agitated with counter rotating brushes, allowed to dry, and then vacuumed up. The compound actually absorbs the soil and the dirty compound is vacuumed away. Generally used to improve appearance, it is used as daily cleaning of high traffic areas in airports, restaurants and airports. This system is very well suited for those who do not desire wet cleaning, yet want some extraction. Drying time is immediate and carpets can be used right away.

The BONNET/SPIN PAD SYSTEM is a minimum moisture system where a liquid cleaning agent is applied to the carpet and to the spin pad. Using a low RPM rotary cleaning machine, the carpet surface is then buffed with the spin pad. Soil is absorbed into the pad and when it become sufficiently soiled, the pad is changed. This system is considered an "appearance" cleaning method and is ideally suited for maintaining large areas of commercial carpet. Drying time is one to three hours.

With the DRY FOAM METHOD, a high foaming detergent is aerated and applied to the carpet nap with a dry foam machine, brushed into the carpet and extracted. The cylindrical brush cleans down to the base of the carpet. The soil is suspended and the oily soils are emulsified. Powerful suction lifts out dirt laden foam in seconds. This cleaning method is especially effective in cleaning huge amounts of carpet very quickly, as is shopping malls, casinos, offices, airports, etc. It also is used in residential cleaning when consumers desire immediate drying time, which is usually one hour or less. Some residential customers prefer the convenience and the drying time of the dry foam method, because problems such as overwetting, shrinkage or browning are virtually eliminated with this method.

The SHAMPOO CLEANING method is considered a wet cleaning method. A high foaming detergent/shampoo is applied to the carpet nap using the low RPM rotary cleaning with a carpet brush. The brush spins the shampoo into the carpet, suspends the soil and emulsifies oils. The carpet can then be vacuumed with a wet vac. Many cleaners simply brush the carpet with a pile or nap broom and do not extract. The carpet can be vacuumed when dry. This is considered an "appearance" cleaning. Some carpet cleaners, however, use the shampoo method as the first step in the "two-step" process of cleaning. The second step is extraction with a steam cleaner.

The STEAM (Hot Water Extraction) method involves applying a soil-releasing agent or pre-conditioner to the carpet along with steam (hot water) and almost simultaneously extracting. This method is well adapted to deep, thorough removal of soils from a carpeted surface. Properly performed, this method will result in clean, fresh carpets with a minimum or resoiling due to residue left in the carpet. With the current move toward "cleaning for your health first, and appearance second, steam cleaning, with its superior soil removal capabilities seems to be the method of choice for the foreseeable future.

No matter which method you prefer, the key to success lies with the individual technician. Each method can offer cleaner carpets if the cleaner is trained, skilled and motivated to do the job properly