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Carpet Cleaning Basics: Finding The Best Solution For Your Carpet

Remember those carefree days, relaxing around the house, walking around in your stocking feet, usually a pair of white athletic socks, only to have your spouse or mom point out how dirty your socks were and why you insist in walking outside in the clean socks she washed and cleaned for you? You look at the socks, and point out that you’ve been inside the whole time- then the silent looks to each other, each thinking “walking on the carpet did this?” Yup!

Carpet, by its very nature, is a natural dust and dirt magnet. Today’s carpet is made out of a number of natural and man made materials, such as wool blends, various polymers, nylon and Dacron based threads. Fibers are usually twisted around a strong core, either warped or bonded. These fibers are bonded to the backing by strong adhesives or woven through a backing mat. Pile fibers might be cut or looped, of varying lengths, such as kitchen, short pile, long pile or the memory indulging shag.

Because of the construction materials, manufacturing processes and even the patterns, carpet is a perfect storm for gathering dirt, toxins and grime. We all know what happens to the bottom soles of a brand new pair of shoes after walking outside the first time- the simple coating of everyday yuck is placed on carpet every day all day. Fiber edges grab dirt, liquid residue, oils, toxins and more assorted things than is worth thinking about. HVAC systems, residential and commercial, also blow various pollens, insect detritus, flaked skin and plain old dirt all over the carpet surface, no matter how complicated the filtering system. All carpet fibers are subject to static electricity and some fibers are treated to be somewhat static resistant; but any static will attract contaminants. Stain treatment, such as Teflon, is also a common addition to carpet fibers- but all this does is make cleanup of liquids and stain inducing materials easier- dirt still gets into treated carpet fibers. So unless your carpet is in a certified class 6 clean room-it’s going to get dirty.

Some homes insist that you leave your shoes by the entry door, and walk around the carpet barefoot or in your socks. By initial thought that might seem like a great way to keep your carpet free from many dirt sources, but the opposite is true. Oils from feet, even through socks, will get on the carpet fibers and dramatically attract contaminates. carpet cleaning kitchener

There is another important reason to keep your carpets clean– if any of the residents of your home or business are subject to respiratory distress-upper or lower- a dirty carpet can greatly increase the contaminants that help cause that distress. It’s a medically researched fact that a clean carpet decreases some of the causes of Asthma or other respiratory ailments.

Now that we’ve established that carpets get dirty-as if you needed to be told that piece of information- how do we really clean a carpet; clean it in a way that it really gets clean. The following are some of the more common methods to clean carpets in a realistic action-

  • Vacuum- All a good vacuum does is pick-up the loose dirt and detritus that is laying on the carpet fiber, and if the vacuum has enough suction, off the base of the carpet. While it’s crucial to get this dirt removed quickly, it does not remove the deeply seeded stains and dirt.
  • Dry Cleaning- This uses a variety of techniques, such as dry foam, which is sprayed on the carpet lifting some dirt to the surface then being allowed to dry and vacuumed- not a great system; Dry Compound which spreads a powdered agent on the carpet, which is then driven into the carpet, then a nylon or cotton bonnet is oscillated over the surface, being exchanged for a clean bonnet when needed-again, not the greatest method; Dry Chem, which is similar to the Dry Compound method but instead using a chemical which is allowed to dry.
  • Shampooing- A variety of shampoos are driven into the carpet, supposedly loosening dirt, etc., then being allowed to dry and then removed by high powered vacuums. While, this is a very common method of cleaning carpets, from the do-it-yourself rental systems to commercial providers, it’s effectiveness is often debated.

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