TCM Restoration & Cleaning Blog

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning vs Dry Carpet Cleaning

Is one method better than an another?  Depends.  There are several types of dry cleaning with varying degrees of effectiveness.  At TCM we use hot water extraction because  we feel it is the most thorough cleaning we can give our clients.

Many people think dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothes.  This is not true.  Clothes are dry cleaned with waterlesss liquid that is an intense solvent cleaner.  They are not used in carpet because the solvents would dissolve the latex glues that bind the carpet fibers to the backing.

The truth is all carpet cleaning methods use water.  Some more than others.

Some companies use low moisture cleaning because the carpet dries fast, technicians can work very fast and the price is cheaper than hot water extraction.

3 Methods of “Dry” or Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning

Dry Foam Method  This is when the carpet cleaner uses dry foam.  He applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry then vacuums it up.

Can you imagine washing your hair with shampoo, letting it dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum??  This method can leave a residue in your carpet which is one reason why dry foam is not very effective.

Dry Chemical Process  The dry-chem method is similar to dry foam.  The difference when dry chem is used the carpet cleaner sets a large cotton pad (technical term bonnet) on your carpet.   A rotary machine is used, the bonnet spins from side to side absorbing the dirt that’s in the carpet.   After the bonnet is saturated with dirt another cotton bonnet is applied. This can be effective for lightly soiled areas.  However for a carpet that is very soiled it is like using a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet.

Dry Compound Cleaning  This is similar to dry foam.  The cleaning solution mechanically lifts the dirt to the surface of a light foam.  When the carpet is dry an acrylic polymer additive in the cleaning solution crystallizes.   It then cracks off the fiber when the vacuum runs over the carpeting.   This method is fairly new and seems to work well on commercial made carpeting.

Now About What We Use….

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

Also referred as “steam cleaning” even though actual steam is not used.  It’s a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure forced into the carpet fibers & extracted with a powerful vacuum system.  We use state of the art truck mounted extractors in our vans.

Research says rinsing is best!  The main benefit to hot water extraction carpet cleaning is the flushing action of the water moving through the fibers.   SHAW industries (one of the world’s biggest carpet manufacturers)  has done testing on professional cleaning systems and determined the amount of soil removed from carpet is in result of how much water is being used to rinse the carpet after cleaning solutions were applied.

 A very powerful vacuum system must be used to remove the soiled water.

There are 2 types of extraction systems.

Portable Extraction which is usually a 5-12 gallon machine.  Portable systems can deliver great results if the technician is experienced & knowledgeable.   These units don’t produce as much heat but they can do a good job cleaning.  They come in handy in upper level floors of buildings when hoses from a van couldn’t possibly reach.

Truck Mount Extraction  This is a large machine mounted in a van or a truck.  These systems work well and makes cleaning fast & efficient.  The truck generates 190-260 degree heat which aids tremendously in soil removal.  The cleaning solutions are automatically fed into the machine at a precise rate & the truck contains water tanks for fresh and waste water.

Hot water extraction cleans MUCH better than the other processes because it shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at a higher pressure which breaks down dirt, bacteria & pollens.  Then the machine uses high velocity suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet.

The most effective way to clean carpet is with a high volume extraction unit.  At TCM Restoration & Cleaning we use truck mounted extractors in all of our vans.    We know it is the only way to thoroughly clean carpet of all the nasty dirt, bacteria, fungus, dust mites, chemicals, pollens & tobacco residue.

October 21, 2015 Posted by | carpet cleaning, carpet cleaning methods | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carpet Cleaning Methods

Did you know there are actually different carpet cleaning methods??  I sure didn’t until my husband started our cleaning company 12 years ago.  My experience with carpet cleaning was from when I was a little girl and I’d watch my parents every Spring rent a carpet shampoo-er (as they called it).  They’d spend an entire day cleaning the carpets.  Then we’d spend another 2 days not walking on the carpet waiting for it to dry.  And my poor Dad would spend a week recuperating from hurting his back.

What I just described is the “do it yourself” method and really not worth all the trouble don’t you think?

There is another method called “Dry Clean” or “Dry Foam”.  This is when a carpet cleaner applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, sucks the dried shampoo into the vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry, and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method leaves dirty residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is NOT too effective.

“Steam cleaning” or “Hot Water Extraction” is another method for carpet cleaning.  This is a fancier way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet.  This is the method our company prefers because it heats the water to a high temperature – and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at higher pressures. This breaks up all the nasty stuff (dirt, bacteria, chemicals, and pollens) in the carpet. Then our truck mounted extractor produces huge vacuum volume to draw the dirt and chemicals out of the carpet. It’s absolutely the most effective way to clean carpet.  By using our truck mount extractors with the “Hot Water Extraction” or “Steam” method we know that we will be able to clean all the dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, tobacco residue and dust mites from our clients carpets.  We not only know that this will give our clients the cleanest, healthiest carpet in their home we guarantee it!

February 21, 2008 Posted by | Anchorage, carpet cleaning, Wasilla | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments