Carpet cleaning technologies – here’s the differences
Today there are 5 different carpet cleaning technologies used as essential processes for maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of carpets, rugs, and other floor coverings. These various technologies are available for cleaning carpets, and each technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will discuss the different technologies used for carpet cleaning, their benefits, and limitations.
- Hot Water Extraction (HWE):
Hot water extraction (HWE), also known as steam cleaning (even though steam isn’t used), is one of the most common carpet cleaning methods. In this method, hot water is injected into the carpet under high pressure. The hot water dislodges dirt and other contaminants from the fibers, and a powerful vacuum then extracts the dirt, water, and cleaning solution from the carpet.
However, one of the drawbacks of HWE is that it can leave the carpet wet, which can lead to mold and mildew growth if not dried properly. It also takes longer to dry than some other methods, which can be an inconvenience. Additionally, some types of carpets, such as those made of natural fibers like silk or jute, may not be suitable for HWE due to the risk of damage.
This method isn’t very environmentally friendly. Large gas guzzling vehicles are used and the machines themselves are gas powered so cleaning this way produces the most greenhouse gas. Also, all the waste water goes down the drain, and while waste treatment facilities treat the bacteria, all the cleaning products go right through often containing phosphates, butyls and solvents (There is no special water that cleans carpets without any cleaning products). All these products end up in Puget Sound where salmon numbers are dwindling and impacting the Orcas who feed on them.
- Dry Powder Cleaning:
Dry powder cleaning, also known as dry carpet cleaning, is a low-moisture carpet cleaning method. In this method, a cleaning agent in the form of a dry powder is sprinkled over the carpet. The powder is then worked into the fibers using a machine with rotating brushes, which break down the dirt and other contaminants. The powder is then vacuumed up along with the dirt and debris.
Dry powder cleaning is a good option for carpets that cannot be wet cleaned, such as those made of natural fibers like sisal or seagrass. It is also a faster method than HWE, as the carpet is ready for use immediately after cleaning. However, it may not be as effective as HWE at removing deep-seated dirt and stains. It is also more expensive than other methods, as the dry powder cleaning agents can be costly.
Encapsulation is a relatively new carpet cleaning method that has gained popularity in recent years. In this method, a cleaning solution is applied to the carpet fibers, which breaks down the bonded soil and forms tiny crystals around the dirt and other contaminants. The carpets are powerfully scrubbed with a counter-rotating brush machine spinning at 300 RPM’s which removes the bonded soil better than just spraying water like HWE. (Do you just spray your pots and pans or do you scrub them?) The crystals are then vacuumed up along with the dirt, leaving the carpet clean.
Encapsulation is a low-moisture method that dries quickly and is ideal for residential and commercial settings where downtime must be minimized. It is also an eco-friendly option, as the cleaning agents are non-toxic and biodegradable and no chemicals go down the drain and into Puget Sound.
- Bonnet Cleaning:
Bonnet cleaning, also known as spin carpet cleaning, is a method that uses a rotating pad or bonnet to clean the carpet. The bonnet is soaked in a cleaning solution and then worked into the carpet fibers using a machine. The bonnet absorbs the dirt and debris from the carpet, and the process is repeated until the carpet is clean.
Bonnet cleaning is a fast and effective method for cleaning carpets in commercial settings. It is also relatively inexpensive, as it requires minimal equipment and cleaning agents. However, it may not be as effective as encapsulation at removing deep-seated dirt and stains, and it can cause the carpet fibers to become compressed over time, resulting in a loss of texture and color.
Carpet shampooing is a carpet cleaning method that involves using a specialized cleaning solution, known as carpet shampoo, to clean the carpet. The shampoo is applied to the carpet using a machine with rotating brushes, which work the shampoo into the fibers of the carpet. The shampoo dislodges dirt, stains, and other contaminants from the carpet, which are then extracted using a powerful vacuum.
Carpet shampooing was once a popular carpet cleaning method, but it has become less common in recent years due to the availability of more effective and eco-friendly methods such as hot water extraction and encapsulation. However, some professional carpet cleaners still use carpet shampooing as part of their cleaning process.
One of the advantages of carpet shampooing is that it can effectively remove stubborn stains and odors from the carpet. It can also leave the carpet smelling fresh and clean. Carpet shampooing is also relatively affordable compared to other carpet cleaning methods, making it a good option for homeowners on a budget.
However, there are also some drawbacks to carpet shampooing. One of the main drawbacks is that it can leave the carpet wet for a longer period of time than other methods, which can lead to mold and mildew growth if not dried properly. Carpet shampooing also uses more water and cleaning solution than other methods, which can be wasteful and contribute to water pollution.
Another potential issue with carpet shampooing is that the cleaning solution used can leave residue on the carpet fibers, which can attract dirt and other contaminants over time. This can make the carpet appear dirty again shortly after cleaning. To avoid this issue, it is important to thoroughly rinse the carpet after shampooing and to use a high-quality cleaning solution that is specifically designed for carpet shampooing.
In summary, carpet shampooing is a carpet cleaning method that uses a specialized cleaning solution to clean the carpet. While it can effectively remove stains and odors, it may not be as effective or eco-friendly as other methods such as hot water extraction or encapsulation. Additionally, it is important to properly dry and rinse the carpet after shampooing to avoid issues with mold, mildew, and residue buildup.