Let’s take a few minutes to outline what you should expect a professional carpet cleaner to do in the process of cleaning your carpet, and why each of these steps is important? Now if you decide to take the do-it-yourself approach by renting or purchasing a machine please understand that it is impossible to get the same results as someone who uses the steps, equipment and cleaning solutions described here.
I’ve heard it said that the proof is in the pudding. I have no idea what the heck that means but I can tell you that if you do it yourself and I come in and do it a week later you’re going to wonder why you invested the money and your valuable time into the project in the first place. A few of the common pitfalls include an inability to remove spots and stains, carpet that is wet for an extended period of time, and fast re-soiling due to detergent that is not completely removed.
Carpet Inspection and Evaluation
So let’s talk about what a certified professional should do and that starts with inspecting and evaluating the carpet to determine what is going to be required to get the best results. Homeowners with pets should expect a free urine inspection to identify the presence and/or extent of any contamination and a recommended treatment plan when necessary. Other special spots and stains like rust, grease, coffee, wine and oodles of others should be identified and discussed prior to cleaning.
The first piece of equipment that should then be used to start the job is a good vacuum cleaner to remove as much dry soil as possible, which may sometimes require certain areas to be gone over multiple times. In addition, detailed vacuuming should be done around baseboards and furniture that is not being moved as well as under beds and other hard to get at areas. While this one simple step will remove up to 80% of the foreign matter in your carpet we found that many “professional” carpet cleaning companies skip doing this.
Spot & Stain Treatment
As we’ve already mentioned there a myriad of spots and stains that can find their way into your carpet and each and everyone should be treated by a professional carpet cleaner. Spots and stains obviously change your carpet’s appearance but are actually two different animals. Spots are foreign materials that add substance and texture to the surface of the carpet fiber and can almost always be removed. On the other hand, stains occur when something is absorbed by the fibers that change the dye structure and must be treated with a special process. While several factors may limit the ability to remove certain stains your carpet cleaning professional should use special spotting agents and techniques in trying to get rid of those irritating spots and stains.
Soil Suspension Fundamentals (Woo-Hoo!)
Now I’m super excited to CHAT with you about soil suspension, which involves Chemical action, Heat, Agitation and Time. These 4 variables help determine the effectiveness of breaking up the soil on your carpet and suspending it so it can be removed. Since water by itself is not a good cleaner its important to add a safe and effective cleaning agent to be able to get the job done. Your professional carpet cleaner should be able to tell you the health rating of the product (Chemical) they are using which is on a 0-5 scale (0 being the safest). At Above All Services we look for products that are labeled “green” and are rated 0-1 on their SDS (Safety Data Sheet).
The next factor that can affect results is the Heat of the water being used to extract the soil and cleaning agents and rinse the carpet fibers. In general water temperatures of 160 degrees or more will improve the effectiveness of the cleaning agents and provide better results.
After the cleaning agent has been applied to the carpet and allowed to dwell (Time), Agitation from a counter-rotating brush machine will do wonders by digging deep to remove pet hair and other substances that vacuuming cannot get out, stripping soil from the carpet fibers, and lifting the nap (pile) at the same time.
Carpet Soil Extraction Methods
Once the soil had been suspended and the carpet fibers scrubbed its time to employ an effective soil removal method. At Above All Services we use both hot water extraction and bonnet pad absorption methods depending on the condition of the carpet being cleaned. Several things should be happening during this step but will vary slightly depending on the method used. With hot water extraction, a tool is used to extract both the soil and the cleaning agent while rinsing the carpet fibers. A professional carpet cleaner will perform “vacuum only” strokes to extract more water, which will help the carpet dry faster. In low moisture cleaning the suspended and encapsulated soil will be absorbed onto a bonnet and the carpet dry time can be significantly reduced with this method.
Finishing Touches From a Professional Carpet Cleaner
After your carpet is done being cleaned you should expect for it to be treated with something to help remove odors, and also something to help protect it from staining and make it easier to maintain. At Above All Services we apply an odor neutralizer (not a deodorizer that is just going to mask the odors) and a carpet protector and then work those into the carpet fibers as we use a rake to hand groom the carpet.
After we leave you’ll be covered with our Super Happy Customer Promise (we’ll come back and address anything you’re not happy with for up to 30 days) and our 6 Month Spot & Stain Warranty (we’ll treat any spots/stains that happen after our service for up to 6 months if you’re unable to remove them with the custom spotter we leave you).
At Above All Services we believe that if you’re going to pay someone to clean your carpet you should expect a lot from a professional service. It takes time to go through each of these steps in order to give your carpet the most thorough cleaning possible. Most carpet cleaning companies are not committed to this process and will complete your job in a fraction of the time it takes Above All Services. A great question to ask a prospective service provider is “Can you tell me the steps you use in your carpet cleaning process?” Finally, check out the customer reviews and if you’re in Genesee County, Michigan give us a call.