Carpets provide with warmth, comfort and are great sound absorbers. Unfortunately, they are also quite difficult to keep clean. Carpet should certainly be hoovered at least twice a week, but will additionally require periodic deep cleaning. The use of proper carpet cleaning machines is also necessary in order to prolong the carpet's lifespan and original colours.
We all know - carpets can be synthetic and they can be natural, as well as a mixture of both. Additionally, stains over carpets can vary based on where the carpeted areas are situated (a house or an office).
Due to this, different carpet cleaning technologies have developed over the years. In this blog, we will go over the most popularly used carpet cleaning methods by professionals and amateurs.
What type of carpet fibres are there?
There is a great variety of carpets available on the market, with the obvious kinds being natural, synthetic and mix. Each type of carpet has its pros and cons, so please do not go out and purchase one based on looks. At this point of the article, we will go over which carpet is best for your personal requirements.
The most popular carpet fibre materials are:
- Acrylic (a.k.a. synthetic wool)
In North America and Russia, synthetic carpets are really popular. Their structure has undergone changes many times over the years. Constantly improving, the synthetic carpet is becoming more attractive and more antistatic. It's also, generally speaking, cheaper than natural fibre ones.
In most of Europe, woollen and half-wool carpets and rugs are most commonly used. It is believed that the traditional woollen coating has advantages over synthetic. The pros are: it does not accumulate static electricity and provides comfort with its softness. Its only drawbacks: a loose fit to the floor and a pain to remove stains from.
The higher the content of natural fibres in the carpet, the more difficult it is to clean. A carpet made from natural fibres more actively retains dirt than synthetic carpets. It also gets stained more easily, and said stains are significantly harder to be removed. Another downside worth noting is that the carpet is prone to mould growth, as it is a natural material.
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What are the most effective carpet cleaning machines and methods?
This answer obviously varies depending on the type of carpet which you have and how dirty it actualy is. Some carpets can withstand any type of carpet cleaning method, but some can only be dry cleaned. At the very least, we should all own a regular hoover in order to remove the surface layer of debris. As for the task of odour and stain removal, it's best to entrust professional carpet cleaning services.
1. Cleaning of carpets by "dry" vacuuming
The simplest, most common and necessary method of regular cleaning of carpets is with a simple hoover. For daily use, a vacuum cleaner with a capacity of 1100-1300 W is suitable. Taking into account the specifics, it is recommended to use machines with low noise level of no more than 50-60 decibels.
You can modify the vacuum cleaner with a special turbo brush. This attachment allows for cleaning of high pile carpets, sofas and more. You can also fill it up with a cleaning solution to attempt removing fresh stains. For issues which have been on the carpet for quite a bit of time, however, more powerful equipment is required.
2. Foam carpet cleaning with a single disk
Considered by some as the most effective and cheapest method for carpet cleaning is foam treatment with a single-disk polisher. A carpet shampoo solution is sprayed, or directly added to the tank of the machine. Then, in a circular movement with a single-disk machine, rub the cleaning solution onto the carpet.
Immediately after that, we collect the foam with a hoover and extract as much moisture as possible. Naturally, the more powerful the hoover is, the less time is needed for the carpet to dry.
This method is the most effective for dealing with very strong contaminants and the most economical in terms of detergent consumption. But for the successful application of this technique, a well-trained carpet cleaning specialist is required. The management of a single-disk machine is can be tricky, especially in conditions of narrow corridors and small rooms.
This method allows you to save money by having to use fewer and fewer detergents, and the equipment itself is cheaper. However, you require specially trained cleaners, the procedure itself is long in duration, and drying can take a while.
3. Cleaning carpets with hot water extraction
Hot water extraction machines, also known as steam cleaners, are certainly the most expensive and efficient kind of carpet cleaning equipment. They essentially spray in water under high pressure and then immediately extract it. Due to said high pressure, the water loosens dirt and even the most stubborn stains. This method is widely used by professional cleaning companies in the UK and some parts of the USA.
There are several types of hot water extraction machines, but the most common are industrial ones and "Rug Doctor". The differences lie within the power and tank capacity of each machine. Most commercial units weigh around 60 to 80 kilos, and are built with a dual-tank system. The dual tank system does not allow for the dirty water to mix with the clean one.
Rug Doctor is the brand name of portable steam machines which anyone can rent for use on domestic or commercial carpets. They more or less operate in the same way that professional machines do, but they're certainly not as efficient. Their main appeal is the ability to hire. We can only recommend them if your carpets need a light refresh.
4. Carpet cleaning with counter rotating brushes
Counter rotating brush machines, also known as CRB machines, are another form of professional carpet cleaning equipment. They work in the following way: two brushes rotate counterclockwise together and trapping dirt, debris and hair. These machines allow for a fairly quick cleaning process and are in most cases used by professionals.
The method itself requires only a minimal amount of moisture, which in turn allows for a quick dying time. In terms of the rotating brushes, they come in a few sizes, but most brushes are between 10 and 20 inches. Depending on how big of an area there is to clean, the right brush size is selected. The downside to this cleaning method is the lower chances of stain removal, compared to hot water extraction cleaning.
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Hot water extraction cleaning or dry carpet cleaning?
These two methods, which we are already familiar with, are considered as the best stain removal techniques on the market. They're also the most common ones used by professional cleaning companies in the UK. From our professional experience, hot water extraction cleaning performed with industrial equipment is the best deep cleaning method. Here's why:
- The machines heat up the water to up to 120 °C which when sprayed in, instantly kills bacteria, germs and mites.
- Due to the high pressure with which the water is sprayed in, dirt particles and stubborn stains are dissolved and extracted.
- There is no cleaning product reside left upon completion of the extraction process.
- The drying time is minimal - during summer it can be as little as an hour.
An additional advantage steam cleaning has over other carpet cleaning methods is the ability to effectively clean upholstery as well. The only requirement is a different attachment, which professional machines come with anyway.
Dry cleaning on the other hand has one major advantage over wet cleaning services - zero drying time. Busy homes and offices can't always wait a couple of hours in order to use the carpets. Another reason some choose dry cleaning is because not all carpets can be wet-cleaned. Sisal carpet, for example, may deform or burn if wet cleaned, as they are not suitable for water-based cleaning.
Which steam cleaners are the best?
Apart from selecting the right carpet, you should also pay attention to the type of equipment needed to maintain it. Although there are many manufacturers of steam cleaning machines, not all of them deserve your trust. The most effective carpet cleaning machines, however, are undoubtedly Prochem and Ashby Ninja.
Prochem carpet cleaning machines
Prochem was founded in 1974 by a well-known professional cleaning specialist, Ron Tilly. He was an expert with extensive experience, who also had a desire to go bid. Ron Tilley was able to turn his company into one of the largest manufacturers of professional carpet cleaning products! He was successful not only in the UK, but in the whole world.
Nowadays, Prochem is the most recognized manufacturer of not only cleaning products, but also steam cleaning equipment. Their reliable, high performance machines are extremely effective in stain removal and disinfection. Each stage of production of Prochem gear is tightly controlled. As a result, the build quality, efficiency and long service life of all machines is guaranteed.
Their latest and most powerful model is the Endeavor 500. It has a 500 psi induction piston pump, which results in huge amounts of suction power. The pressure, heat and water amount can also be regulated to suit all types of carpet fibres. An experienced carpet cleaner with this machine in his hands has the absolute highest chances of stain removal.
Ashby ninja carpet cleaning machines
As we mentioned, the most widely used and recommended brand for carpet cleaning is Prochem. However, Ashby Ninja is also a leader in this sphere. Their machines are used for cleaning of carpets, upholstery, rugs, curtains and mattress.
Many professional cleaning companies recommend Ashby Ninja gear because it's easy to use and easy to get used to. The build quality and design is made to last. The widely used Ashby Nina 400 psi is used by many professionals due to their two powerful vacuum motors. Thanks to them, dirt and dust from even the deepest layers of the item are removed.
The only downsides to professional hot water extraction equipment by Prochem and Ashby ninja are their prices and weight. The cost may not bother you too much if you are a professional, investing in a good piece of gear. As for the weight issue, it disappears for cleaning teams of more than one person.
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