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Patti Goellner

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Restorative Carpet Cleaning

Restoration of carpet means the carpets appearance is looking poor, and we need to do something beyond vacuuming to try to raise it. There are three steps to accomplish this. Each method has benefits, and shortcomings you need to be aware of before you select which one to use. The three methods are extraction, shampoo, or bonnet, and a dry method called Host or Capture. The following are brief explanations of what they are, and how they work.

Carpet Cleaning Extraction Method

Extraction is probably the method most people are familiar with. It involves taking carpet soap, and water putting into your carpet under pressure then removing it with a vacuum set up for water. The big box discount stores sell cheap variations of this, and a truck mount carpet cleaning machine is also extraction. The benefit of this method is if you want the most dramatic improvement in the shortest amount of time extraction will do it. It’s like washing your carpet. The downside is you can really screw your carpet up if you don’t know what you’re doing. This doesn’t apply if using an inexpensive home unit from the big box store. These units have such a small pump it’s unlikely you could inject enough water to do serious harm. Where this becomes a concern is when you have strangers come in to professionally clean your carpet, or you rent a true commercial unit. I want you to remember this if using a portable extractor I want you to look at the color of the water you’re pouring down the drain. It usually is black or dark brown from the soil removed from the carpet. Feel your carpet, and you’ll notice your carpet is still slightly damp. The moisture in your carpet while not as dirty as what you emptied still contains it’s share of dirt. Lastly the best store extractor I’ve found is the Royal Procision. It’s designed along the lines of $2500.00 commercial extractors, but can be purchased for less than $300.00. 

Dry Carpet Cleaning

There are two manufacturers of dry carpet cleaning products host and capture. I’ll give you the benefits, and shortcomings of this carpet cleaning method then I’ll give you the differences between the two. The biggest benefit of dry carpet cleaning is the very low moisture content of the product. If you were to open a box or tub of dry carpet cleaning product you’d notice it was slightly moist. The product contains cleaning agents designed to absorb the dirt from your carpet into the dry cleaning product. You spread the product on the carpet , and use one of the manufacturers machines to work the product into the carpet. You allow the product to remain in the carpet for a couple of hours, and the truth is I’ve left it over night. Grab your trusty vacuum , and vacuum the carpet removing the cleaning product along with the dirt. The big benefit is you’re not blasting your carpet with water, and you don’t have any drying time. You can walk on the carpet while it’s being cleaned, and the product is safe to use around pets, or children. I wouldn’t recommend it but the director of training at the Host school as eaten the product to illustrate how safe it is. Another benefit of using this method is you can take a carpet with a bad area, and clean it repeatedly without damaging the carpet. If you were to use water in an extractor to go over bad areas repeatedly you could easily damage the carpet. This method is also safe on wool carpet, and oriental rugs as long as they aren’t silk. 

The Host product is the consistency of a crumbled up cellulose sponge. It’s moist, and has a pleasing odor. After you apply the product by hand you use the Host machine to work the product into the carpet. Because your carpet fiber has four sides they want you to work it in using a north to south, then an east to west process. They don’t sell these machines so you have to rent them from the dealer you purchase the Host from. The machines rent for around $19.95 a day. This is one process you can’t do anything wrong. If you took the box of sponges dumped them on the carpet and went to Europe for a week came back removed them from the carpet you’d have one area of very clean carpet. The machine is easy to use.  The Capture method is also sold under the brand name Riccar. The sponges tend to be smaller and these can also use them to clean upholstery. The cleaning method is the same as Host with the exception you use their machine. The great news is you can own a machine, and they aren’t that expensive. Capture is owned by the Milleken Company a large manufacturer of carpet, and they recommend you use capture to clean their carpets.  The theory with the dry method is to have clean carpets all the time. Most people allow their carpets to really get soiled then they try to restore them using extraction. The dry methods are designed to keep your carpets appearance at a high level. Commercially buildings open 24 hours a day love the dry methods of carpet cleaning. Airports, hospitals, casinos, restaurants, and hotels use this method to clean carpet. I do feel if a carpet is extremely dirty an extractor will do a better job quicker. You can get extremely dirty carpet clean using the dry method but you’re going to have to work at it.

Shampoo and Bonnet Carpet Cleaning

Shampooing or using a Bonnet to clean carpets is the last restorative method I’ll touch on. This method provides a surface cleaning of the carpet. It’s a low moisture method, and you can do the largest amount of carpet in the shortest amount of time. Shampooing of carpet uses a commercial floor machine, an attached tank filled with carpet shampoo chemical, and a soft nylon shampoo brush. You release shampoo solution through the nylon shampoo brush in essence scrubbing the carpet. The shampoo and the agitation of the brush release the dirt from the fiber. You then vacuum the carpet when dry to remove the loose dirt, and dried shampoo. Bonnet cleaning utilizes the floor machine, and a carpet bonnet pad. You apply the chemical with a sprayer to the bonnet, and scrub the carpet using the floor machine. The dirt is transferred on to the carpet bonnet.