Among the many methods professional carpet cleaners use, steam cleaning employs a hot water extraction solution that cleans carpets deeply using water temperatures between 180-212 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, carpet steam cleaning companies provide services for residential and business customers.
Before a steam cleaning
Prior to a carpet steam cleaning company’s arrival, be sure to vacuum your carpets thoroughly. This will suck up any extra debris and make it easier for the carpets to stay cleaner after the cleaning.
Additionally, take certain precautions to ensure that your belongings are safe:
- Remove any small items from the carpet area
- Put away valuables that run the risk of falling or getting broken
- Move any furniture that covers up carpeted areas that need to be cleaned.
- Be sure to point out any high-traffic areas in your home that need special attention.
Steam cleaning detergents
Steam cleaning companies use several different types of detergents. Typically, they use an alkaline detergent to clean carpets thoroughly and loosen up dirt and other debris. Additionally, they can mix in an acidic solution, such as an ammonia-based solvent, with the detergent to balance out the pH in the carpet. Next, they rinse the carpet and use a vacuum suction tool to extract the dirty water.
Some steam cleaning services offer natural cleaning solutions for those allergic to detergents or who prefer chemical-free solutions. Inquire beforehand to ensure that the company provides this option.
The cleaning process
To begin the steam cleaning process, carpet cleaners typically combine an industrial-strength detergent with steaming hot water and then apply the mixture to the carpet. Afterward, workers use a cleaning wand, normally attached to the steam cleaning machine via a long rod or tube, to agitate and suck the solution back into the machine. A rinsing solution follows that helps neutralize the strong detergent smell and balances the pH in the carpet.
Expect the cleaning process to take at least one hour for standard-sized homes. Larger homes or homes with heavily soiled carpet usually take longer.
On average, carpets take six to eight hours to dry completely after a steam cleaning. For faster results, ventilate the area by opening windows or running a ceiling fan. You can walk on your carpet immediately after a cleaning, but exercise caution because it will still be damp.
Care after steam cleaning
After your carpets are cleaned, regularly vacuum and use doormats close to doorways to keep your carpet clean. Avoid using scented carpet powders. Although a vacuuming powder can give your carpet a pleasant smell, it helps your carpet accumulate dust more easily and is extremely difficult to remove from carpet fibers.