When it comes to cleaning carpets, it ends up being essential for those of us who have very light colored ones in the home, to clean them on a regular basis. It becomes a given if you have children and pets. Carpets require care and effort, almost becoming another child or pet in that sense, except it’s stationary and you don’t feed it food (intentionally anyway).
There are a few carpet cleaning methods available but they are dependent on your lifestyle, the weather in your area, and what you want to get out of each method, (i.e. just a surface clean, or deep clean).
This method is most used by professional cleaning companies for an annual purge of ground in muck. It works by using hot water and a mix of cleaning products, as well as adjustable measures of pressure in order to work its magic. Steam cleaning is also a great option for those who have children and pets, as it’s a very safe and effective method. It does take a while to dry (12-18 hours), so without the use of a hover board, it may be tricky to get around your home. Best thing to do is have this done when you plan to be out for a long time.
Very Low Moisture Cleaning (VLM)
This type of carpet cleaning is becoming increasing popular as it has an exponentially shorter drying time than steam cleaning. A pre-treatment chemical, which causes the dirt to crystallize, is sprayed on the carpet and ‘agitated’ with a brush to help lift any allergens, ground in dirt, sand etc. A specialized cleaning machine will then remove the loosened crystallized dirt with a vacuum like machine. Since the chemicals basically absorb the dirt and encase it, the drying time is reduced to between 1 and 4 hours. The chemicals used in this process can be harsh and may leave an odor, so discuss all the pros and cons with the company that will be doing the cleaning.
This procedure sprays chemicals on the carpet to break down dirt and pull it to the surface. A commercial grade machine with a spinning pad is then moved over the carpet to absorb the dirt and residue. This method does have potential in untrained hands to damage carpets, so confirm that the person doing the cleaning knows his/her thing.
Spot cleaning is best for smaller areas of carpet, or to lift a few stains. This technique can be used if you have your own carpet shampooer, or if you have a specific carpet cleaning solution you can spray on and dab away. It’s always prudent to ensure whatever chemicals you use in this technique don’t need to be removed afterwards with water, and that it is safe to use with children or pets in the home.
When it comes to prolonging the life and look of your carpets, take into consideration your needs and extenuating factors, whether it’s time, money, or other little feet (furry or human ones) and research the companies available in your area, so you can make an informed decision that is best for everyone.
With pets and kids running around our home, we want to make sure that our carpets are properly cleaned to remove any stains. I didn’t realize that there are so many different cleaning methods, but this was very helpful information. As you suggested, if we decide to have the steam cleaning done, we will try and plan to be out of our home while it dries.