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26Oct 2013
Carpet Cleaning: a Simple Guide
Carpet Cleaning: a Simple Guide

There is little else in the domestic cleaning world that can make a room feel like it has been almost redecorated than cleaning a long neglected carpet. You may not have noticed, but as time goes on, dirt will collect in lighter colored carpets that stains them evenly, darkening the color in a way that you will not be able to see, as it is that slow a process. Therefore, when you clean it effectively, you will find that the old color comes back almost immediately, and you will no doubt be shocked by the results! The fresh look of a new carpet is what you will get with most of the cleaning methods below, so do not just put up with vacuuming every now and again; get it cleaned properly! All of the methods have their various pitfalls and can be more or less expensive, so have a look and see which technique will work best for you.

First off, the cheapest option is to ‘shampoo’ your carpet yourself. The fact is, you can get it done without the professional help that you perhaps thought you might need. The process involved scrubbing a solution in to the carpet, that is usually sprayed out of a can, or a powder mixed up with water. The solution bubbles and fizzes and lifts the dirt out of the carpet. The solution then dries, and you vacuum it all out of the pile, leaving it looking a lot cleaner. Obviously this method is not as effective as professional cleaning, as hand scrubbing will only reach the top third of the pile, so it will not look quite as new as it did. You may also find that the residue is not fully vacuumed up, as it sticks a little to the fibers. The real issue with this is that the adhesive nature of the residue will attract dust and dirt more quickly than before and the carpet may well need cleaning rather soon after you have done it!

Professional cleaning may well be the way forward then, if you want to avoid the issues associated with all of the above. You may well find that there are a range of different techniques out there, but the two main categories will the the badly named ‘steam’ cleaning’ or dry cleaning. Essentially the difference is between wet and dry. Steam cleaning should really be called hot water extraction, as it uses extremely hot water to push and pull the dirt out of the pile of the carpet. The heat of the water breaks down the bonds in the dirt, and the pressure will remove it from the fibers. The water is blasted in and sucked out very quickly, leaving the carpet almost dry, but dirt free. If the cleaning equipment is not up to scratch however, then the carpet can be left really damp and warm, which will mean mold is more likely to grow!

Dry cleaning involves a compound being spread over, or scrubbed into the carpet pile, and then being mixed with a small amount of solution to create a chemical reaction that attracts and therefore removes dirt. The solution dries and is vacuumed out, leaving the carpet looking extremely fresh and new. This is a great method, but will be rather expensive due to the specialist nature of the process, and the chemicals involved. Whichever process works for you, you will need to weigh up the longevity and risks of the process against the costs.

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