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An Introduction to Carpet Cleaning Basics

By Michael Hilton

Did you know there is more than one way to clean your carpet? Do you know when you need heat to tackle stains? How about the various types of water stains?

Carpet Cleaning Methods 101

There are a few basic methods used to clean carpets. Here's a basic overview:

  • Shampoo
  • Just like your hair, shampooing a carpet involves cleaning chemicals and hot water to remove stains and dirt. This cleaning method typically requires drying time and sometimes requires repeat cycles.

  • Foam
  • A variation on the shampoo method, chemical foam is applied to the carpet using a sponge, and then left to dry. Vacuuming the carpet afterwards removes the chemical residue and the dirt along with it.

  • Steam
  • Steam cleaning equipment injects detergent at high heat and immediately extracts it, along with stains and dirt in this popular carpet cleaning method. A good steam-cleaning depends on good equipment, good chemicals, and carpet that isn't "too far gone."

  • Absorbent
  • With this method, a dry compound is sprinkled over the carpet. A machine brushes the compound into the carpet, and a later vacuuming removes the compound as well as stains and dirt.

War against Carpet Water Stains

When water stains your carpet, it's important to know which kind it is and when to act. There are three basic types of water stains:

  • Clean. Clean water is potable, bottled, or from faucets throughout your home. This type of water often dries without damaging your carpet.
  • Gay. This mid-range type of water has more contaminants, like aquarium water, pool water, washing machines, and other similar sources. You can only leave these stains for a few hours before they cause damage.
  • Black. This is the worst type of water stain, coming from the sewer, ground, or the sea. In most cases, a professional service typically is required for stains like these.

Getting Heated with Tough Stains

For tougher stains, the key is using carpet cleaning equipment that involves heat. It's the heat that separates bacteria from your carpet, when water and chemicals don't do the trick. If you don't own any carpet cleaning equipment, it is available for rent, or you can hire a professional cleaning service. Depending on the stain, it may be worth it.

Sources

A2Z Carpets

KomoTV.com

Professional Carpet Systems

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

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