The Advantages of Steam Cleaning Your Carpet
Steam cleaning has been available for years and does an amazing job of deep carpet cleaning. If done right, steam cleaning can remove most deep-seated dirt, dust mites, surface oils and other allergens from your carpet and leave it looking great. There can be some confusion about the steam cleaning process and several manufacturers have contributed to the confusion in recent years by releasing vacuums with steam cleaning ‘like’ features that are not truly steam cleaners.
A true steam cleaner is defined as a unit that heats water to a very high temperature creating a steam vapour, applies this water vapour to your carpet and then immediately extracts both the solution and the dirt in a collection tank. In some cases there may also be a detergent mixed with the water to help with stains or particularly dirty carpets.
The key difference between these commercial steam cleaners and many models sold to consumers is the temperature of the water used. The whole basis of steam cleaning your carpets is that the water is heated to a very high temperature. In some cases, this water is close to 200 degrees and is very effective at removing grease and dirt for the average carpet. It does this because it can neutralize the adhesive bond that most dirt and grease have as part of their makeup. It’s this adhesive attraction to the carpet fibres that prevents most standard vacuums from getting all of the dirt out of your carpet. Unless this adhesive bond is dissolved, the dirt will stick to the carpet. When a steam cleaner delivers this high temperature steam to the carpet, it dissolves this bond and then the dirt and any remaining solution is immediately vacuumed up into the unit.
This is important since the adhesive will form again very quickly once the steam is removed. In this fashion, a steam cleaner can do the best job possible in getting the tracked-in dirt and grease from your carpets since it vacuums it up right after applying the steam. Other appliances that are being released claim to have similar cleaning abilities, but don’t really heat the water hot enough to release all the dirt and stains. They try to help this process by adding certain detergents and cleaners to the water being heated and this helps release more of the dirt.
The challenge with some of these consumer models is that if they don’t get all of the detergent up from the carpet with the vacuuming, it tends to attract even more dirt and can make your carpet dirtier over time. A true steam cleaner will also penetrate the carpet deeper than a consumer version and ensures that you are able to get all of the dirt out of your carpet. Another advantage to the high heat of the steam cleaner is that it kills many other nasty things that tend to collect in your carpet. The high heat is the only proven solution for dust mites, and will also kill most bacteria and germs as well.
This means a good steam cleaning will help rid your home of these allergens and leave your carpets both clean and sanitized. A home cleaner will need to have additional chemicals added to its water solution to accomplish this and may leave residue from these chemicals behind, which can be a hazard if they are not completely removed by the vacuum. Steam cleaning is recommended by most carpet manufacturers and is a great way to keep your carpets in top shape. The recommendation is to have your carpets steam cleaned about once a year for normal use. If you have pets and kids, you may need to do it more often, especially in high traffic areas. Also, steam cleaning will help you keep your carpet in better shape between cleanings as well. By removing the deep down dirt with steam cleaning, you are also eliminating a lot of the greasy residue that attracts new dirt that is hard to catch with your normal vacuuming. Once a carpet has been steam cleaned it is easier to vacuum out the everyday dirt that normally accumulates on your carpet.
To steam clean a room, many companies will recommend removing whatever furniture you can from the room and then completely vacuum the floor to remove any loose dirt. The steam cleaning company can then do a section of the room and move the remaining furniture to that section while they clean the rest. Even though water is being used as part of the process, it is being vacuumed up directly after being applied so the floor ends up a little damp after the cleaning, but never wet. The room will be fine for normal traffic in a few hours after the cleaning. Having your carpets steam cleaned once a year will keep them looking at their best. Steam cleaning will remove any deep-set dirt and also eliminate many allergens to make your carpets more sanitary and easier to clean as well.