Carpet Steam Cleaning Myths Debunked

13 October 2016
 Categories: , Articles

If you have tough stains ingrained in your carpet and you find that the stains will not release with regular cleaning, then it may be wise to invest in a professional carpet cleaning service. Most carpet cleaning businesses will offer steam cleaning, which may be needed to release stains. Unfortunately, you may not quite understand how steam cleaning works since there are many misconceptions about the process. Keep reading to learn about a few common misconceptions and why they are not true.

Steam Cleaning Does Not Use Cleaning Agents

Most people believe that steam cleaning involves the use of extremely hot water alone to clean the carpeting, but chemicals are typically used in almost all circumstances when carpets are professionally cleaned. The traditional shampoo is not used during steam cleaning. Instead, the cleaning will involve the use of a dry cleaning agent that contains a solvent, a soap or detergent, a whitening agent, a perfume, and an absorbent material. 

The dry cleaner is sprinkled onto the floor, and then the steam cleaner is moved over the carpet. The water in the steam wets the carpet and activates the cleaner. The solvent and detergent help work up the debris from the carpet, and the absorbent agent holds the debris. The cleaner, debris, and water are then sucked up from the carpet with the cleaning machine. The use of cleaning agents during the steam cleaning appointment will help to remove stains and debris from the carpet so the carpet is easier to maintain through weekly vacuuming.

If you do not want chemicals used during the steam cleaning, then it is possible to ask for a plain hot water extraction cleaning. The steam will help to release some of the debris from the carpeting fibers so it can be sucked up. The carpet may not look as clean and bright, but this type of service can reduce any concerns you might have about the use of chemicals in your home. If you have specific health and environmental concerns when it comes to carpet cleaning, then you can also ask for the use of green cleaners. There are dozens of carpet cleaning products that are environmentally friendly, so ask for one of these certified products by name or ask the carpet cleaner what type of green cleaner they offer. 

Steam Cleaning Can Shrink Your Carpet

Some carpeting can shrink after a professional cleaning appointment. However, this will only happen if your carpeting is made up of a certain material and the carpet cleaner leaves your carpeting extremely wet. When a steam cleaning or hot water extraction cleaning is completed, very little water is actually used during the process. The water is needed to activate the cleaner and to work up some of the dirt. However, the water does not completely saturate the carpeting fibers like it would during a traditional shampoo cleaning. This means that the carpet is not likely to remain wet after the detergent is removed. You may notice a small bit of dampness, but this will not cause shrinking issues.

Also, most carpets are made out of materials that will not shrink when they are subjected to high levels of heat and moisture. Carpets are typically made out of polypropylene, nylon, polyester, acrylic, cotton, cotton-blends, and wool. The only one of these materials that may shrink is wool. Wool fibers lock into one another when they are exposed to heat and moisture. This is what causes the shrinking. 

Wool carpets are much more expensive than other types of carpeting, so you likely know if you have a wool carpet or not. If you are not sure, then ask the carpet cleaner to complete a patch test on one area of the carpeting before the entire floor is cleaned to make sure the carpet will not shrink.

For more information on carpet steam cleaning, contact a company like Boss Systems Carpet Cleaning.