There are 11 important steps to an effective carpet cleaning. Your carpet cleaning professional should include these 11 steps in their service in order to achieve optimal results for your carpet.
1. Survey the Scene
Before bringing any equipment into your home or starting any treatments for your carpet. your technician should do a thorough walkthrough of the job. They should ask you accompany them on the walkthrough. During this walkthrough, the technician will become familiar with your carpet. They will determine what type of carpeting you have, such as berber or plush. They will also determine the fiber type, whether it’s natural or synthetic. The technician will ask you questions about your carpet and about any stains or soils that they see to learn more about your carpet. They will also note high traffic areas.
During the walkthrough you should point out any and all concerns about your carpet to the technician. And be sure to ask them any questions that you have about your carpet or their service.
This initial step is crucial to informing the homeowner about what they can expect from the cleaning. The technician will explain how they will treat any areas of concern and they will inform you of the likely results of the entire cleaning.
2. Thoroughly Vacuum
Did you know that up to 75% of soils in carpeting are dry soils that can be removed by simple vacuuming? It is important to remove these dry soils before the hot water extraction carpet cleaning because they can turn into a mud-like substance during the wet process of the cleaning, making the cleaning more difficult. Vacuuming also removes small objects, such as pebbles or gummy bears, that can harm the technician’s equipment.
3. Pre-Spray the Carpet
Your technician uses an effective pre-spray solution as the first step in breaking down the embedded soils in the carpeting. The pre-spray solution is counteracts the acidic (pH below 7) nature of most soiling with its alkaline (pH above 7) qualities. This difference in pH between the solution and the soils helps break down the soils. The technician evenly sprays this solution over the entire carpeted area so that all of the soils are treated.
4. Agitate the Soils
Agitation is a key step in the carpet cleaning process. Using a carpet rake or grooming brush, the technician will make several passes over the carpeted area, agitating the pre-spray solution into the carpet. This scrubbing helps to coat each and every fiber of your carpet with the high powered pre-spray solution. Without the agitation step, the pre-spray might only coat the top layer of the carpet fibers, missing the bottom half of them and leaving soils untouched and untreated.
5. Allow Dwell Time
Just as with any type of cleaning, it is necessary to allow the carpet cleaning solution time to ‘do its work’. After pre-spraying and agitation, the technician then allows the solutions time to dwell in the carpeting. The typical dwell time for pre-spray solutions to effectively breakdown soils in most carpets is about 15 minutes. It’s worth the wait!
6. Rinse Thoroughly
It’s important for your carpet cleaning technician to restore the pH of your carpet back to neutral, or 7, for its long term health and beauty. In order to restore the pH of the carpet back to neutral, your technician uses an acidic rinse solution to balance the alkaline pre-spray. This rinse is fed through the Rotovac 360i and is mixed with very hot water (up to 230º!). The combination of the rinse solution, the hot water, and the Rotovac 360i is where the magic happens. All of the pre-spray solution and the soils it counteracted are now rinsed, vacuumed up (extracted), and on their way to the waste tank in the carpet cleaning truck.
7. Treat Spots
Sometimes the pre-spray solution will not get rid of all of your stains. Some stains are so embedded that your technician must use a special solution to get them out. For example, sometimes rust, kool-aid or makeup can cause these types of stains. Your technician has a staining kit that has a wide variety of solutions that help with the additional breakdown of tough stains.
It is important to know that not all stains can be removed or even reduced. For example, if a staining agent destroys carpet dyes, there is no spotting solution that can bring that dye back to life.
Also, some stains will only lighten up or appear reduced because, over time, stains become more permanent on carpeting.
8. Double Check
After the initial cleaning is finished, it is important for the technician to have a second look around the carpeting to make sure all spots, high traffic areas, and other problematic areas have been addressed to your satisfaction.
9. Apply Carpet Protector
Your carpeting has just received a fantastic, thorough cleaning. How do you keep it that way? Well, one way is for your technician to apply a carpet protector. Your technician sprays this solution onto the carpet after the cleaning. The carpet protector helps the carpet resist excessive soil building and further staining. The protector coats the fibers of the carpet with a protective layer and greatly helps to increase the lifespan of the carpeting.
10. Encourage Drying
When the cleaning and protecting is complete, the carpeting will still be moist to the touch. Most of the moisture was removed during the extraction process (Step #6). However, the extraction process cannot remove 100% of the moisture. So, it is important for your technician to bring fans onto the carpeted areas to increase air-flow to speed up the drying time. Your technician should bring fans into each carpeted area and let them run while they cleans another room in your home or while they pack up their equipment.
Any bit of extra air-flow helps in the drying process. So, after your technician leaves your house, you can complete the drying of your carpet by placing box or oscillating fans in the carpeted areas. Also, turning on ceiling fans and increasing the heat in your home helps carpet drying during the winter months. Of course, keeping windows nice and wide open in the warm months will also help increase airflow and dry times.
11. Take the Customer on a Final Walk Through
After the cleaning process is complete, your technician will take you on a tour of their work. They want you to inspect the results from their cleaning. They will explain the steps they took to make your carpeting look squeaky clean! If you still have any concerns, they will address them right away. They won’t leave your house until you are completely satisfied with your carpet cleaning.