Steam or Dry Clean
Carpets are prone to dirt caused by dust and food particles. They are cleaned using different methods depending on their material, type and stains stuck on them. The most common carpet cleaning methods are dry cleaning and steaming.
Before deciding on the most suitable way to clean your carpet, equip yourself with information about it. What are the pros and cons of that particular method? How is it carried out? What do I need to dry-clean or steam my carpet? These are among the questions we seek to shed light on in this article. Thanks to our friends from procarpetcleaningsydney.com.au for sharing their expertise on this matter.
The Steam Cleaning Method
Steam cleaning is also referred to as wet cleaning. It involves the use of a vacuum cleaner. This method is effective for extracting dirt and bacteria lodged deep into the carpet’s fabric. It can be done as often as possible.
How to Steam-Clean a Carpet
- If you have extra space in the next rooms, take out your furniture and leave it there. If not, push the furniture to the furthest edges against the wall. You can also move it to one side of the room then transfer it back after cleaning.
- Pick up the visible dirt particles, papers, toys, and other items from the carpet.
- Vacuum clean it to and fro.
- Add hot water into your carpet steamer as instructed on the equipment guide.
- Fill the remaining space with vinegar up to the maximum calibrated point of the steamer tank.
- Switch on the steamer and push or pull it across the room in straight lines. You can as well decide to clean a particular spot on one side of the carpet before moving on to the next.
- Leave it to dry for 5 to 8 hours. If it’s made of heavy material, it may take up to 12 hours to dry completely.
Advantages of Steam Cleaning
- Gets rid of molds – The growth of molds thrives on surfaces that are damp and dirty. The heat produced through steaming kills it. Keep your carpet as dry as possible after cleaning to avoid this.
- Prolongs the carpet’s lifespan – A dirty carpet get worn out quickly. Its color changes due to stains. It can get torn easily and lose its texture. Steaming retains these features in your carpet and extends its life.
- Kills dust mites – These are microscopic creatures that dwell on fabric carpets. They are transferred through the dust. Environments that are moist and warm make a suitable breeding space for mites.
- Cleaning your carpet with a steamer will kill them and demolish their habitats.
Disadvantages of Using Steaming Method
- Takes long before drying – Due to the amount of moisture sprayed on the carpet during the process, a lot of time is taken to completely dry. This is made worse if the weather is cold. Mildew can start forming if the air circulation is not adequate in the room after steaming is done.
- Unsuitable for deep stains and heavy soil – Despite using strong detergents and water that’s very hot, some stains are hard to remove with steaming. An alternative needs to be sought. This results in double work.
The Dry Carpet Cleaning Process
This method involves specific cleaners with minimal or no moisture. Dirt, sand, soil, grit, and stains are removed without the use of water. Ice dry-cleaning and Encapsulation are other ways of carrying out this method of cleaning.
How to Dry-clean a Carpet Using Compounds
- Use a sifter to sprinkle the powdered cleaning compounds on the carpet. Sprinkle more on the spots that have deeper stains.
- Spread them evenly throughout the carpet using a soft-bristled brush.
- Leave the powder to work for half an hour.
- Vacuum clean the carpet back and forth until there are no visible stains.
Dry-cleaning With an Encapsulant
Encapsulants are cleaners made in liquid form. It is diluted to prevent corroding and damaging the carpet.
- Get rid of any items on the carpet.
- Mix warm water with an Encapsulant in a sprayer.
- Spray the solution evenly on the carpet.
- Leave it to moisten the surface for half an hour.
- Use a brush to sink it deeper into the fabric.
- Switch on the vacuum cleaner and remove the remaining stains.
Advantages of Dry Carpet Cleaning
- Dries fast – There’s no moisture logged into the carpet after cleaning. You can take back the furniture to their positions almost immediately after cleaning.
- Cleans deeply – The soft brush used after the compound or encapsulant is sprayed on the carpet pushes them deeper into the carpet. The dirt in those areas is vacuumed out easily because it has loosened up.
- Dissolves most types of stains – The chemicals used to manufacture the dry cleaning agents are strong enough to dissolve different types of dirt and stains.
- Prevention of mold – It is unlikely for mold to build upon a dry cleaned carpet because there is no moisture to support its existence.
Disadvantages of Dry Carpet Cleaning Method
- Makes the house dusty – Most compounds are in powder form. Once sprinkled, the particles can cling to seats and other furniture. This may be fatal to people who have dust allergies.
- Gets trapped in the fabric – Some particles of the compound are not cleaned out completely. They pile up and create discomfort when you walk on the carpet.
When is the Best Time to Choose Each Process?
Both cleaning methods have their pros and cons. Each is suitable for use under different circumstances. Weather, time available for cleaning, and the available equipment play a major role in determining when to use either method.
During cold weather, dry cleaning is more suitable as steam cleaning leads to more time and temperature for the carpet to dry. This may not be an option during winter or spring.
When the stains are too deeply rooted in the fabric, steaming is the best method to use. It goes deep to remove the most stubborn stains.
In conclusion, your cleaning method of choice should be directed by the available time, conditions, and resources. The main aim is to give your carpet a sparkle and longer life.