WHAT IS THE HOT WATER EXTRACTION PROCESS & WHY IS IT THE CHOICE OF OVER 90% OF PROFESSIONAL CLEANERS TODAY?
WHAT IS HOT WATER EXTRACTION?
Hot Water Extraction carpet cleaning (often referred to as “steam” cleaning) is a deep cleaning restorative process. It begins with a prespray cleaning solution that is applied to the carpet to aid in the dissolving of soil deposits. This is followed by an injection of a pressurized hot water rinsing solution into the carpet, followed then by an immediate powerful vacuum extraction. This phase removes the soils, pollutants, allergens, dust, and other contaminants from the carpeting.
WHY IS IT OUR METHOD OF CHOICE?
First: Hot water extraction carpet cleaning is efficient at removing all types of carpet soiling. Through the use of a variety of cleaning solutions, the breakdown and removal of water soluble soiling such as sugars, foods, beverages and salts can be extracted from the carpet fibers.
Second: Dry solvent soluble soiling such as grease, oil, tar, body oils, cooking oils and cosmetics are broken down, dissolved and dislodged from the fibers by the preconditioning phase (prespray) of the cleaning process.
Third: Insoluble soiling (particles that will not dissolve in water or dry solvent) such as clay, sand quartz, carbon, graphite and animal fiber, are removed by surrounding the particles with the prespray cleaning solution, and then the cleaning rinse and vacuum phase of the hot water extraction process, removes the suspended particles.
NOTE: While some spots and stains may alter or damage the dye structure of the carpet and cause permanent discoloration, others can have their discoloration reduced, or completely removed, by the application of specialized carpet spotting solutions and techniques.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER BENEFITS TO HOT WATER EXTRACTION?
IMPROVES CARPET APPEARANCE
It is a myth that people can do absolutely nothing to their carpet (never cleaning it) and have it always look good. But, it has long been a recognized fact that hot water extraction contributes in refreshing the texture of carpet. The moisture and heat can tighten up the twist of the fiber that is affected by foot traffic. It aids in fiber resiliency and pile appearance. Periodic hot water extraction cleaning (every 12 to 18 months) provides benefits to the carpet consumer by making the carpet look better, smell better, last longer and by providing a healthier home environment.
IMPROVES INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Hot water extraction carpet cleaning follows the principles of indoor pollutant and contamination reduction in the following ways:
First: Some biological contaminates can be eliminated just by the application of hot water (above 130° F) across the carpet.
Second: Many pollutants and contaminates can be destroyed, removed, or inactivated by a special chemical application.
Third: We can physically remove the contamination from the carpet. Through the use of environmentally friendly cleaning solutions we can dissolve and suspend the soils so as to aid in their subsequent removal by extraction. Through the use of water pressure agitation and vacuum extraction, we remove many of the contaminants and pollutants.
Finally: The use of a powerful vacuum across the carpet surface can provide ventilation and air movement for contaminant reduction by releasing trapped aerosols and gases.
For all of the reasons listed above, this is why the majority of the carpet manufacturers recommend the hot water extraction method as the very best way to clean and restore your carpeting.
I.I.C.R.C. Industry Standard Cleaning Process
1. Pre-vacuum: To remove as much dry soil from the carpet fibers as possible. 60-80% of the dry soil can be removed just by vacuuming alone. It’s much easier to remove these soils when they are dry than after they get wet. We vacuum the edges along the wall as well. This is a step that, unfortunately, most other carpet cleaners skip. But one that we, as well as the I.I.C.R.C, consider essential in having a good cleaning result.
2. Pre-spray and Conditioning: A non-residual cleaning chemical (a chemical that does not leave a residue behind which can cause a re-soiling problem) is sprayed on the carpet, then a special carpet rake or Rotovac (depending on your type of carpet) is used to work the chemical into the carpet to loosen and suspend the soils from the fibers.
3. Rinse and Extract: This step flushes and immediately removes the suspended soil up and out from the carpet fibers. To maximize the efficiency of this very important step of the cleaning process, we use a truck-mounted hot water extraction system with soft water and a non-residual hypo-allergenic rinsing agent along with a motorized power-wand called a Rotovac ( look under the heading “ Rotovac Carpet Wand”, to explain how and why we use this unique tool).
4. Groom the Carpet: Using a soft carpet brush designed for this purpose, the carpet pile is lifted and separated to help it dry evenly.
5. Drying: Drying times can vary due to the style of carpet, what it is made out of, humidity levels, and how much air is moving across the carpet. But, we make sure that the carpet is brought back to normal use as soon as possible, usually within 24hrs, which is the industry standard. Any furniture that is moved is either blocked up with high density Styrofoam blocks or tabbed with heavy gauge plastic squares so the furniture doesn’t sit on the damp carpet. Shoe covers are also provided for foot traffic during the drying period.
6. Protectant: This step is optional and at an additional cost, but highly recommended. After the cleaning, a carpet protectant is sprayed onto the carpet. The fluoropolymer protectant provides an invisible shield around the carpet fibers to help protect them against most oil and water based spills. Dry particulates, which can abrade the fiber, are more readily removed with your vacuum after the protectant has been applied. Another advantage of the protectant is that it allows the carpet to clean easier on its next cleaning. The protective coating does not change the feel or appearance of the carpeting.
These steps leave the carpet as clean as it can be!
Why we use a Rotovac instead of a carpet wand?
First and foremost, the Rotovac is an electric power tool. Comparing the Rotovac to a conventional carpet wand is like comparing an electric skill saw to a hand saw.
The counter-rotating cleaning heads of the Rotovac can make more cleaning passes per minute than is ever possible with a manual scrub wand. The rotary cleaning heads with its six spray jets and six vacuum slots turn at 250 rpm, producing 1500 extraction cleaning passes per minute compared to only about ten passes with a manual wand.
Since the cleaning heads turn in a circular motion, the carpet fibers are cleaned in all directions. This is what produces a far superior cleaning result.
The patented dome-shaped design of the cleaning heads completely encompasses the spray jets and vacuum slots to create a “steam chamber” effect in the cleaning zone with minimal heat loss. This powerful combination of contained heat, agitation and multiple flushing actions creates cleaning dynamics that cannot be equaled with a manual wand as the picture above shows.
The Rotovac’s intensive cleaning action restores heavily soiled carpets and matted traffic areas.
On average, the Rotovac leaves the carpet 20% drier when compared to a manual wand under similar conditions.