Most carpets are low-maintenance and only require regular vacuuming to be presentable. Still, it’s best to have carpets cleaned by professionals once a year. Doing so extends their life, maintains their appearance, and prevents dirt buildup. Wanting to save money and not having enough time to supervise carpet cleaners, however, may drive many to choose to clean carpets by themselves.
ImproveNet estimates the average cleaning cost at $168. Meanwhile, Angie’s list gives a more concise and conservative estimate at $51 per room.
Carpet cleaning isn’t the most expensive home maintenance project, but the savings are still welcome. DIY carpet cleaning gives homeowners that — but only when it’s done right. Otherwise, people can expect to see the cleaning and repair bills to go up because a poorly cleaned carpet is a magnet for dirt, damage, and more home upkeep bills.
The Problem with Oversaturation
A common mistake in DIY carpet cleaning is using too much water on wall-to-wall carpets. Unlike rugs or mats, these carpets stay fixed on the floor and are difficult to lift. If water pools through to the backing material, the moisture can spread underneath the carpet and soak a wider square footage. Moreover, it can take days for the wet patch to dry, especially if the room doesn’t get plenty of sunlight.
As soaked fibers deteriorate quickly, they become duller than the rest of the carpet. Loose dirt and oils can also end up in the moist patch, coagulate, and form stains. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid these problems associated with over-saturated carpets by hiring a professional carpet cleaning service.
Carpets Need the Right Kind of Soap
Ordinary detergent and soap are the go-to cleaning agents for DIY carpet cleaners. They’re not that effective at removing carpet stains, however. Detergent works on clothes because the liquid solution acts on the fabric from all sides. Liquid detergent can only remove dirt from the carpet top, however.
Another reason ordinary detergent and soap are not ideal for carpet cleaning is they naturally attract dirt and grease particles. A study in the Royal Society of Chemistry reveals that soap molecules are long-strands composed of a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic end, which repels water and attracts dirt and oil molecules instead. This is how soap works when it washes the dirt off your skin. It’s a problem when cleaning carpets, though; the soap molecules have no place to drain away. The soap residue will stay on carpet fibers and continue attracting dirt and grease.
Wet Steam Extraction: A Professional’s Touch
Professional carpet cleaners have a solution for dirt buildup due to soapy residue: wet steam extraction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IIRC) endorsed this process to carpet manufacturers and cleaning services worldwide.
Wet heat extraction is more effective at removing dirt, dust, and residue from carpets. It uses a vacuum-like machine that circulates hot steam through carpet fibers and softens stubborn stains.
Anchor Water Damage and Restoration uses various cleaning solutions that match different carpets to ensure complete stain removal. We also adjust the steam temperature accordingly. For instance, we lower the heat for natural fiber carpets as they may shrink in high temperatures.
Professional wet steam extraction solves the problem that DIY carpet cleaning often leaves behind. See its effects first-hand. Contact us to schedule a cleaning.