There are several approaches to cleaning carpets for soil removal, sanitisation, stain removal or reduction.
Which method is the best for your home or office?
Modern Carpet cleaning methods
Dry Cleaning or Wet Cleaning. All carpet cleaning and maintenance styles can be divided into one of two groups. Wet cleaning such as Hot water extraction, Steam extraction, carpet shampooing. Then there is Dry cleaning methods such as Bonnet cleaning and Micro Encapsulation cleaning. Although some methods overlap the two divisions such as shampooing, this may be applied in a drier fashion or with more water to encourage extra soil removal.
The Australian / New Zealand joint industry standard supervised by the two Governments [AS/NZS 3733:1995] is a comprehensive reference and guide to acceptable maintenance of residential and commercial floor coverings.
The AS/NZS 3733:1995 standard separates all carpet cleaning method into these two categories…
Surface cleaning methods include, The Foam aerosol spray system, Bonnet cleaning system, Absorbent compound system , Liquid shampoo [followed by wet vacuum] and finally the Dry Foam [followed by wet vacuum]
Corrective or restorative cleaning
Restorative cleaning methods include, Liquid shampoo and dry foam systems [followed by hot water extraction] and The Hot water injection and extraction systems [commonly referred to as Steam Cleaning]
The Encapsulation method
Encapsulation is dryer. Faster drying times mean less inconvenience. The area treated can be used quickly after cleaning. It looks great. The deep and persistent agitation of the rotary machine which gently scrubs the carpet pile with its soft brushes and slow action works in the foam which is imbibed with highly active soil dispersing emulsifiers and solvents. These pull soils adhered to the carpet fibres and suspend them in space for easy removal by vacuum or extraction. The result is the carpets appears cleaner, brighter and dry quickly.
How does it work?
Micro encapsulate shampoo is a purpose built light, foam which will become crystallised when dry and is easily vacuumed. It is laced with several active components which are not evident to the naked eye. Encapsulate resin with ionic charge this formulation clings to soils, surrounds it and isolates it in suspension away from the carpets fibres. Additional resin also adheres to the fibres on your carpets protecting them from abrasive and discolouring activity of foreign soils. Embedded stain resistance qualities in the resin now coating the fibres provides a stain and soil shield. This continues to protect the flooring between cleans. The carpets look cleaner longer and next interval cleaning will respond better.
The Steam Extraction method
Steam injection and extraction increased hugely in the early eighties in New Zealand. It became and has remained the staple of carpets maintenance in New Zealand and across Australia. Steam extraction has been proven to be unsurpassed in its ability to remove the majority of foreign soils hosted in carpets and fabrics. Stain removal is much more efficient with this method as the extraction process facilitates the use of a wider range of chemical formations.
New Zealand carpets are unique in the sense we have a much larger proportion of wool carpets in residential and executive offices. Although many new synthetic carpets with attractive easy maintenance qualities have entered the market, many kiwis prefer the higher quality resilient natural woollen flooring at home.
Woollen carpets often have a dense pile which can host a lot of soils. The Steam extraction method is very well suited to emulsifying and flushing the soils out very effectively.
This is a key reason Hot water extraction is still the dominant method here in New Zealand.
Drying time after a steam clean can vary depending on the fibre cleaned and the drying conditions in the building. Many synthetic fibres absorb very little water where as a wool can hold the dominant percentage of its weight in water.
Some buildings and homes have excellent drying conditions due to air conditioning and other factors even in wet weather or high humidity, carpets will dry quickly. Drying times are however a concern of yesteryear when steam cleaning technology was in its early stages. Modern vehicle mounted and portable extraction machines are now much more efficient with new technology and better understanding of physics it is not unusual to have a carpet which has been steam cleaned to dry faster than one which has been dry cleaned.
How is it done?
According to the AS/NZS 3733:1995 the Steam injection and extraction method should comprise of four stages.