In past articles I have addressed carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning best practices, treating wine and food stains, and tips for dealing with pet odors. Those articles also note the importance of having your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Given that I have been professionally cleaning carpets and upholstery for the last 35 years, some may wonder if my views on professional cleaning are biased, so I wanted to talk about some industry resources.
There are really two questions here: Is professional carpet cleaning really needed? Which method of professional carpet cleaning is best?
One of the best sources of information on carpet is the carpet manufacturers themselves. Here is what Mohawk Industries, one of the leading manufactures, has published on carpet cleaning:
Vacuum high-traffic areas daily, medium to high traffic areas twice weekly and the entire house at least once a week with a vacuum that carries the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval. Even with regular vacuuming, soil particles and oily dirt will cling to carpet fibers. Foot traffic drives these particles and dirt deep into the carpet. Mohawk requires professional hot water extraction every 18 months…
There are three key points in the excerpt above:
- The importance of professional carpet cleaning in order to keep your carpets looking their best. In other words, professional carpet cleaning removes dirt and stains that a vacuum can’t.
- The term “requires” in relation to professional carpet cleaning. This statement actually comes from Mohawk’s carpet warranty brochure, meaning that professional hot water extraction is required on a regular basis to maintain the warranty on your carpets. Aside from appearances, hot water extraction removes deep-down dirt and debris that may harm carpet fibers.
- The fact that Mohawk calls specifically for the hot water extraction method. While there are a number of different carpet cleaning methods available today, Mohawk is clear about their preference. And, it turns out they aren’t the only one.
Shaw Industries Group is one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers and plainly states this on their website:
Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerate re-soiling and defeats the whole purpose of cleaning.
Shaw’s choice: Hot water extraction
Research indicates that the hot water extraction system provides the best capability for cleaning.
Their site also goes on to note that “Shaw warranties require that the homeowner be able to show proof of periodic cleaning by hot water extraction…,” echoing the same as Mohawk.
Hot Water Extraction vs. Steam Cleaning
It’s clear that carpet manufacturers prefer the hot water extraction method. However, this sometimes creates confusion for people as they often think that “steam carpet cleaning” is best. The issue is that “steam carpet cleaning” is just another name for the hot water extraction method. In other words, people may be more familiar with the less-technically accurate description “steam carpet cleaning” and not realize it actually refers to the hot water extraction method. Shaw Floors offers a great description of the hot water extraction method:
This system is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning,” although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of applying a cleaning agent into the carpet pile and using water in the extractor to recover the used solution and soil. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and wand brought inside or by a portable system brought into the home.
So…What is the Best Way to Clean Your Carpet and Upholstery?
The experts on carpets, the actual manufacturers, recommend weekly vacuuming in addition to regular professional carpet cleaning using the hot water extraction method. In fact, they not only recommend hot water extraction but require it as part of their warranties.
As always, I’m here to answer questions based on my 35 years of carpet and upholstery cleaning experience. Also, if you are considering getting your carpets cleaned, we are running a special this month that offers a 15% discount PLUS up to $125 in bonuses. Details can be found here.
Elliott S. Fishman, Co-Owner
Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.
About Elliott S. Fishman
Elliott Fishman, along with his son Brian, is the owner and operator of Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc. We serve the residents and businesses of Greater Cincinnati to include West Chester, Mason, Maineville, Loveland, Wyoming, Fairfield, Indian Hill, Montgomery, Hyde Park and Anderson Township. Elliott started this company in 1984, based on the belief that it takes Extra Effort to make each job a success. The father/son team puts the extra time, extra care, and extra effort go into every task they undertake – no matter how large or small the job. Extra Effort’s quality equipment, trained technicians and safe products have made the company a top choice for residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, water damage / water extraction, fabric protection, odor control and spot removal.