Carpet cleaners – they are not all the same…
We have heard many horror stories from our customers who have had a bad experience with their previous carpet cleaner, everything from their carpets being left soaking wet for 3 days to being left covered in foam and streaks!
A trained and certified carpet cleaning technician will work in accordance with the standards set out in AS/NZS 3733:1995 and have the technical knowledge, experience and equipment to do the job right the first time.
We were recently at a job and to our astonishment the customer told us that her last carpet cleaner was in and out in half an hour! We told her that it would be impossible to clean 5 rooms in that time. She told us he just came in, sprayed his shampoo (too much of it) and then immediately sucked it back up with his wet vacuum.
When washing your hair would you simply put shampoo on your head and then rinse it straight off ?
Needless to say she was extremely disappointed with the result, streaks and foam was left all through her carpets and stains remained that should have been taken out had the job been done correctly. We asked her what company it was, not naming names but it was one that offers discount vouchers on the back of supermarket dockets… BEWARE!
Every professional carpet cleaning job must start with a thorough vacuum, regardless of whether the customer has already previously vacuumed or not (it is in the standards). Pre-vacuuming using a commercial vacuum (an upright one with a rotary brush and HEPA filter installed) will remove upto 79% of dry soils. This process alone already greatly increases the effectiveness of the next stage…
After vacuuming, the carpets are coated with a hot ‘pre-spray’, this is a specially formulated detergent that loosens and suspends the remaining soils in the carpet ready for extraction. The type of chemical used will depend on the type of fibre of the carpet. Once again, a trained professional carpet cleaner would carry out tests to identify the fibre type of your carpet and use the most suitable chemicals that will provide the best results.
The pre-spray needs time to dwell, this is usually around 10-15 minutes and during this time it should also be agitated. The carpet cleaning technician will agitate the chemicals using a special carpet rake or a rotary scrubbing machine. This helps the detergents penetrate deep into the carpet fibres and loosen all the remaining dirt and soils.
Once the pre-spray has had time to dwell and has been agitated it is time to extract. The technician will now use his carpet cleaning ‘wand’ to inject a fine mist of hot water into the carpet and extract it out simultaneously with a wet vacuum.
A trained professional carpet cleaner will also use a neutralising agent that will balance the pH level of the carpets. This will help keep the carpet fibres soft, prevent rapid re-soiling and also prevent browning of the carpets. Care must be taken at this stage not to over-wet the carpets and steam pressure must be adjusted accordingly depending on the carpet fibre type… another reason to identify the fibre before commencing the job. Extra dry passes may also be required to help dry the carpets faster especially if the carpet is polypropylene or the weather is humid.
After extraction the technician should go over the carpet with the carpet brush, this will reset the carpet pile and also speed up the drying process. Leaving windows open and ceiling fans on will also speed up the drying time. Generally on a warm dry day carpets should be dry within a couple of hours at most. On a wet humid day a professional carpet cleaner would also use a large air dryer on your carpets to assist with drying.
Now, there is no way that could all be carried out in 30 minutes for carpet cleaning 5 rooms!