Professional Carpet Cleaning
Professional carpet cleaning extends beyond just having a nice powerful machine; there is actually a fair bit of science involved. An IICRC (Institute of Inspections, Cleaning & Restoration Certified) technician is well trained in the science of professional carpet cleaning and will clean in accordance with the AS/NZS 3733:1995 standards.
What is the carpet made of ?
Before even wetting the carpets, a professional technician will firstly identify the fibre of the carpet. Identifying the carpet fibre will assist the technician in selecting the right cleaning product for the carpet. Carpets made from a synthetic fibre are best cleaned with a more alkaline solution whereas natural fibre carpets such as wool are best cleaned with a neutral or slightly alkaline solution. The carpet fibre type can be determined by removing a few strands of fibre from an inconspicuous area and burning them with a lighter. Natural fibres will leave a soft powdery ash when burnt whilst synthetic fibres will leave a hard bead. Once the fibre type is known the technician will select the most appropriate cleaning solution for the job.
74-79% of carpet soils is made up of dry particles. This can mostly be removed by vacuuming with an upright vacuum fitted with a rotating brush. Only 16-22% of carpet soils actually require chemical removal. Within this amount though fine particles of carbon and dust may be bound to thermoplastic fibers by electrostatic forces inherent in the fiber’s molecular structure. These soils are not removed with dry vacuuming, and they may present a challenge even for aggressive chemical agents.
During this stage of the professional carpet cleaning process a high quality pre-spray is applied to the carpet. This pre-spray is actually the chemical solution selected by the technician deemed to be the most suitable product for your carpet, this will loosen soils in the carpet ready for extraction. Care is taken not to over-wet the carpets in this stage as over wetting can cause old stains and colouring from the natural fibre used in the backing to come to the surface.
Agitation and Dwell
Just like when washing your hair, carpet requires agitation to work the cleaning solution through the fibres and this helps loosen stubborn soils. Agitation is carried out either by hand using a carpet rake or by using a bonnet on a rotary scrubbing machine. The pre-spray will also be given time to dwell, usually around 20 minutes.
The extraction part of the process is where the technician will use a ‘carpet cleaning wand’ to extract the soils and residue while simultaneously rinsing the carpet. The carpet cleaning wand is connected to a high powered wet vacuum and also a pump that delivers a hot water rinse. The carpet cleaning wand injects the hot water solution deep into the carpet fibre which mobilises the soil particles, at the same time the high powered vacuum extracts this from the carpet and is deposited in the waste tank back at the machine. It is also vital in this stage that the correct pressure is used by the technician to ensure that the carpets are not over-wet. The technician may also use an acid rinse during this process which involves adding an acidic chemical to the water solution. The acid rinse will neutralise the ph level of the carpet, help prevent rapid re-soiling and also speed up the drying process.
For professional carpet cleaning on the Gold Coast, call us on 1300 559 717
Real versus “Apparent” Soil
Often carpet, especially in entry, pivot, and traffic areas, looks soiled even when its poor appearance is not the result of soiling. This condition is probably the result of “apparent soil,” as opposed to “real” soil. Apparent soiling – “soil” that isn’t really soil but appears dirty – comes from three sources:
describes the diffusion of light reflected from a fiber’s surface due to damage brought on by a combination of abrasive particle soil and traffic. Traffic grinds soil into thermoplastic fiber surfaces, creating scratched and abraded surfaces. In extreme circumstances,fibers may be cut in two, usually near the base wherelarger particles of abrasive soil accumulate.
refers to a gradual loss of color due to prolonged exposure of carpet dyes to light sources (incandescent, fluorescent, and sunlight). Prolonged contact between the dyes used to color nylon fibers and acid soils also can change a carpet’s color, or cause progressive appearance change in time.
is a reduction in pile density resulting from traffic and abrasive soil thinning out the fibers comprising a tuft.
Eventually, this minor fiber loss results in noticeable appearance change in heavy use areas that cannot be restoredwith cleaning.
The cumulative effect of soil on fibers occurs in four stages:
Stage 1 – New fibers reflect light uniformly from the source to the viewer’s eye.
Stage 2 – Fibers become soiled and abraded, color is “lost,” and the carpet appears worn (matted and crushed).
Stage 3 – Immediately after cleaning, fibers are coated with moisture, which affects fiber appearance in two ways: first, it magnifies dyes making them more colorful than ever, and second, it fills abraded areas on thefiber’s surface, which temporarily creates uniform light reflection to the viewer’s eye.
Stage 4 – Upon drying, traffic areas appear dull and dingy as light is diffused or deflected.