When it comes to cleaning your carpets, you have a couple questions to consider: do you steam or dry clean? Do you perform the cleaning yourself or have it professionally done?
When done well, steam cleaning is likely the best process and most often recommended by carpet manufacturers. “Done well” means that the water is hot enough, the technician is appropriately trained (IICRC Certified is best), the cleaning agents are correct for your carpet and the equipment—particularly the vacuum—is in good working order. A fully functioning truck-mounted vacuum should recapture around 95% of the moisture introduced into your carpet. This will dramatically increase soil and waste removal, while reducing drying time.
It is important to recognize that if you desire steam cleaning, most home maintenance tools don’t always measure up. While highly touted by their manufacturers, they typically can’t produce enough heat, power or suction to sufficiently clean your carpets. They may suffice for spot cleaning, but for a true deep extraction cleaning, you’ll be far better served by spending your money on a cleaning professional operating from a truck-mounted unit that produces real steam. In order for steam to get to your carpet, the water needs to be heated to around 250 degrees, to account for the drop in temp from the unit to your carpet!
It is critical that the carpets don’t get too wet, and that all the cleaning agents are completely removed. Overwetting can cause backing separation or leave ripples in your carpet. Not removing all the cleaner may leave residues that can cause rapid resoiling.