Facts About Carpet Cleaning You Should Know
Before Hiring Anyone.

No more soaked carpets?  WOW!

A cleaning job done with proper steam cleaning equipment combined with a well trained technician will NOT soak your carpeting.  Most of our jobs dry within 2 hours.  If your carpet guy shows up with a cleaner that plugs into the wall, send him packing.  We have a state-of-the-art powerful truck based system that cost upwards of $40,000.  This is no toy. 

See a video of our steam cleaning in action.  If you've never seen steam pour off the carpet tool like this...you've never had REAL steam cleaning!

Click Here For Video 1
Click Here For Video 2 

 If we could only spend a few thousand dollars and/or rent a machine at the home center with the same results - we would!   With the proper equipment and techniques your carpets end up clean, and dry very quickly with no soaking or wetting of the backing or padding.


Who cares? All cleaners do the same thing - right  NO!


It all breaks down to several types of cleaning systems/techniques out there regardless of what some hustler may be trying to sell you as "the best thing you ever saw!" 

  • Bonnet Cleaning
  • Dry Chemical Cleaning
  • Encapsulation Cleaning
  • Hot Water Extraction
  • Steam Extraction Cleaning

Bonnet Cleaning:

Bonnet cleaning basically consists of a floor buffer with a shaggy pad on the bottom.  The cleaner will spray/mist down a detergent and proceed to "buff" your carpet. This can give the illusion that you are removing soil from the carpet but in reality you are simply doing what you might do to your child's shirt after an accident until you can get home and wash it...wiping off the surface gunk and grinding the rest into the fibers.

The disadvantages of the bonnet cleaning method are: pile distortion and fiber damage on cut-pile carpet, swirl marks left behind, soil ground into the carpet, abrasion of carpet due to gritty soil, detergent and soil build-up. Additionally, only two dimensions (width and length) of the carpet are really cleaned - that is, the surface. Under the cleaned surface may exist a living, breathing sewer. Unfortunately, a clean "appearance" is all some customers see and think it's clean.. 


Dry Chemical Cleaning:

Chemical Dry Cleaning is basically just like it sounds.  You sprinkle a dry chemical in your carpet and let what looks like a hotrod vacuum cleaner agitate and suck the powder back out.

The disadvantage is, that it simply it doesn't work very well and leaves a chemical residue in your carpet. 



You might have also had the CHEMical DRY cleaning guys out to your home as well and they showed up with something like this:

Rest assured you are not getting anything magical.  It's nothing more than a tool used in a poor version of Hot Water Extraction cleaning listed below.

Encapsulation Cleaning:

Encapsulation Cleaning is the only "alternative" cleaning method that in this professional's opinion has merit.  In essence, encap cleaning is a result of the strides we have made in chemistry mixed with and old school carpet shampoo system.

The machine is basically a carpet shampoo unit with scrub brushes and a solution. The solution lathers, removes the soil and suspends it...this is where the shampoo system would stop and you have loads of detergent stuck in your carpet...However, the KEY difference here is in the chemistry.  The "foamy lather" when dry turns into a crystalline powder and soil - now "encapsulated"  is vacuumed away.

The million dollar question:  Does it work?  Yes it does!.  However I believe it has it's limitations.  

Encapsulation is a more for low nap commercial type cleaning, and even then is really only an interim system between extraction cleanings as you can only crystallize and vacuum away so much soil.

HOW IS THE SOIL REMOVED FROM DEEP WITHIN THE CARPET?  With Encap, it really isn't which is why we call it an interim cleaning between extractions.

We do offer Encap cleaning using the Cimex system.  BUT we will NOT sell you that it is the solution or best/only way to do it.  It has it's applications and that's where it belongs.

Hot Water Extraction:

Now we are starting to get to the real cleaning system that REMOVES soil from the carpet.  HWE or Hot Water Extraction at times is also wrongly coined as "Steam cleaning".  

The problem is, Hot Water is not STEAM.  Steam is steam!  

Many cleaners use a portable unit  much like the one you  rent at the local home center.   BUT they are powered by your plug outlet - the same one that can barely power a hairdryer without blowing a fuse!  How can you expect it to run a vacuum motor, heat the water AND run a pressure pump to spray at 500psi!?!  Many "pros" purchase these portable units to get their foot into the industry at a low cost and set out with good intentions but break a lot of homeowners hearts with sub par performance and very wet floors.  It is these type of systems the "Dry chem and Bonnet" guys use as a bad example of  "Steam Cleaning" to further their sales pitch.  

The next step up are the truck mounted units.  You may see a nice advertisement that says "Powerful Truck Mounted Equipment".  And in many regards, it is better than a portable unit and most are similar at their core except for one key point...ONLY a few use a separate heater/boiler to heat the water.   

Most use a heat exchange system which works off of the unit's exhaust pipe to heat the water. (I wish I was kidding)  You get "sort of hot" water, but not true "STEAM".  

So where does the soil go?  Out in the truck or portable tank but you are now left with dingy almost fully clean very wet carpets.  Oh, and the technician is most likely having to use your sink and toilet to refill his fresh water tank and dump his waste water tank.  NOT fun.

Steam Extraction Cleaning

NOW we are getting to the crème de la crème of carpet cleaning.  True STEAM extraction.   A REAL STEAM means a lot of water is not soaking your carpet, the soils are melted down and  whisked away, and germs are killed.  Period.  

ALL THREE major carpet mills (Shaw, Mowhawk and Stainmaster) ONLY recommend and ONLY approve steam cleaning.  Not Bonnet, Not Encap, Not Dry Cleaning - only steam extraction.  They make the carpet, they know how to clean it properly.

This is an actual picture of our equipment making real steam.

See a video of our steam cleaning in action.  If you've never seen steam pour off the carpet tool like this...you've never had REAL steam cleaning!

Click Here For Video 1
Click Here For Video 2 

This is not marketing hype but real world information.  Why would we spend upwards of $30,000 for a machine if we could simply spend $2,500 on something that plugs into the wall and does the same work?  

We proudly use the Steamway Legacy 2100 (www.steamway.com) unit that has a 230,000 BTU heater (Twice the size of most home furnaces) which maintains solution temperatures up to 250F (121C) to help sanitize and reduce the use of excess detergents.  It's not the cheapest system on the market to own, but quality has it's price.

WHERE DOES THE DIRT GO?  It's sucked out into the truck and you are left with sparkling clean, lightly damp carpets that have been sanitized by 250*F steam.  We bring our own fresh water and take our waste water with us.


Does it really matter WHO cleans my carpets?

YES!  Doing a proper cleaning job takes a lot of training, skill, time and effort...things of short supply in this modern world.  With the multitude of possible stains, and tons of different fabric types out there one MUST have the proper training to do a good job.

A properly trained technician first inspects the area to be cleaned to determine the best plan of action.  This may involve being on ones face inches from stains and traffic areas.

After determining the carpet and soil type your carpet cleaner should dry extract as much dirt matter from the backing and nap of the carpet as possible. (Your last cleaner did at least vacuum before he cleaned right?)  This step adds a lot more work but it makes a WORLD of improvement.  Up to 70% of the dirt in carpets can be extracted with a proper vacuum and pile lifting procedure.  If said dirt is not removed, it turns to mud, and you end up having to soak the carpet to get any kind of decent result and even then the end result will be sub par.  

After dry extraction has taken place, stains and traffic areas need to be properly addressed with the right combination of detergents.  The "in and out" guys will just spray a generic cleaner down (IF you are lucky) and hope for the best...that usually leaves YOU with a sticky mess after it dries or with soil or a stain still in your carpet...sometimes, now permanently set. 


I have a warranty on my carpet?

Most carpet manufacturers warranty their product against premature wear...with a catch.  You are expected to maintain your carpeting throughout it's life.  If you think about it, it makes sense.  You can't expect your car dealer to replace your engine if you never changed the oil.   

Proper maintenance, by a CERTIFIED carpet cleaner will not only help ensure that your carpet warranty is in good standing, but will greatly extend the beauty and life of your carpet.  Carpet is just like anything else, if not properly cared for, it will wear out before its time.  Regular, professional cleaning is part of that maintenance.


Don't clean that stain yet!

If you have a recent stain, DO NOT attempt to clean it without reading this first.  There is not much a true professional carpet cleaner can not get out of a carpet...unless, it's been set in permanently or the carpet itself has been damaged. 

Stain removal is very specific and believe it or not scientific.  We determine what the origin of the stain is, it's chemical makeup combined with the type of carpeting it's in and THEN make the determination of how best to go at it.  By not having that information, you risk locking the stain into your carpet or possibly removing the stain, but leave a permanent damage mark in your carpet.  So what should you do?

If there is a lot of liquid such as a coffee spill, simply take a clean towel (White preferred so you don't bleed any color into the carpet) and blot the area to absorb the liquid and then leave it till we can come and evaluate the stain.

If there is a lot of solid matter such as spilled food or a pet accident...use a paper towel or the like to remove as much of the solids as you can, and then blot the area again as above and leave it till we can come out and evaluate and clean.

After speaking with the lawyers we have RESOLVEd that we can not disclose which consumer grade cleaners we do NOT recommend.  

For pet stains, it's generally okay to put an over the counter enzyme type cleaner on it, but don't scrub it in...just leave it. That is the ONLY over the counter cleaners we recommend.  Most household cleaners damage the carpet and/or lock in the stain and make our and your life much harder if not impossible to restore the area like new again.

Don't put water on it, as an attempt to flush it as you may simply spread it further and deeper without the ability to extract like our machine does.

Congratulations You Have Graduated Carpet Cleaning 101!

Go forth and hire a true professional!