There are several methods and machines to clean carpet. I cannot recommend just one method of cleaning because different areas and certain types of dirt or stains will require a different cleaning method rather that a “one size fits all” method of carpet maintenance.
If you have allowed your carpet to get filthy (ie. Have not followed a proper cleaning method or schedule) you will generally have the most success with hot water extraction methods of carpet cleaning. Hot water extraction is also effective on individual stains such as when a cup of coffee gets spilled. It is imperative that the correct temperatures of water and correct amounts of cleaning solutions be utilized. When you use too much cleaning solution, you have a much harder time removing the cleaning solution and it can end up attracting more dirt in the next few days after you have cleaned the carpet. I have seen this happen too often….. The most effective equipment for hot water extraction is truck mounted equipment which will allow the water to be kept consistently hot and the exhaust fumes and humidity are kept outside rather than still in the building. This method is also know as steam cleaning is one of the better methods of cleaning carpet.
Another method of cleaning carpet is the shampoo method of using foam to attract the dirt and vacuum the soil. The chemicals typically used have foam that is not sticky when it dries. It also allows for the brushes of the cleaning equipment to work into the fiber without damaging the carpet. Often rotary brushes (or bonnet cleaning) are used to spread the shampoo. Many times the carpet shampoo will have additional additives in the shampoo which will help to make the carpet look cleaner than it really is. This method requires that the carpet be thoroughly vacuumed both before and after the bonnet application of the carpet shampoo. This method is not the best method of cleaning carpet.
The final method in my carpet cleaning blog is the dry power method or crystal method where a dry power of detergent and a little bit of water is agitated into the carpet using a brush. This solution absorbs the soil and is then vacuumed up. This method is useful when the carpet needs to be cleaned frequently. This method is a bit more gentle on the carpet than the bonnet method and because very little water is used in the cleaning powder, the area can be walked on quicker. This is ideal for certain high traffic areas and areas that get traffic 24/7.
The choice of the proper cleaning method is critical so that your carpet doesn’t get damaged from the machine. Be careful not to leave residue in the carpet. Be careful not to damage the carpet fiber. It is wise to check with the carpet manufacturer for their recommendations and it is wise to hire a professional who understands the soiling, staining and fibers to provide the best possible method for cleaning your carpet.