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History of Carpet

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Well here it is, our first post on carpet! and of course we wouldn’t represent if we didn’t give you some history! Here ya go!

The History of Carpet in the United States

Have you ever wondered how carpet got its start? Today I would like to give you a brief history of where the carpet you have in your home came from.

It all began in 1791, a man named William Sqrague started the very first woven carpet mill. After he began, other mills followed suite.

Of course, where new ideas spring up so do other people who want to continue to advance the world. In 1839, Erastus Bigelow came along and completely changed the industry. He invented the power loom for weaving carpet. Of course you can imagine that  the carpet production doubled the first year and tripled shortly there after. Bigelow continued to be an innovator and received 35 different patents.

As the years went by, other people saw the potential with making carpet and earning an income. The first carpets closely resembled oriental rugs with the intricate designs. From there a lady named Catherine Evans Whitener created a hand made bedspread. Of course, bedspreads continued to grow in popularity. Which led to the first tufting machine. By 1950, only a few carpets were tufted and most were woven.  But then all of a sudden, everyone began to see the value. Now there were man-made fibers, new techniques and equipment. Now tufted products are the norm 90% and less than 2% are woven. The tufting industry exploded and was over a $100 million dollar industry. By the 1960’s it became a billion dollar industry.

With all this carpet becoming more popular and affordable, the need for cleaning it arrived. Early rugs were put outside and beat with a wooden stick to get them clean. Thus the first cleaning machines were invented. In 1860 Daniel Hess invented the “Carpet Sweeper” it had rotating brushes. By 1869 Ives McGaffey patented the whirlwind. This machine was a sweeping machine with no motor. 1901 arrived and H. Cecil Booth built a large engine-powered vacuum cleaner It was so big it had to be pulled on a cart, with a large hose that was attached and brought into buildings to clean the carpet. By 1907 a smaller electric version was created and in 1908 William H. Hoover purchased the patent rights for his vacuum. This set the standard for all upright cleaners and the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company began!

As companies began to use wall-to-wall company the need for something more than just a vacuum arose. Such as www.beavertontreecare.com. Their office needs cleaning periodically and who do they call? A carpet cleaning company such as www.carpetservicebeaverton.com and 1,000’s of others began so as to meet the needs of residential and business clients.

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Dry Carpet Cleaning

“Dry” Carpet Cleaning

Not everyone has time to wait for carpet to dry after cleaning or the ability to dry it out quickly enough to prevent dust to settle onto partially wet carpet fibers.  Some allergies prevent people from being around even slightly wet carpet.  The carpet care industry has created a few “dry” carpet cleaning methods to speed the cleaning process.  This is popular especially in homes that have turnover and maintenance and cleaning needs to be done in a few days. The convenience is also widely popular for busy families.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning machines, also referred to as very low moisture systems, are less labor intensive and quicker than wet-extraction carpet cleaning systems.  This system uses dry compounds with application cleaning solutions.  They are quite popular because of their lightening fast drying time.

Application

Pretreating heavily soiled areas is necessary.  The use of manual spotting, preconditioning, and a “traffic-lane cleaner” is applied to the carpet to breakdown the different soils and stains on the carpet fibers rather quickly.  One chemical may remove pet stains and another make break down greasy films.  This process allows for vacuuming to remove much of the soil in the carpet.  Common solutions used are petroleum byproducts, butyl agents, glycol ethers and d-limonene.  Pretreatment is left in the carpet for less than 15 minutes.  The dry cleaning system uses carpet brushing to work the chemicals fully into the carpet. The agitation gets it really worked in.

The biggest benefit is that the dry chemical compounds won’t attract the dirt like the drying shampoo does with wet carpet shampooing.  It is more expensive but it puts less stress on the carpet fibers.

Dry Compound

This is another dry carpet cleaning process. A cleaning solution that is 98% biodegradable is put in the carpet and worked in. It can be used over the entire carpet or in small spots.  This can be done commercially or by yourself.

Application

The compound acts as a tiny sponge, absorbing dirt and grime as its being brushed into the carpet. It dries for a short time, during which the cleaning solution in the compounds evaporates, and is vacuumed up.  The carpet is left dry.

It’s difficult to remove all soil this way.  It’s those soils that cause allergies.  The compound used may also cause slight discolorations in the carpet.

Encapsulation

This process was introduced in the 1990s by encapsulating, or crystalizing, the soil into dry residues immediately on contact. They use special detergent polymers.  The encapsulators bind the detergent molecules to the soils in a brittle, crystalline structure. Once dry, usually 20 to 30 minutes, the detergent and its captured soil, are vacuumed away. The detergent not vacuumed up remains attached to the carpet fibers reducing the fibers ability to collect new oily and wet soils.  Over time, as the detergent breaks away from the fiber with each vacuum, more and more soil is removed. This process dramatically extends the time between each need for professional cleaners.

Application

The solution is applied with a rotary machine, compression sprayer or brush applicator. The detergent is either vacuumed away with everyday vacuum or the cleaning machine may vacuum it away.

This method is known to last the longest. Because of its short drying time, the carpet is available for immediate use, making it quite popular.

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Hot Water Extraction

Well, here it is…. Our second post on carpet cleaning!!!

If you didn’t get a chance to read my previous post check it out Here.

This is all about – Hot Water Extraction

Hot water extraction is the most common form of professional carpet cleaning.  You can do-it-yourself by renting a cleaner from a grocery or hardware store or hire a professional. Many homeowners carpet clean once a year to maintain clean carpets and optimize the years their carpet will last.  As life happens in your home, pets, dirt, spills and foot traffic pose a challenge for both those wanting to play on the floor and those wanting the new carpet look. It is also not uncommon for carpet warranties to require annual hot water extraction cleaning.  The hot water extraction is known to remove the oils that tend to catch and lock in dirt.  Oils can be from cooking, spilled things, pets, shoes and from us.   The oils not only trap dry dirt, they dull the color of the carpet.

This method uses heated water, sprayed, with or without cleaning solutions, onto the carpet.  At the same time, the water is sucked up, taking dirt, stains and smells with it.  The equipment comes two ways.  It can either be plugged in to a wall or a truck may have a mount.  Having a truck mount is more difficult as hoses may need to be dragged long distances and through windows at times, to reach carpeted areas from a driveway. This method is the most quiet and efficient but not always the most convenient.

Step One

The first step is to precondition the carpets. Synthetic carpets use an alkaline agent whereas woolen carpets use an acidic solution. They are sprayed on the carpet and scrubbed with a grooming brush or scrubbing machine.  Then they use a pressurized cleaning tool, either manual or automatic, to rinse the preconditioner solution and residue. This is an important step for the vacuum power.  It’s necessary to remove as much dirt as possible before applying hot water to it.

Step Two

Extraction is the next step and the most important.  This is the actual cleaning step. During extraction, cleaning solution and hot water is sprayed into the carpet with high pressure.  This loosens all the dirt and stains.  It vacuums at high power, the dirt, grime and stain particles.

Step Three

The final step is drying.  While the cleaner vacuums up most of the water, the carpets are left damp.  This process can be helped with fans and air conditioning.  When using a professional carpet cleaner as opposed to a rented machine, the drying process is much quicker due to the vacuum power during the extraction process.  The more powerful the suction, the less water left in the carpet.  This also prevents dry dirt from sticking to the wet carpet fibers.

There are times people confuse this with steam cleaning.  Steam cleaning is a form of hot water extraction but hot water extraction is not steam cleaning.  Steam Cleaning uses the steam from incredibly hot water to break down dirt, oil, and stains for removal. Some steam cleaning requires no chemicals or cleaning agents to work, however are not as effective at removing all stains and tend to leave the carpet slightly wetter than the powerful vacuums attached to the hot water extraction machines.

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Everyday carpet care

Everyday Carpet Care

Carpets and rugs add warmth to a home, both in reality and perception.  They also can be one of the most damaging things in your home when looking at resale value and aesthetics. Whether carpet covers an entire home, just a section or is limited to rugs, it is necessary to take care of it.

Carpets and rugs take a beating.  We walk on them, play on them, eat on them, and store things on them.  Pets walk, sleep and shed on them. Kids spill water, juice, cereal, soda and chips on them.  We track mud, dirt and grass across them.  Life brings dust and outside air onto it.  Fumes from cooking settle deep inside.  We push furniture across it, play games and have sleepovers on it.  They are the most used and abused element in the house.  They demand attention. There are a few things we can do to increase longevity and appearance.

The average carpet traps and holds it’s own weight in dirt and grime.  The largest percentage of trapped  dirt and grime is dry.  Almost 80% of all carpet care is done though proper vacuuming.  This is the first step in preventative carpet care.

The best vacuums come with brushing action.  This removes the majority of the dirt and grime left near the surface and the daily use prevents much of that to get trapped further in the carpet fibers.  But not all dirt and grime is removed through simple vacuuming.

Walking across carpets or rugs causes the dirt to be pushed deeper into the carpet.  This dirt isn’t easily removed by everyday vacuuming. Sand is particularly hard on carpet, acting as sandpaper to the carpet fibers, causing them to wear down and lose their strength.   Grime, the wet and oily mess that gets into your carpet, clings to each fiber, preventing even the powerful suction of a vacuum to remove it.

When vacuuming falls short of clean, it may be necessary to do a deeper cleaning.  Carpet cleaning is a highly popular and effective way to clean carpets.  Many vacuums come with attachments to do this yourself.  Carpet cleaners can also be rented at most grocery or hardware stores.  For the deepest clean, hiring a professional to clean may be the best option long term.  They have the ability to clean much deeper than a simple carpet cleaning system can do.  There is a variety of options for carpet cleaning if you determine this is necessary.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Vacuuming has the highest value in preventative carpet care over any other form of cleaning. It extends the life of carpet and also helps keep the warm, inviting atmosphere carpets and rugs are known to create.

Here are a few tips on vacuuming tips:

  • Maintain your vacuum for optimal efficiency.
  • Inspect your vacuum’s belts, brushes, wheels and cords, looking for damage and wear.
  • Change your vacuum bag when it is half full. Filling it up prevents some of the suction power.
  • Keep your filter system clean. Clogged filters push dust right back into the air.  They also could cause your vacuum to overheat, causing a bigger problem than just dust.
  • Replace HEPA filters once every six months.

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