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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