Q. After carpet cleaning, is carpet protection really worth the cost?
A. If you regularly maintain your carpet by vacuuming or if they have light to moderate soiling over a one year period, the answer is yes. However if you do not maintain your carpets or they become heavily soiled within the same one year period, more frequent steam cleanings would be a better value.
Q. Will my carpets resoil faster after its first cleaning?
A. Yes, if a residue of cleaning agents are left in the carpet to attract and hold onto soils. No, if a thorough and deep steam extraction is performed using high quality cleaning surfactants, leaving little or no residue and then replacing the carpet protection.
Q. Is the popular "dry" or "carbonated" cleaning process really better or safer for my carpets than steam cleaning?
A. No, the popular "dry" or "carbonated" bonnet-buffing process is not better or safer for your carpets, nor does it leave less residue. There are marketing claims that in fact had a great deal of credibility in the mid '70's, when this process was introduced, however at that time, steam cleaning was still in the process of being perfected.
Shampooing carpets, as had been performed for many years prior to the 1970's, was the real culprit of disaster, leaving carpets far too wet and loaded with soap residue. It's easy to see why shampooing has long since been discarded as an option for carpet maintenance.
Today's advanced steam cleaning extraction equipment, cleaning agents and high-heat processes now clean more thoroughly and deeply with very short and safe dry times (overnight) and leave less residue than any other carpet cleaning process. A good steam cleaning will leave your carpets cleaner and your home healthier.
Q. How effective is this new "hot water extraction" system used by these dry cleaning companies?
A. "Hot water extraction" or HWE is just a technical term for steam cleaning. It is exactly the same thing as steam cleaning. The only difference, if any, is that the dry cleaners' HWE system is a less effective, low-impact process modified mainly for quicker drying times.
Also, after a strong pre-spray is applied in high traffic areas, the same primary natural dry cleaning agent used in the bonnet-buffing process is also used as the final rinsing agent in their HWE process.
A typical steam cleaner will rinse with a true or dedicated rinsing solution after the pre-spray, again leaving less residue.
Q. Why do some spots return even after a professional cleaning?
A. If contaminants have absorbed into the carpet backing or the pad, spots can resurface over time by "wicking" or migrating up through the carpet fibers, especially when the spot is moistened.
Q. Can a "Wicking" problem be solved?
A. Yes. Today we have a new process called sub-surface extraction made possible with a revolutionary new tool called the WaterClaw. The WaterClaw safely flushes contaminants (even pet odors caused by urine damage) out of the carpet backing and pad from the surface, without detaching or puncturing the carpet or pad. It eliminates the spot forever and makes your home a healthier environment.
The more you learn about carpet maintenance, the more you'll insist on a good steam cleaning from First Impressions!