If only cleaning carpet could be as easy as putting it in the washing machine!
Professional Steam Cleaning is the equivalent technique without fully immersing carpet into a washing machine.
High temperature water and detergents are injected into the carpet fibers and free rinsed to remove all residues.
In my experience, the first concerns a home dweller has are:
To avoid making the problem worse by using the wrong cleaner or process
To not cause damage to the carpet or floor inadvertently
To clean rinse the carpet
DO NOT EVER use household bleach, strong cleaners (like Krud-Kutter, Oxi-Clean etc.), or apply heat to your carpet. There is a chemical match-up for every problem. The answer is not to use stronger cleaners, it is often to just match the stain chemistry.
USA Carpet Cleaning is always available for advice regarding your cleaning concerns in those situations.
A Few Basic Concepts Of Carpet Cleaning Chemistry
Common soils and oils are acid in nature. To dissolve away and clean an acid we need to apply an alkaline cleaner.
When that cleaner has washed away a soil it is best to then rinse it out with a clean acidic solution.
Household acids: Vinegar, lemon juice, soda pop
Household Alkalies: Soaps, detergents, baking soda
Most home dwellers already use these products. In the cleaning world here are a few familiar examples of how they are commonly used.
White Vinegar is used in your clothes and dish washers to rinse away soap scum, to clean soap scum from shower walls and also as a fabric softener..
Baking Soda is effective on your stove top for removing cooking oils. Detergents and soaps are used to wash soils.
For common spots. Grease, dirt, oil:
Apply detergent- (as little as needed).
Apply some agitation- ie: tamping or gentle brushing
Apply a vinegar/water solution and soak up what you can with a towel or wet-dry vacuum.
(approx. 1 oz white vinegar to 3 oz water)
Repeat the vinegar/water rinse until the detergent is removed
There are more complex problems than simple soils. There are food dyes, organic pet stains, wines, etc.. The best course of action for a home dweller is to rinse the spill with clean tepid water and call us at USA Carpet. Nearly all spots can be removed if cleaning solutions, acids or heat are not applied at the wrong time.
Cleaning Chemistry is an everyday topic of interest to us at USA Carpet Cleaning. It can be complicated and take lots of experience to master it's application.We study not only the alkaline/acid relationships but also the solvents, protein, dyes, all synthetic and natural substances and their reactions with different fiber types and then factor in the effects of dwell times, applications of heat, and the settings in which these occur. We are trained in the use of enzymes and color safe bleaches. Sometimes we apply heat from an iron to activate a stain removal solution and sometimes we can even color in a damaged spot. USA Carpet Cleaning has the experience, knowledge, equipment, and training to address most situations on many different fiber types.
Often when a spot has been removed it leaves a clean area where the spot had been, and here we recommend a yearly cleaning of carpet to blend in all areas.