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What Carpet Cleaning Method Is Best?

When you’re deciding which carpet cleaning contractor to choose, their method of cleaning is a very important factor to be taken into consideration. So what carpet cleaning methods can be used and which is the best? Read on to find out more.

Different carpet cleaning methods

Some people shy away from carpet cleaning methods that use water, because they fear that their carpets will be wet for days after cleaning. This only applies if a cheap machine is used. For example, many supermarkets offer Rug Doctor carpet cleaning machines, or similar, for rent. Unlike the machines used by professional carpet cleaning firms, hire machines are just not powerful enough to extract the water from deep down in the pile of your carpets, leaving them damp underfoot for days. Be wary of cheap quotes from carpet cleaning firms; this often means that the machines they use are cheap and underpowered, potentially leading to a poor result and a wet carpet.

Commercial cleaning companies often use rotary machines to dry clean office carpets as this is the most efficient and safest way of cleaning thin carpet tiles. Although the method is very effective at removing surface dirt and is great for maintenance cleans, it won’t get rid of deeply ingrained grime, allergens and pests.

When it comes to domestic carpet cleaning, the preferred method used by professional firms is Hot Water Extraction (HWE), sometimes referred to as steam cleaning. The HWE machine works by spraying hot water into the carpet that has been pre-treated with a specialist cleaning agent. The machine then extracts the water, chemicals, and dirt via a powerful vacuum system.

Why HWE is best for domestic carpet cleaning

Provided the company you use has top-spec machines, the end result of a deep-clean will be fantastic. Your carpets will be dry almost immediately the clean has finished, all deeply-ingrained dirt and allergens will be gone, and your carpet will be left fragrant and fluffy – almost as good as new!

HWE cleaning also involves the treatment of your carpets with deodorisers and bactericides. This is particularly important if you have pets that live in your home, if you have family members who suffer from asthma or other allergies, or if you have small children who like to crawl around on the floor.

Immediately following HWE cleaning you can have your carpet treated with a stain protector product to help keep spills from penetrating the carpet. This will make your carpet last longer too as the treatment also protects the carpet fibres from frictional damage caused by ingrained dirt.

In conclusion

When it comes to choosing a carpet cleaning company to clean the carpets in your home, always select a firm that uses the Hot Water Extraction (HWE) method of carpet cleaning. Your carpets will be left free from dirt and bacteria, smelling great and looking as good as new.

What’s Hiding In Your Carpets?

If you, or members of your family, suffer from mysterious allergies, your carpets could be the culprit. Even if you vacuum your carpets regularly, they can still hide various nasties that can cause real issues for your family’s health. Left untreated, these allergy-causing carpet inhabitants could lead to your loved-ones developing chronic coughing episodes, repeated sneezing fits, or even asthma. So what could be hiding in your carpets and what can you do to protect your family’s health? Read on to find out more.

What could be hiding in my carpets?

Your carpets could potentially support a whole community of micro-organisms including the following:

• dust mites
• pollen
• mould spores
• fleas
• pet hair
• dead skin cells
• dust and dirt
• bacteria
• carpet moth larvae

Whenever someone moves around in your home, they shed thousands of dead skin cells, which settle on your carpets. Each time your pet cat or dog lies down or shakes itself, hair, dead skin, and possibly even flea eggs are deposited onto your carpet. In the spring months, tiny carpet moths invade your home. The moths themselves won’t actually eat your carpets, but did you know that they lay their eggs deep down in the carpet pile? Your lovely new carpet could be extensively damaged if it provides food for the moths’ caterpillars when all those eggs hatch!

How do I keep my carpets hygienic and free from allergens and pests?

The most effective, proven way of keeping your carpets clean and free from harmful pests and allergens is by having them professionally deep-cleaned at least twice every year. This is especially important if you have pets and small children who like to crawl around on the floor.

Although dry cleaning methods like vacuuming will keep on top of general surface dust, even the best vacuum cleaner won’t reach the more deeply embedded and ingrained dirt that has worked its way right down into the carpet pile. The only proven way of doing this is through having your carpets cleaned using Hot Water Extraction (HWE) technology. This steam cleaning strategy  lift dust, dirt, pollens and other irritants that might cause allergic reactions in you or your family.

In conclusion

To keep allergens at bay, make sure you have your carpets professionally deep-cleaned at least twice every year. In between HWE treatments, keep on top of daily dirt by vacuuming a couple of times a week.

Why Are Carpet Cleaning Prices So Varied?

When it comes to having your carpets professionally cleaned, there are certainly plenty of companies to choose from. If you shop around in the local press and on the internet, you’ll see that prices can vary widely from company to company. But why is this and how do you know which company to choose? Read on to find out more.

What causes such a variance in carpet cleaning prices?

The best equipment

The old maxim, ‘You get what you pay for’ certainly applies when it comes to carpet cleaning. Part-time local operators often use budget machines and cheap cleaning products, which is why they are able to keep their prices at rock bottom. Unfortunately, low prices usually mean only average performance.

Companies that have invested in modern, high-powered carpet cleaning machines also use top quality cleaning products, deodorisers, and stain prevention solutions, and therefore some of this cost is passed onto the customer. However, although the price may be a little higher, you can expect to see a far superior result for your money. You can also be confident that the machines and products used on your carpets won’t cause any damage, which is not always the case with budget companies.

Highly trained, fully-insured staff

Another downside of choosing a cheaper carpet cleaning company is that you can’t be sure that their operatives are fully-trained and insured, and that the company is a member of one or more of the appropriate carpet cleaners’ accreditation bodies. Membership of these guilds means that company operatives will be kept up to date with industry developments in the latest carpet cleaning techniques and equipment, which is passed on to customers in the high-quality, well-informed service that they receive.

Insurance is crucial. An uninsured operator could damage your carpets beyond repair and leave you to foot the bill for replacement.

Some cheaper companies are not reliable. You could make an appointment only to find that the firm simply doesn’t turn up at all. Reliability is guaranteed when you use a more expensive company.

In conclusion

When choosing a carpet cleaning company, cheapest does not mean best. If you want a professional, reliable service, and a high-quality job carried out by properly trained and insured operatives using the very best equipment and products, you must be prepared to pay a little more. Although this might seem costly at the time, your carpets will look great and last much longer, so the investment will be well-worth it.

Carpet Cleaning Most Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re thinking about having your carpets professionally cleaned for the first time, you’re bound to have a few questions to ask about what to expect from the experience. Here are the answers to some of the questions most frequently asked by potential customers.

How long will it take for my carpets to dry?

The drying time for your carpet will be dependent on the quality of the equipment used and its effectiveness. A top quality, powerful steam cleaning machine will have your carpets looking fantastic and thoroughly dry within a couple of hours. With a cheaper company that uses lower quality machines, there’s a risk that your carpet will be left over-wet, meaning that it could take days to dry out completely.

Will my carpets shrink or lose their shape?

Your carpets are only in danger of damage through shrinkage if the company you choose uses poor quality machinery and cheap chemical cleaning agents. Bear in mind that many budget carpet cleaning companies are not insured, so if they damage your carpets, you could end up footing the bill for replacement.

Do carpet cleaning chemicals pose a danger to my children and pets?

Although it’s clearly better if you can keep your pets and children otherwise occupied while your carpets are being cleaned, a good company will use only industry accredited, environmentally-friendly products that have been thoroughly tested for safety. They will also remove any empty packaging or bottles to be disposed of safely and correctly.

Can’t I do the same job much more cheaply using a hired Rug Doctor machine?

Using a rental machine always amounts to false economy. These machines are not powerful enough to shift stubborn stains and ingrained dirt, and the cleaning chemicals they’re supplied with are nowhere near as effective as those used by professional firms.
A professional carpet cleaning company will clean your carpets much more thoroughly, more quickly, and with a much quicker drying time.

Will I have to move my furniture?

A good carpet cleaning company will move anything one man can safely move on his own, although it is best if you move any ornaments and valuable items to a safe place before the work begins.

Is it worth having a carpet protector applied to my carpets?

A good quality carpet protector can help to prevent staining between deep cleans. Treatment can also extend the life of your carpets by protecting the carpet fibres from friction damage caused when dirt and grit particles get down into the pile. New carpets come with protector already applied, but this wears off over time, so it’s well-worth having your carpet re-treated every time you have it deep cleaned.

In conclusion

These are the most common questions asked by people considering having their carpets professionally cleaned. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, just give the company a call, and they will be pleased to help you.

Maintaining Your High Traffic Areas

The carpets in high traffic areas of your home require a little more TLC than in less frequently-used rooms in order to keep them looking good and to prolong their life. There are steps you can take to help maintain your carpets in these high-use areas. Read on to find out more.

Professional cleaning
The once fluffy, beige carpet in areas of high footfall, such as hallways, stairs and in front of the seating in your lounge, can end up looking a totally different colour to the rest of your carpets, in addition to appearing flat and lifeless. The most important thing that you can do to prevent this happening in high traffic areas is to have your carpets cleaned professionally at least twice each year.

Continual footfall over the same area of carpet not only flattens the pile, it drives particles of soil and grit down into the fibres where they can cause considerable damage if not removed regularly. Although vacuuming plays its part in this process, the most effective way to remove deeply ingrained dirt is to have your carpets professionally cleaned. The hot water extraction process used will not only return your carpets to their original colour, but will also reinvigorate the pile, keeping your carpets looking fluffy and smelling fresh.

Vacuum regularly and effectively
In between professional cleans, you should spend extra time on maintaining your carpets by vacuuming high traffic areas at least twice each week. This helps to prevent a build-up of dry dirt and also lifts the carpet pile, provided it’s done effectively.

Make sure that your vacuum cleaner is set at the correct height. If you have your vacuum cleaner set too low, the machine’s roller brushes and drive belt may be damaged and your carpet pile could be crushed and scuffed. If the belt is set too high, the vacuum cleaner won’t come into close enough contact with the carpet, meaning that it won’t pick up all the loose surface dirt or lift the pile. At the correct setting, you should feel as though the vacuum cleaner is slowly pulling you across the carpet without sticking or running away from you.

Always change the vacuum cleaner bag, empty the cylinder and clean the filter regularly. If the bag or cylinder is full and the filter is dirty, the vacuum cleaner will lose at least half its suction power. Bags and cylinders should be changed/emptied when three-quarters full and filters should be changed or washed at least every three months.

In conclusion
Without a doubt, the best way to maintain high traffic areas in your home is by having your carpets professionally cleaned twice each year. In between deep cleans, vacuum your carpets thoroughly at least twice each week.

Carpet Cleaning Tips For The New Year

As the last champagne bubble pops and the final party guest leaves, your carpets may be looking somewhat less than pristine after all those New Year’s Eve comings and goings. Although it’s a good idea to get your 2016 spring cleaning off to a good start by having your carpets professionally cleaned, there are plenty of things you can do to keep them looking great in between deep cleans, right through the year. Read on to find out more.

Use doormats
Unless you insist that every visitor to your home removes their shoes at the door, traces of dirt and bits of grit will inevitably find their way from outside onto your carpets. You can combat this problem simply and cheaply by investing in sturdy doormats to be positioned both inside and outside your external doors.

Keep the interior mats clean and free from debris by giving them a vigorous shake outside once or twice a week. Use carpet tape to help keep the mats in place so that they don’t move across the carpet; your carpet cleaning contractor will be able to supply you with a suitable product.

Buy a shoe rack
Even if your house guests wipe their feet on your lovely new mats, traffic lanes can still appear on your carpets. Shoes also cause heavier general wear and tear on the carpet fibres, and high heels can cause hard-to-shift pock marks or pulled threads, especially in areas where people sit.

You can encourage your visitors to remove their shoes without even having to ask, simply by placing a smart shoe rack inside your front door.

Protect your carpets from staining
Each time you have your carpets professionally cleaned, remember to ask for stain protection too. The application of a good quality stain protector will keep spills on the top of your carpets, rather than allowing damaging liquids and other substances to penetrate deep into the fibres where they are harder to shift.

If your carpet has had a stain protector product applied to it, all you need to do in the event of a spill is blot it up as quickly as possible.

Never be tempted to use shop-bought stain removal products. These products don’t work, and, what’s more, the harsh chemicals they contain can actually cause the colour in your carpets to ‘bleed’. Some DIY carpet cleaning shampoos will actually negate the effectiveness of your carpet sealer and can drive the stain deeper into the carpet fibres.

Always consult a professional carpet cleaning company if you have a stain on your carpet that won’t shift just through blotting with a damp cloth.

Vacuum your carpets regularly
In order to keep your carpets looking good and lasting longer, it’s important that you vacuum them regularly in order to remove dust and bits of grit that can become embedded in the carpet fibres where they can cause wear and damage. Pay particular attention to traffic lanes, and don’t forget about the areas underneath radiators and around the perimeter of your rooms where dust and cobwebs can accumulate.

If you have pets, try adding a small amount of baking soda to your vacuum cleaner bag or cylinder to help neutralise odours.

In conclusion
Follow the advice given above to keep your carpets looking great during 2016. Remember to schedule regular professional deep-cleans to help prolong the life of your carpets and to keep them fresh and hygienic. Always ask your carpet cleaning firm to treat your newly-cleaned carpets with a stain protection product.

Benefits of Planned Carpet Maintenance

You should consider your carpets as being one of the most important investments you can make to the look of your business premises, for that is what they essentially are – an investment. They are an asset that has had a cost implication to install and they are there to do a specific job for you. They are there to present an image and impression to your visitors and form an integral part of a clean, safe environment for your staff to work in. Maintaining your carpet regularly and properly means that it will continue to perform for you for the longest possible time. This way, you maximise the benefit of your investment.

A carpet that performs?
Depending on what you are using your carpet for (domestic, commercial, high-traffic area, plush seating area), you need to maintain different aspects. All carpets need to sit flat and even, and lie naturally into corners without any bunching or rolling. It is of paramount importance that carpets be clean, with any patterns being bright and clear.
The image and appearance of your carpet is a major first impression factor for your business. They are also a significant contribution to the feel of the working environment for your staff. There is an element of unprofessionalism to a stained carpet. It can be the cleanest carpet in existence, but if it is stained in any way it will adversely affect the look of the whole room it is covering. It would be very hard to maintain the professional image of your company with tired, worn and coffee-stained carpet in your reception area or meeting room.

Invest into your carpet
When considering the benefits of regular maintenance, the cost of replacement should be in the back of your mind. There is the purchase cost of course but there is also the cost of fitting, the time spent choosing the new product, the disposal of the old carpet and the disruption to your business when the actual replacement takes place.
A good quality carpet can last up to 15 years (more in some cases) and with regular maintenance it can retain its colour, brightness and foot feel for most of that time. Lesser quality carpets need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years and without any maintenance they may potentially need to be replaced even before then.

Cleaning caution
Using heavy duty cleaners will restore a tired carpet but repeated use can damage the fibres and lead to premature wear and tear and to the loss of that nice, quality of feel under foot. The need to use heavy cleaners can be significantly reduced through regular maintenance. Frequent light cleaning prevents the build-up of dirt and grease eliminating the need for harsh chemicals. Keeping on top of a light cleaning regime is the best way to prolong the useful life of your carpet and save you having to constantly reinvest in the professional image of your company’s flooring.

Planned Maintenance Versus On Demand Cleaning

In a high-use area, many commercial carpets can quickly lose their clean, quality appearance and wear out sooner than you expect. Slowing down the wear and tear on the carpet will mean your carpet will stay looking good for longer, as well as extend it’s life expectancy.

This is more important with commercial carpets were it is helping to pull together a professional and smart appearance for your business or office environment.

Cleaning up after a spill
Accidents do occur, and emergency cleaning on demand to remove spills and stains is a good idea, but if you want your carpet to maintain a good appearance year-round, then regular maintenance is better than a reactive approach when you experience an issue.

Within a corporate setting, carpeting is a major investment, and it’s purpose is to look smart and clean, disguising every-day dirt and grime that is brought in from the street. The problem is, once a carpet starts to look dirty, in truth it is already absolutely filthy!

When adequately maintained with regular professional cleaning, carpets can last for many years, and can keep their good appearance for longer. The long-term savings for the business will be greater if they invest in a regular schedule of maintenance rather than to simply clean their carpets once they start to look dirty.

Start as you mean to go on
As soon as you lay a carpet, it starts to become dirty from day one. Dust, grime and mud becomes embedded in the fibres of your carpet from everybody’s shoes, and once it starts accumulating, it takes much more time and effort to remove a thick layer of dirt in one go rather than prevent it from being built up in the first place through regular maintenance.

Leaving the dirt to build up to unacceptable levels within your carpet can actually lead to the carpet fibres becoming damaged. Once the dirt is cleaned away, your carpet will not be restored to it’s original condition because the ground in dirt and grime has been allowed to damage the carpets appearance.

When you set out to take care of your carpets from day one, you have to accept that while you will be spending money on your carpets maintenance regularly, you will save yourself a lot of money in the long-run because your carpets will last much longer, and you will not need to pay out to replace them completely after just a couple of years.

How often do you clean your carpets?
With a planned programme of maintenance, you can scale your regular cleaning routine to suit the needs of your business. For example, depending on how many people you have walking on your carpet on a daily basis, and whether you have specific areas of high traffic, such as running up to doorways and in hallways, some areas of carpet may require more regular scheduled maintenance than other areas.

How you set your schedule is entirely up to you, and it can range from something as simple as once per quarter for offices that receive light foot falls, to once per month for areas of heavy traffic. A domestic carpet may only need once every six months to remove the dirt and dust from family use, but may need a more frequent schedule if the family have animals, or spend a lot of time outdoors and track back in lots of soil and dirt.

You can devise a simple survey that monitors foot traffic over a set period of time to work out the average wear and tear for the year, and create a regular maintenance schedule from your results.

When contacting a professional carpet cleaning company, they will need to come out and inspect your property to assess the right level of cleaning that is needed before they can give you a quote for the work needed.

Commercial Carpet Cleaning Versus Residential Carpet Cleaning

When comparing commercial carpet cleaning to domestic or residential carpet cleaning, you have to understand the difference between carpet cleaning and carpet maintenance.

Many people will buy or hire a domestic carpet cleaner for their home after they have had an accident, or spill something on their carpet that leaves a stain. They will buy or hire a cleaner as an emergency measure to remove the stain and give their home carpets a bit of a freshen up.

Most people will have their domestic carpets cleaned quite regularly, but only a few will actually plan to have their carpets maintained.

You could say that carpet cleaning is viewed simply as a first aid treatment to solve a problem, such as removing stains, and brightening up carpet that get a lot of use, such as doorways and hallways.

Commercial carpet cleaning is different
You cannot compare the amount of foot traffic that a domestic carpet receives in a day to one that is situated in a busy commercial or industrial setting, for example a busy airport can see thousands of passengers walking on their carpeted areas per day, but an average home will only see minimal footfall in comparison.
With commercial carpets, you have to think along the lines of carpet maintenance rather than carpet cleaning, and keep the idea in your head that “prevention is better than cure” so it is better to regularly clean commercial carpets to maintain their good looks and prevent problems from building up.

The type of foot traffic makes a difference
Even though a commercial carpet will receive more wear and tear than a residential carpet, the type of foot traffic that a commercial carpet receives will also vary a lot too. A carpet that is situated in an industrial building will be prone to soiling from their day to day industrial practices, and would be far more prone to accumulating dirt and grime than would a carpet from an office building or doctors surgery.

There is also general weather conditions and the location of the carpet to the main entrance to consider. A carpet leading to the doors of a busy shop or department store will attract a lot of soiling carried in from the street beyond, especially when it is raining.

Frequency and quality of cleaning
Where a residential carpet may only get a good cleaning when an emergency happens, an industrial or commercial carpet may well have a regular maintained cleaning schedule in place, sometimes even on a daily basis for really busy settings. Commercial carpet cleaning will take place routinely regardless of an emergency occurring.

Routine carpet maintenance will lead to a better looking carpet that keeps it’s integrity for much longer, and will often mean the carpet will last much longer as a result. This also will apply to domestic carpets too – if they are looked after well and treated to regular restorative deep cleaning, the results will speak for themselves.

The History of Carpets

The great British love affair with carpets began in the 1960’s, when affordable carpets became available to all and cleaning methods became readily available. They have been in use in the United Kingdom since as early as 1720, when a company called Wilton started producing a low loop pile known as the ‘Brussels Weave’, which was later developed to become the ‘Wilton Weave’, and copied by other factories around the country. A gentleman named Thomas Whitty opened a factory in Axminster, Devon and started to make hand knotted carpets. He was also the first to employ mechanical production thus enabling the UK to start exporting to other countries and the famous Axminster carpet was born.

The Twentieth Century
During the early 1900s, the American’s developed a ‘tufted carpet’, but it was not until the 1940s that this method was discovered to be a suitable way of producing broadloom carpets. From then onwards carpet production became more and more sophisticated, however it was not until 1940 that this new method was used to produce broadloom carpets. By the 1950s, progress in the development of yarns, dyeing and machinery soon led to mass production of durable carpets, which were able to be sold at an affordable price, especially as man-made fibres were now available. By the 1960s, most newly built houses in the United Kingdom came with fitted carpets as part of the purchase package and commercial premises produced a need for large areas to be covered quickly, which resulted in the first carpet tiles being made. At the same time fitted carpets becoming a household must, although back then cleaning and caring for carpets was nowhere near as simple as it is nowadays. However this led to many stain removing tricks being discovered at that time.

Maintenance and Care
It is recommended that all types of floor coverings should be vacuumed at least once a week, perhaps more often if you have pets in the house or heavily used areas. A deep steam clean should be done as and when necessary. There are many different types of vacuum cleaners available and you will definitely get what you pay for. A cheaper vacuum cleaner will not have the same suction power as the more expensive ones and if there are young children or pets in the house, then a powerful cleaner is important.
Be sure when you are purchasing your new carpet that you buy the best quality you can afford, as the lifespan will be considerably increased and lastly, be sure to employ a professional carpet fitter whenever possible, most carpet stores can provide one, as the finish will really justify the extra cost. Naturally a good deep clean once a year is essential and with modern day machines and companies that come in and do all the work for you, this is an easy task and will ensure that your carpets and upholstery stay in pristine condition. Occasionally an accident can happen which will damage your carpet beyond repair, so you should ensure that your household insurance covers carpets, preferably new for old. However, what about those daily ‘nuisance’ stains that can occur. There are many remedies to be had, most of which are to be found in the home.