Steam Cleaning vs Shampooing Carpet
Monday July 19, 2010
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If your carpets are in need of a good clean, you should hire a professional carpet cleaner. Depending on the condition of
your carpet, a professional might use shampoo or steam to clean the carpet. There is quite a difference between steam
cleaning and shampooing a carpet and a pro will offer you the best advice on which method is best for your carpet.
Shampooing is probably the oldest method of cleaning carpets and is very effective at removing heavily soiled and stained
carpets. A good carpet shampoo should generate a thick lather of foam if it is to effectively remove dirt. Dirt particles
adhere to carpet fibers with a static electric charge, and the shampoo serves to break the bond to loosen the dirt. Shampoo
has a lubricating agent to protect the carpet from the strong brushes of the machine which agitate the foam. Shampooing
carpets has certain disadvantages, because the sticky shampoo residue left after cleaning sometimes actually attracts more
dirt which is counter-productive. Some shampoos also use brighteners which over time can have a yellowing effect.
Steam cleaning carpet has become the preferred alternative. A steam cleaner dislodges dirt by blasting hot water/steam
through the carpet. When the dirt has been dislodged, the accumulated water and dirt is vacuumed. Steam cleaning also removes
mildew spores and mold. A steam cleaner cleans as well effectively as a shampoo, and sometimes better. Provided the carpet is
allowed to dry thoroughly before use, there is no residue to cause re–soiling. Steam cleaning keeps the carpet in good
shape and there is no danger of yellowing fibers after steam cleaning. One disadvantage of steam cleaning is it’s usually
not effective at removing heavily soil or staining.
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