by Steve Adams
There are various ways to approach carpet and upholstery cleaning. The kind of material as well as the reason you are cleaning it will determine which specific method you will use Regardless of whether you are planning on using a professional carpet cleaning service or you feel energetic enough to do it yourself, here are some of the basics on cleaning upholstery, rugs and carpets
Methods of cleaning carpets
In a nutshell there are five general methods of cleaning: hot water extraction (steam cleaning), shampooing, quick dry (bonnet), dry foam and dry absorbent compound cleaning.
Hot water extraction (steam) is often the most common of all the normally used methods but since the drying time can be up to 12 hours depending on the material, this is not always the best solution. A strong pump sprays a cleaning solution on to the carpet or rug which then gets sucked out with all the dirt by a powerful vacuum.
There are many different types of carpet shampoo machines available on the market. Many of them stand upright with a tank for the solution and a couple of nylon brushes underneath. If you can imagine somebody manually cleaning with a scrubbing brush, this is basically the same that happens with a machine. The carpet is scoured with the nylon brushes loosening the dirt which is then vacuumed up later after the carpet has dried. This method has the same unfortunate downside in that it can take over 12 hours for the carpet to dry
The quick dry or bonnet method might seem to be the same as shampooing the carpet, in fact the machinery is very similar. Instead of the two or three nylon brushes, the machine has a couple of highly absorbent buffing pads. A special quick dry cleaning solution is firstly distributed over the carpet and the machine then buffs the carpet clean by absorbing the solution as well as the dirt. It only takes about an hour to dry so this method is a must for high traffic areas.
If you are looking for a method that is between steam cleaning and shampooing then dry foam cleaning is the answer. Foam is distributed over the carpet using a machine which has rolling brushes after which the carpet is sucked clean using the standard carpet vacuum cleaner. It only takes an hour or two to dry.
A powder called dry absorbent compound containing detergents and solvents which are lightly spread over the carpet. Either the professional or you use a machine which brushes the mixture into the carpet fibers after which you leave the carpet for a short time while the powder encapsulated the dirt. Once a bit of time has passed, a vacuum cleaner is used so suck up the dirt as well as the remaining compound. This method eliminates the chance of your carpets going moldy since no water is ever applied.
Upholstery Cleaning Options
The upholstery fabric is what normally determines what kind of cleaning method will be used. Velvets and silks, for example, can only be dry cleaned and, unless you really know what you are doing, is best left to an upholstery cleaning professional. Other more durable fabrics can be steam cleaned similar to carpets as they do not suffer any side effects from getting wet. The hot extraction method (steam cleaning) is identical to that which is used for carpets except that the nozzle is a small, hand held version. Hand shampooing can also be used but instead of using a machine the cleaning fluid is agitated into a foam and this foam is then applied to the fabric using a sponge.
Identifying the upholstery material
When it comes to cleaning fabric furniture, most people don't know what the best method to use should be. Search for the manufacturer's instructions label. You should find it lurking at the bottom of one or all of the cushions and this should contain the manufactures suggestions, warnings and instructions. Apart from all the other images and text, look out for one of three codes: 'S', 'W' or 'SW'. 'W' indicates that wet cleaning is permissible while the 'S' states that the material should only be dry cleaned. 'SW' indicates that the material is suitable for both wet and dry cleaning methods.
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New Unique Article!
Title: How To Clean Upholstery And Carpets
Author: Steve Adams
Keywords: business to business,business services,cleaning,window cleaning,home improvement,home and garden
Word Count: 712
Category: Home & Family:Gardening
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