About Carpet Cleaning

How does Hot Water Extraction compare to Dry Carpet Cleaning?

Most major carpet manufacturers like Philadelphia Shaw contest that Hot Water Extraction is the most effective carpet cleaning method on the market, as well as the least harmful to you and your family's health. The other popular technique, known as, "Dry Cleaning," places harsh chemical compounds or solvents on top of carpets to break down soil. Even after they've been vacuumed up, these compounds leave behind a sticky residue which quickly attracts dirt back to the carpet's surface and makes it filthy again. In addition, many people with skin sensitivities or respiratory issues have negative reactions to these harsh chemical residuals. Our cleaning approach completely flushes soils and cleaning agents out of your carpets, leaving them smell and irritant free. 

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Why should I hire a professional carpet cleaner instead of doing it myself?

Home carpet cleaning machines available for rent or purchase to consumers do not reach temperatures nearly high enough to sanitize carpets. Heat is required to activate the cleaning agents in the detergent – that means piping hot water, and not water from a faucet. Our equipment heats water to temperatures of 212-230° (the boiling point) in order to properly disinfect your rugs.

Furthermore, the vacuums in home carpet cleaners are designed to avoid blowing a circuit. That means that they are not very powerful. These machines are not capable of removing all of the dirt or bacteria embedded in carpet fibers, nor even all of the soap and water that they inject. Carpets will dry slower, and will end up with a sticky residue on the surface when you use these rental machines. Our truck-mounted system has a much stronger vacuum, which decreases dry time and leaves your carpets residue-free.

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How often should I have my carpets professionally cleaned?

As a general rule, professional carpet cleaning by a certified firm should take place about once per year. For heavy traffic areas, cleaning may be required more often. Many stain resist warranties actually require regular professional cleanings. Specific warranties on your carpet purchase should be available from your carpet retailer.

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Before Your Carpet Cleaning

How often should I vacuum my carpet?

When it comes to maintaining your carpet, the most critical areas of focus are high-traffic areas. If vacuuming is neglected, then sand, dirt, and other dry soils can attach to carpet fibers and settle on the base of the carpet. Over time, these abrasive granules cut and wear excessively on the fibers as you walk back and forth across them, even if you can't see them. Vacuum your carpet often - at least once or twice per week - to avoid premature wear.

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What do I need to do to prepare my home for a carpet cleaning?

Small items such as children's toys, pet beds, clothes, shoes and rugs should be picked up before we arrive. We also recommend vacuuming to remove pet hair and other noticeable debris so you can get the most out of your carpet cleaning (our vacuums are designed for removing liquids and soils, and not for picking up hair or large refuse). Furniture should be moved out of the areas that you are having serviced - we will clean around any furniture that is left in place. We also recommend temporarily moving any breakables like picture frames or glass decorations to a safe location. 

Be sure to point out any specific areas of concern to your technician while he is doing his pre-inspection. If you know where certain stains are - such as pet potty spots or bleach spills - this information will help your technician determine the appropriate cleaning or repair methods to use on different areas. 

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Pet Issues

Can pet odors be completely eliminated from my carpets?

Though we have a high success rate of removing light to moderate pet odor issues, we cannot guarantee that extreme pet damage can be completely eliminated with Hot Water Extraction. 

If urine has soaked into the carpet padding or sub flooring (i.e. if a pet has gone in the same spot over and over again for a long time), it may need to be completely replaced to eliminate the foul smell. In such severe circumstances, there is very little that any kind of carpet cleaning can do about pet odor. Our certified carpet technicians are trained to identify these cases, and give you recommendations on what to do next. Ask your technician about our carpet padding replacement services.

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Can fleas be completely eliminated from my carpets?

While a carpet cleaning may certainly help with getting rid of fleas, we cannot guarantee that it will eliminate of all of them. Our recommendation is to call an exterminator before having your carpets cleaned.

Keep in mind that carpets are not the only place that fleas and other pests like to lay eggs. You may want to consider having your mattress, upholstery, area rugs and pet beds professionally cleaned as well. We are happy to provide all of these additional cleaning services for you at the time of your carpet cleaning – ask your scheduler for details.

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After Your Carpet Cleaning

How long does it take the carpet to dry?

Your carpet will be only slightly damp to the touch after your cleaning. Most carpets typically need 6-10 hours to dry completely. However, it could take up to 24 hours to dry depending on the time of year your carpets are cleaned, and the air circulation, humidity and temperature in your home. 

To minimize drying time during the winter months, raise your heat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or more. You can also turn on dehumidifiers and any fans you have such as ceiling or floor fans. Even the fans in your bathrooms and the vent above the stove will increase air circulation and help carpets dry faster. 

In the warmer months, air conditioning will work better than heat as it helps to remove moisture from the air. Opening windows and doors to increase air circulation is also helpful. 

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How soon can I walk on my carpet?

You may walk on damp carpets with bare feet or socks immediately, but we do not recommend wearing street shoes or letting pets walk on them until they are completely dry.

Please be mindful of slipping hazards when stepping from damp carpet onto slick surfaces such as hardwood, linoleum or tile. Supervise children to make sure they do not slip and fall.

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How soon can I move my furniture back onto my carpet?

Furniture can only be put back on wet carpet if it has something underneath it. Wet carpet could blemish from wood stains or rust if furniture is set directly on it. Items with legs can be put on small pieces of plastic, and the items without legs have to be kept off the carpet with small wood or styrofoam blocks. Wait for the carpet to dry completely before you take your furniture off of the pads or blocks.

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Why did brown spots appear after my carpet cleaning?

If brown spots that weren't there before appear after your carpet cleaning, call to let us know within 72 hours of your cleaning. In most cases we can fix these spots, and we'll happily return to your home to treat them at no extra cost to you - that's our guarantee.

Brown spots appearing is a common phenomenon with Hot Water Extraction, and they usually occur for one of two reasons:

Wicking: Wicking is the reappearing of old spots and stains. This occurs when there are spills that have penetrated the carpet backing and have been laying dormant underneath the surface. They are sometimes pulled back up to the surface of the carpeting during the Hot Water Extraction process. You'll usually notice these stains after our technician has left your home, because the carpet can look clean when damp but the spots reappear once its dry. 

Browning: Browning is when the tips of the carpet turn dark. This issue is different than wicking and usually shows up as large, brown, blotchy spots. Browning occurs when there is high alkalinity in the carpet, sometimes from things that have gotten spilled into it. When properly diagnosed, this issue is easily resolved with a treatment that reduces the alkalinity in the carpet.

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Why did a bleach spot appear after my carpet cleaning?

Sometimes when various household chemicals are dripped or spilled onto a carpet, they can lay dormant for a long time until "activated" by the steam in our cleaning system. Some of these agents include acne medications, ammonia, and cleaning chemicals containing bleach. Let your technician know of any spills of this nature before your next cleaning. Unfortunately bleach stains cannot be cleaned out, however we can fix them with a simple carpet patch.

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