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Carpet Dry Cleaning

drycleanMany Carpet Cleaning Systems that utilize dry cleaning solutions usually rely on specialized machines. The advantage is that they all tend to be low moisture systems relying on dry compounds and/or chemical solvents to clean without over-wetting the carpet. The amount of carpet cleaners that use these methods have increased over the years due to the amount of dissatisfaction with traditional wet methods.

Dry Cleaning systems generally tend to be quicker to use in cleaning the carpet and less labor intensive than hot water (steam cleaning) systems. This allows the areas to be used very quickly after the cleaning, sometimes within 1-2 hours.

A drawback with dry cleaning, however, is that heavily soiled areas may need to be pre-spotted or pre-treated with pre-conditioners or traffic lane cleaners. These cleaning products tend to be surfactants that break down the heavily soiled areas, emulsify the dirt, and separate it from the fibers in a very short time.

There are different kinds of extraction methods associated with dry cleaning. Some methods suck or vacuum out the cleaning agents, some use synthetic extraction bonnet pads to absorb the dirt out of the carpet, and some use the “encapsulation” method. Many other cleaning methods use a combination or hybrid of extraction methods.

Encapsulation is a newer type of hybrid dry cleaning system that, once the carpets are cleaned, vacuumed, and completely dried, they need to be vacuumed again very thoroughly to get the rest of the dirt that is encapsulated on the tips of the yarn out of the carpet. Mechanical agitation is a key component to correctly and thoroughly cleaning the carpets with most dry cleaning systems.

One main drawback with most dry cleaning systems is that, like the shampooing method we mentioned in our last blog, most chemicals and solvents used with these methods are not biodegradable and are virtually impossible to get completely out of the carpet. They tend to leave residue behind that attracts dirt quickly, resulting in the carpet tending to re-soil rapidly and needing to be cleaned more frequently.

Carpet Shampooing

shampooOne of the oldest and most common methods of carpet cleaning is shampooing. Usually brushes work the shampoo into the carpet, and after a few minutes the excess moisture and dirt are absorbed or suctioned away. After the carpet has dried it may need to be vacuumed again. Drying may take several hours to 1-2 days.

Although there are different variations of the type of extraction method involved, they all use the same type of cleaning agents in the shampoo called surfactants. Surfactants work well because they attract dirt and are inexpensive to mass produce.

Carpet shampooing, however, has many disadvantages compared to other types of carpet cleaning. It is very easy to over wet the carpet and padding and it takes longer to dry. When the carpet stays wet for too long, it can create mold and also damage the flooring underneath. Also, it is very difficult to remove the shampoo out of the carpet completely. This means that the carpet may attract dirt and stains faster (which will adhere to the leftover shampoo), requiring the carpets to be cleaned more frequently.

Carpet cleaning companies using the shampooing method usually have a very high re-clean rate (over 20-30%) and often have a higher dissatisfaction rate with clients because the shampoo left in the carpet attracts more dirt quickly after the fabric is cleaned. Many companies that use the shampoo method are low end companies competing on price and volume, and are not concerned with utilizing newer technologies such as green and organic cleaning methods primarily because these better methods are more expensive.

Customer Service

DVCC (Delaware Valley Carpet Cleaning) began in 1987 as a family owned business in the heart of South Jersey. After expanding the company with many employees and multiple trucks on the road, I realized it was difficult to stay with original mission of:

  • Personalized customer service
  • Hassle-free cleaning services
  • Competitive prices
  • Organic and green cleaning products
  • “Cleaning your carpets more effectively, utilizing safer greener technology with personal service”

In the early 1990’s I decided to downsize the company so every client could have the benefit of personalized service with the owner of the company. So since 1994, I, Joe Stark (the owner) have done all the cleaning myself, and have not outsourced any cleaning to subcontractors or employees since then.

My goal is to utilize my 20+ years of cleaning and practical knowledge with newer updated state-of-the-art technology to bring to the customer the most informed carpet cleaning company and to ensure clear and precise communication with the client.

With all clients I perform a free no-charge carpet evaluation and an estimate. This is done to ensure that there is clear communication between the customer and me to provide the optimum personalized attention to detail and complete satisfaction for the customer.

All the work I perform is completely 100% guaranteed for the client’s satisfaction.

Once a client uses my company I consider them a client for life, making myself available to all my clients for free advice on cleaning and fabric care for the future.

You can always contact me by phone or text at 609-458-1973, through our website at http://www.delawarevalleycarpetcleaning.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DelawareValleyCarpetCleaning (please be sure to like our page), or by email.

Fabric Sprays for Carpet and Upholstery

Most popular fabric sprays for carpet and fabric are advertised to remove odors without cleaning the fabric. Does this really make sense, spraying something that smells bad with a truly magical product that removes the odor? This is a true testament to the power of intense, convincing, targeted marketing.

The reality is that most of these products “seem” to get rid of the odor, but they actually make the problem worse. Most of these sprays have two parts: fragrance and plastic.

The plastic parts are very tiny molecules that surrounds and “encapsulates” the odor molecules, preventing you from smelling the odor. The fragrance of course adds the benefit of having a clean smell take its place.

But the hidden secret is that is works temporarily; once theses sprays start to break down on the fabric, they attract dirt at a very quick rate, which creates more odor and the need to spray more of this product on the fabric. I find that the homes that use these products smell much worse than the homes that do not use them.

The solution for odor problems in your carpet, upholstery, or other fabric is simply this: It needs to cleaned, washed or replaced.

If you have any questions, please contact your local carpet cleaning professional to get more tips and information on getting rid of odors in your carpet and fabric.

Treating Pet Urine Stains on Carpet and Fabric

Pet StainsUrine contains hydrochloric acid, urea acid, and ammonia, and it can be very difficult to safely remove the stain and odor from fabrics. Untreated, pet urine can take five years to break down and the smell to go away completely, which is why many homeowners have difficulty in removing it themselves.

Most store bought products that are made for pet stains either mask the odor and stain temporarily, and can actually make the problem worse in the long run. When the customer doesn’t get the results they want, they buy different products and combine several products on the pet stain. This usually leads to a chemical experiment on the carpet, permanent discoloration in the fabric, and odors that never completely go away.

You should never combine different cleaning products on the same spot, never use a spot cleaner unless you know it is a green (environmentally friendly) and/or organic product, and that it is completely biodegradable.

Never apply deodorizing powders or sprays on carpet or fabric. They can make the stain look worse by attracting dirt, permanently damaging the color of the carpet, and changing the pH balance of the fabric. Once these products are used it is hard to reverse the negative effects.

I recommend contacting your local carpet cleaning technician on advice on how to successfully clean and treat pet urine stains without additional damage to the fabric.

Carpet Powders

Most carpet powders that are manufactured to freshen up your carpet and fabric may, in the long run, do more harm than good.

Most powders are made to make the carpets smell betters and to supposedly get rid of odors (by deodorizing) in the carpet and other fabric in your home. In most cases these powders don’t always completely disappear from the carpet when you vacuum. They are also not completely biodegradable or pH balanced. If the carpet powder is not pH balanced at 6.0pH,  it can actually void your carpet warranty as well as remove or lessen the effectiveness of any protectants already on the carpet. Since the carpet powders are not biodegradable, they can actually attract dirt in the long run, resulting in a larger stain and possibly more odor, creating a vicious cycle.

My advice is to never use fabric or carpet powders on your carpet, upholstery, or any other fabric, unless the powder is pH balanced and completely biodegradable. The powder should also be eco-friendly and organic, for safety reasons and to help the environment. If fabric in your home smells bad, then clean, wash or replace it, but avoid carpet powders.

Choosing a Maid Service

There are many ways to find a maid service, such as word-of-mouth, referrals, and online searches. Angie’s List is a particularly good site to start your search. Make sure you check the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, as well as other online ratings, for local cleaning companies. The company should offer a 100% money back guarantee. Make sure the company is “legitimate”, as they will have access to your home.

Often when there is a complaint about a maid service company, the problem is more likely due to a lack of communication and misunderstandings. Sometimes clients expect things to be cleaned and/or furniture to be moved when these items were not discussed when hiring the company.

When hiring a maid service company or any cleaning company, make sure to meet them face to face in your home after you have checked their credentials. They should also give you a complete, detailed proposal. You must be proactive about the work you need them to do. Go room by room with the person doing the cleaning and describe in detail what you would like cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, etc., the frequency that you would like it cleaned, and what you do not need cleaned. Be specific and make sure both of you have a copy of the notes so you can avoid misunderstandings in the future.

Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner

Carpet Cleaning Vacuum CleanerHow do you choose the best vacuum cleaner for your needs?

There are two main types of vacuum cleaners: upright and canister.

Canister vacuum cleaners are mostly used for industrial or commercial applications. They are not very popular for residential uses, as they can be hard to maneuver because the tank stands still and the actual vacuum portion is attached to the tank with a very long hose.

Upright vacuum cleaners are the most common types of vacuum cleaners, and are also much better.

There are two main types of upright vacuum cleaners: bag and bagless.

Bagless vacuum cleaners (or ones with a dust cup) were very popular for awhile, due to the novelty of being able to actually see the dirt and hair being vacuumed out of the carpet. The lure is purely psychological; since you can see the dirt in the clear plastic cup, you know the carpets are getting cleaned. However, dust cup vacuum cleaners generally lose suction strength when the dust cup gets filled up with dirt.

I find the best upright vacuum cleaners are, instead, the ones with cloth bags. With newer technology, vacuum cleaners now have stronger suction and do a better job of trapping dirt, dust, hair, and other debris into the bag. The bag also acts likes a second filter to the air coming back out of the vacuum cleaner. Bags are easier to replace and less messy than dust cups when changing them.

Most vacuum cleaners offer additional HEPA filtration on the disposable vacuum cleaner bags, which helps to filter out dust and other allergens.

Check out Consumer Reports listings for vacuum cleaners and visit your local Vac/Sew center to discuss your vacuum cleaner needs. Many vacuum cleaners have many sizes and many different options. Some have attachment such as brushes and crevice tools for vacuuming corners and edges in your home.

Carpet Cleaning Methods – Part 2

Choosing a carpet cleaner can be frustrating because there are many cleaning systems to choose from. In our last blog we discussed the common, “outdated” methods of cleaning carpets. In this blog we will discuss a better, newer carpet cleaning technology, one that is safe, environmentally friendly, effective, and does not cause stains to reappear after cleaning.

As we discussed previously, most other carpet cleaning methods use some type of soap, shampoo, detergents, or solvent and sometimes can over wet and over-saturate the carpet. It is virtually impossible to remove all the soap and shampoo out of a carpet after it has been cleaned this way, so the carpet feels stiff, sticky, and attracts dirt faster. This means you will have to clean your carpets more frequently.

The best carpet cleaning system is one that is both safe (for you, your family and pets, and of course, your carpet!) and effective. The safest cleaning solutions are organic, pH balanced, biodegradable, and environmentally and eco-friendly (“green”). The most effective cleaning solutions do not use any type of soap, shampoo, detergents, or surfactants, as these types of cleaning compounds are difficult to remove from the carpet and actually attract dirt more quickly. Also using a low moisture cleaning system will ensure that the carpets dry within a few hours. This is much better than archaic methods where copious amounts of water are flooded into the carpet, which can take days to dry and can cause mold, odors, and water damage to your floors.

Carpet Cleaning Methods

There are many types of carpet cleaning methods, but many of these methods are outdated in their application and can cause harm to the carpet or fabric. These common cleaning methods fall under three main categories:

  • Steam Cleaning
  • Shampooing
  • Dry Cleaning

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is also called “Hot Water Extraction”, and it entails the use of super heated soaps, shampoos or chemicals. This mixture is heavily sprayed onto the carpet, then extracted out with a suction unit, leaving most carpets wet for many hours to several days. This of course can cause mold, odors, and water damage to your carpet and floors. The “cleaned” spots ultimately end up attracting dirt more quickly, causing the stains to “reappear”. This is because it’s very difficult to remove soaps, shampoos, and detergents from the carpet, as they leave residue behind that attracts new dirt more quickly. Steam cleaning can also cause the carpet to feel “different” after cleaning. This is because the hot temperatures can remove the natural oils from the carpet, making it feel dry or coarse after it is cleaned.

Shampooing

Shampooing generally uses many different types of cleaning equipment, but leads to the same result as Steam Cleaning. Stains “reappear” because the shampoo residue attracts new dirt more quickly, and the carpet can feel dry after cleaning.

Dry Cleaning

Dry Cleaning is the least popular of the carpet cleaning methods, and is not used as often as it once was. All dry cleaning methods use a type of dry cleaning solvent in the carpet cleaning process (similar to solvents used to dry clean clothes). This system is very safe, but not very thorough, and it too may leave residue behind that attracts dirt.

A BETTER CARPET CLEANING METHOD

In my next blog I will discuss a newer technology for carpet cleaning, one that is safe, eco-friendly, effective, and does not cause stains to reappear after cleaning.

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