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Dry Compound and Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning Methods

drycompoundMany companies have developed different types of an absorbent dry cleaning compounds that get evenly spread onto the carpet, brushed and then scrubbed in, then vacuumed off. These dry chemicals are usually some type of surfactant or solvent. The theory is that these dry cleaning compounds, once worked into the carpet, attract the dirt which is then sucked, vacuumed or absorbed off. The main benefit when cleaning with dry compounds is that the carpet is not wet. The main drawback is that for moderately to heavily soiled carpets, this method does not clean thoroughly, and if you are not using an organic product you are sometimes left with chemicals in your carpet that later attract dirt.

Encapsulation was developed as an option for cleaning with no moisture, but a deeper more thorough cleaning job than the dry compound methods mentioned above. Encapsulation carpet cleaning uses polymers that literally encapsulate (crystallizing) dirt and soil particles into a dry residue that can be extracted or vacuumed off the carpet. The encapsulating solution is sprayed onto the carpet, brushed in, then vacuumed out immediately along with the dirty particles. Some cleaning machines do all this at one time while others have different machines to do each individual step. This method is very dry and you also avoid all the pitfalls of other wet cleaning methods. More and more companies are using this type of carpet cleaning technology as it is becoming more perfected.

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.

Corn Carpet

Corn CarpetCorn Carpet is made from corn. It has stain resistant properties already built into each individual fiber. Compared to most other carpets, the durability of corn carpet is also superior.

Corn Carpet comes from inedible corn which is converted into corn starch. Then by adding special ingredients the corn is polymerized into a bio-plastic. The material is then pushed into an extruder and spun into yarn. Although most carpet is plastic, what makes corn carpet special is that the plastic is bio based (although the backing and sticking is plastic, and there is glue used to assemble the carpet).

Corn Carpet is very resistant to most common stains such as food, oil, dirt, grease, etc. Some types of stains (such as urine, paint thinner, etc.) can damage the backing but not the surface fibers. These stains would normally not do damage to the carpet, but in a larger quantity or if allowed to sit for an extended period of time it could break down the latex in the backing.

When comparing different carpet fibers we have found that Perlon ™ Corn Polymers allow for wear resistance that is superior to a similarly constructed nylon. We have found that it has a performance level of a wool fiber without the problems associated with wool.

It takes a tremendous amount of corn to create this textile, and there is some controversy in the marketplace about using our food sources for carpet. This is similar to oil companies using corn for new types of fuel, which in the long run may add to the higher costs of fuel, textiles and corn based foods.

Carpet Spot Cleaning Tips

Carpet Spot CleaningCarpet Spot CleaningMost carpets today have been treated with some type of fabric protectant or sealant, but that does not mean your carpet is completely dirt or spill proof. You will have better results removing the stain if you attempt to remove it when it happens, rather than waiting. The longer you wait, the higher the possibility that the stain will become permanent.

  1. Always pre-test the fabric you are cleaning to ensure that it is colorfast. Pre-testing can be done simply by applying the cleaning agent to a part of the carpet where you can’t see it, and blot for 30 seconds. Make sure there is no damage to the yarn, loss of color, or color transfer.
  2. You should always use a dry white terry cloth towel or plain white paper towel to remove stains (never use a colored towel or printed paper towels as the color from the towel can seep into the carpet).
  3. Start by blotting up the wet stain carefully until almost dry. If it is a dry spill or if the liquid spill has some solids to it, gently scrape off the carpet and vacuum any amount you can with a Shop-Vac or a dry/wet vac.
  4. Don’t be aggressive and never scrub the carpet, as you risk distorting the yarn permanently which will create a wear mark where you are cleaning.
  5. Put some of the cleaning agent on the white towel and work it in onto the stain.
  6. Repeat continuously but gently until the stain has been removed. You need to be patient, as it could take several minutes or longer to remove the stain.
  7. Once the stain has been removed, lightly rinse the spot with cold water to remove as much as the cleaning agent as possible.
  8. Please note that although many cleaning chemicals may be safe for carpets, if they are not completely removed they will attract dirt very quickly to the spot.

Green Carpet Care

Here are some tips to a greener and healthier method of cleaning your carpets.

  • Vacuum your carpet thoroughly and frequently. Cross vacuuming is important (vacuuming in different directions to ensure all sides of the yarn is vacuumed correctly).
  • Make sure the vacuum is on the proper height setting.
  • Change the vacuum cleaner bag when it is no more than 75% full.
  • Always use a vacuum cleaner with a multi filter and/or HEPA filtration bag and/or filters.
  • Always use Green cleaning products when spot cleaning the carpet and never use any sprays or powders on carpet or upholstery. Many of these products can break down and attract more dirt and dust in the future.
  • All cleaning solutions used on your carpet should be neutral based pH (not alkaline or acidic).
  • Spot clean spots as soon as you can to prevent the spots from attracting dirt.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned on a consistent schedule every 6-12 months. Choose a carpet cleaning company that uses a low moisture cleaning system and that utilizes green and or organic cleaning products. If you’re in the Southern New Jersey area, visit our website at http://www.delawarevalleycarpetcleaning.com for information about our organic carpet cleaning services.
  • Never over wet the carpets when cleaning. Make sure the carpets are dry within 4-6 hours to avoid any problems such as mold growth and floor damage.

A carpet filled with dirt and dust can have a negative health effect in your home or office. Keeping your carpets as clean as possible will add to a healthier environment.

Removing Candle Wax from Carpet

Candle Wax on CarpetRemoving candle wax from carpet can be tricky, but not impossible. You should only attempt to remove regular candle wax from synthetic carpet. Never try this procedure on upholstery or any type of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or silk.

You will need water, an iron, and thick white cotton towel.

1. Dampen the towel until it is almost soaking wet.
2. Place the towel on the wax.
3. Plug in the iron and adjust the temperature to the LOWEST setting.
4. Place the iron on top of the wet towel on the carpet.
5. After 10 seconds remove the towel and iron, and check to see if the wax has melted.
6. If the wax has not melted, raise the temperature of the iron a VERY small amount and repeat steps 4. and 5.
7. Repeat steps 5. and 6. until the temperature of the iron reaches the melting point of the wax.
8. Once the wax melts, it should easily transfer onto the wet towel that has been placed on top of it.

Keep in mind that any dye from the candle wax may never come out completely, but at least you will have removed the actual wax embedded in the carpet.

Removing Pet Hair from Carpet

pet hairPet hair can be difficult to remove from fabric, especially carpeted steps, upholstery and clothing. People use many things to remove per hair such as tape, lint rollers, sponges, and brushes. Not only are some of these items quite expensive, but some lint rollers and tape may leave sticky residue behind that actually attract hair and dust even more.

The secret to removing pet hair from carpet is: rubber or latex gloves!

Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves and brush or rub our hands in a circular motion on the carpet. You will be surprised to see how easily you can remove the hair from carpets and furniture, draperies, and clothing!

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.

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