Our main method of carpet cleaning is advanced premium hot water extraction.
“The cleanest carpet clean ever seen or it’s FREE!”
- Firstly we apply Traffic Lane Cleaner to area we are going to start cleaning in.
- Using a proprietary mix that we let this sit (dwell) on the carpet while the equipment is set up, usually about five minutes.
- As we work we will apply the Traffic Lane Cleaner in advance so that it can dwell and go to work loosening the dirt. (For the technical reader, Traffic Lane Cleaner's help to defloculate, agglomerate and suspend soils which, essentially, means to separate soil particles, combine them into a ball like structure and suspend them ready for easier extraction).
- Some people will ask “Why is it necessary to pre-apply with Traffic Lane Cleaner if we use a cleaner in the General Cleaning solution?” Pre-application to the carpet gives the chemicals time to go to work on the dirt and grime. Like when you spray cleaner on your laundry and let it sit for a few minutes before putting it in the wash.
- An important fact to know is that this is a normal part of cleaning the carpet and no Professional Carpet Cleaner will ever charge extra for this.
- As mentioned before we will then set up the equipment. The machine itself stays outside your house or building and we bring in the water and vacuum hoses into your property. By leaving the machine outside the property any contaminated dirty air is taken outside and NOT blown around inside the property.
- Using a “Scrub Wand” (we don’t actually scrub with it, it is just called that) we apply a rinsing agent. The rinsing agent and water mix suspends the dirt that was loosen by the pre-spray and the scrub wand (which has a see through window on it to allow the cleaning technician to see when all the dirt and moisture is removed) extracts the whole mess out to the waste tank of the machine outside the property.
- For every stroke of rinse application, we extract twice.
- We extract at least 95% of the water that we use. This greatly reduces the drying time required.
“The cleanest carpet clean ever seen or it’s FREE!”
Spot cleaning is done on a as needed basis during the cleaning process. Some stains, like pet stains, will need pre-treated with a specific chemical, but with the highly developed chemicals we have today, most spots and stains will come out with the general cleaning process.
- If there has been any furniture that was moved we will move it back to where it was, or at least as close as we can get it.
- Then put either Styrofoam blocks or small plastic squares we call “Tabs” under the furniture that has wood or metal legs.
- Once were done crack a window or door on each end of the house to create a draft.
- Keeping the air moving will dry the carpets much faster.
- DON’T turn up the heat. That will cause it to get humid in the house and the carpet will take forever to dry.
- That is the “No hassle” advanced cleaning process in a nut shell.
Clean Tech are the quality premium carpet cleaners throughout North Norfolk and West Norfolk and the Norfolk Coast areas. We are able to recommend the most appropriate and effective way to clean your carpets based on their type, condition and age.
Clean Tech also serve Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and South Lincolnshire.
Clean Tech Carpet Cleaning offer additional services such as:
- Upholstery & sofa cleaning
- Curtain cleaning (as they hang in the window)
- Rug cleaning
- Gutter cleaning
- Floor tile and grout cleaning
- Leather furniture cleaning
- Oven cleaning
- Wooden floor sanding and sealing
- Patio & Decking Cleaning
- Holiday Home Cleaning Service
For useful information on carpet spill, carpet spot & carpet stain removal and general cleaning advice we suggest you visit our Cleaning Tips section.
From the moment you phone us, to meeting one of our technicians you will receive a warm, friendly and professional service. We will treat you and your home with the utmost care to give you total piece of mind. A no hassle cleaning experience.
Please call Mike Barrett to discuss your individual requirements on 01485 609223 any time from 7 am to 10 pm daily.
**FREE** Send me an e mail with your full name and address and I will send YOU a FREE bottle of carpet spotter with our compliments!
How the Advanced Premium Hot Water Extraction process works -
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A Short History of Rugs and Rug Making
Many centuries ago, shepherds began knotting wool into heavy woven cloth. These heavy cloths provided protection from the elements and eventually were developed into rugs. Whether the first rugs were made in the near East or Siberia is not clear; but over the centuries rug making changed from a necessity to a fine art form.
The patterns, vibrant colours, and many knots per square inch produced beautiful rugs. These early artisans showed amazing skill and ingenuity in designing, dying and producing these prized rugs.
When a personal prayer rug became a tradition of Islam; the spread of this religion to Spain and Eastern Europe took the necessity of rug making with it.
Hand knotted rugs have come to be associated with luxury in contemporary interiors and they often serve as a focal point in formal residential living areas, corporate board rooms or luxury hotel lobbies.
Woven carpets feature extremely dense pile consisting of wool or silk knotted on closely woven backing. This method allows for extreme versatility in design and texture. Traditionally; rug designs designated tribal or village source, and often the town weaver. The name of the rug indicates the weaving centre, city or area of origin.
The commercial carpet industry has its beginnings in England. This commercialization soon made names of English towns like Ax Minster and Wilton synonymous with rugs. Ax Minster carpets, arguably one of the best known carpets, are characterized by heavy backings made from jute, cotton or man-made fibres that form lengthwise ribs. Throughout the world; many hotel chains, theatres and casinos use Ax Minster carpet.
An American, Erastus B. Bigelow, invented the power loom to manufacture Wilton carpets in 1848. For many years, the only width available for this carpet was 27 inches. The carpet strips were sewn together so carefully that the seams were barely noticeable. These woven carpets dominated carpet production until the 1940′s, when the manufacturing process for today’s tufted carpets was developed.
Tufted carpet is made in 3 layers. The top layer is called the face fibre. These fibres are made from nylon, wool, olefin, polyester, acrylic or cotton. The face fibre is stitched by high-speed machines to the primary backing. The primary backing is then glued to the secondary backing.
Tufted carpets are typically manufactured first as “white goods” and then dyed to the desired colour. To obtain a pattern or colour variation, manufacturers use more than one type of carpet fibres. The different fibres accept the dyes in varying degrees, giving them the desired effect.
So many things can happen to carpeting
Germs, mould, fungus and bacteria of all kinds can settle onto or be tracked into your carpeting. These biological microbes are alive and thriving in your carpets, and as long as it remains dirty, they will continue to breed and grow.
Sticky residue from conventional shampoo, dry foam and dry-chem methods of cleaning will cause rapid re-soiling due to lack of rinsing and extraction of the chemicals used by these methods. Spots and stains will resurface because they were only pushed a little deeper, and the traffic lanes will appear dirty much sooner for the same reason.
Sand, grit, dust and other hard particles that are deeply embedded in your carpet will cause abrasion of the tips and sides of the fibres. These scratches will make the carpet look dull over time. Light no longer reflects properly as the tips of the carpet tufts plume, causing a shadow effect to appear – permanently.
Dirt particles contain an assortment of minerals and chemicals which are gathered and blended from a wide area. Humidity or moisture tracked into your carpet on shoes can act as a catalyst to this foreign matter. The reaction may cause severe damage to the carpet dye and can actually change the colour of the carpet if it remains over a long period of time.
Gasses in the air caused by the burning of various fuels and the action of the sun on certain other gasses in the atmosphere can affect the stability of carpet dye. These gasses filter through carpet fibres causing both filtration stains (those black lines along the walls) and damage to dyes.
About 80% of all soil is dry particulate matter and can be easily removed by normal vacuuming with a power-head. The other 20% is made up of oily soils and bacterium, which will require professional cleaning.
What can be done to keep your carpet from wearing out sooner than it should?
Vacuum everyday (if possible) methodically and slow enough to be a benefit to your carpet. Change the vacuum bag often, since the fuller it gets the less efficient the vacuum becomes. Place removable mats at each entry, both inside and outside of the home but not on the carpet. Wash and vacuum these mats regularly to control soil.
Plan and budget for regular professional carpet cleaning to be done at least every 12 months.
Why Carpeted Pathways Look Dull
There are two causes:
Since soil absorbs light, the carpet looks dingy. Ground in soil in pathways can be difficult to remove; so never permit pathways to become excessively soiled before you clean.
Carpet soils contain huge amounts of grit. Grit is a microscopic rock with many sharp, jagged cutting edges. Walking on soiled carpeting has a sandpaper-like effect on the fibres. The grit gouges and scratches the yarn’s smooth, polished finish. This sand paper effect can also be caused simply by wearing indoor shoes; whether clean or soiled the soles of the shoes have a very similar effect upon the carpet fibres.
After it has been scratched and gouged by abrasive grit carpet fibres no longer reflect light rays as well. The result is a dull or gray appearance. The damage caused by abrasives is permanent and no amount of cleaning can remove it.
Additionally the grit also causes the carpet tufts to fall over and thus the start of that packed down appearance. As the carpet packs down the tips of each carpet tuft begins to fray and/or plume. As this worsens the path way begins to appear very much worn and even dirty looking. At some point these areas of the carpet will appear gnarled and worn out.
If you want to keep your carpet looking beautiful, clean and sanitary in your high traffic areas professionally clean your carpets as soon as soil begins to show. Keep in mind that carpet is designed to hide soil from your eyes. As a result your carpet may contain large amounts of gritty soil long before the surface appears soiled.
Your best defence is a planned cleaning program; whether semi or annually professionally cleaning your high use rooms or areas will keep the sticky soils at bay. As a result, the gritty soils will not stick to the carpet fibres and prematurely cause the above-mentioned damages.
Pet Stains and Odours
Although you may not be aware of the odours caused by pets urinating on the carpet, right now…come spring when the temperature and humidity raise you will be!
Due to lower humidity levels during winter months the urine salts present in carpet simply do not have enough moisture to generate bacteria, thus there is little or no odour. The lack of moisture however will soon change with the arrival of warmer temperatures, and so will the odour causing bacteria that are presently dormant within your carpeting.
I am sure you have tried in vain to clean up areas, but nothing seems to work on the odour problem. There is help! By treating the urine deposits with our specially formulated digester, these nasty urine odour problems can usually be dealt with from the surface of your carpet.
Finding urine can be a bit tricky since not all carpets actually have the telltale yellow stains. Since most of the urine is located under the carpet, this further complicates finding the source of urine odours. I do however have a system designed to find the urine so that it can be treated from the surface of the carpet. An inspection using this system also reveals the magnitude of an existing urine problem so that the appropriate treatment can be employed. For minor urine issues within your carpet; injections of our product is usually enough to cure the problem of the odour. In extreme cases the carpet as a whole must be treated or replaced along with the underlay. Each situation is different so individual assessments are required prior to starting any odour treatments.
The urine stains themselves are also a concern and may involve re dyeing the affected carpet or having to insert a new piece of carpet. Since urine can damage carpet and fabric dyes permanently other solutions will have to be considered.
Our product is designed to rid carpets of odour causing bacteria and restore a healthier environment. Our goal is to not temporarily mask pet odours, but to kill off the bacteria which actually causes the odours.
I cannot guarantee that your pet will never pee on the carpet again, but I can guarantee that the treated spot will not emit urine odour any longer. Off gassing urine is a potentially serious health issue, (especially if it is feline urine and there is a pregnant woman in the home), and should be rectified immediately.
People have been known to remove sofa and chair cushion covers and wash them in a washing machine. “That’s the reason for the zipper on the back of the cushion,” they think. Then they find it impossible to get the covers back on the cushions, or that the fabric texture has somehow changed, or that the colours have been altered, never to match the frame fabric again.
The reason for the zipper is to make cushion covers fit more perfectly. In fact, some manufacturers staple cushion-cover zippers shut permanently. Cleaning agents designed for washing machines often contain chemical additives that upholstery cleaners do not contain. These differences can produce fabric appearance differences as well.
Upholstery fabrics sometimes contain fibre blends (such as rayon and cotton) that furniture labels don’t explain. The rayon content is almost certain to cause shrinkage when washed improperly.
Both cushion and frame fabric on upholstered furniture should be cleaned by the same method after testing for shrinkage and colour fastness. It’s advisable to leave the task to a trained, certified professional. Doing so could easily prove far less expensive in the long run.
Control Indoor Mould
A 1999 Mayo Clinic study attributed nearly all the chronic sinus infections afflicting nearly 37 million people to moulds. Recent studies have also linked moulds as a contributing factor in the tripling of the asthma rate over the past two decades.
Mould thrives and grows in warm humid areas of our homes, including damp basements, bathrooms, air conditioners, humidifiers, garbage and diaper pails. Essentially mould needs two elements to survive and thrive; moisture and a source of food. Food sources are readily available on almost any surface so that leaves moisture. By controlling the moisture within your home you can reduce or eliminate moulds ability to get a foothold. Since mould spores are everywhere, you will never get rid of the airborne spores but at least you can curb growth.
One way to curb mould growth is to lower the humidity in your home by either turning down the humidifier or by mechanically de-humidifying.
Humidity should never be allowed to exceed 50% at any time, even if you have hardwood floors. Clean or discard any items that have a mould build up, including shower curtains, tile caulking or items that have gotten wet.
If you have had flood damage or water seepage that was not professionally attended to you are very likely to have mould growth behind baseboards or within wall cavities. This type of mould damage can go dormant once the water dries but anytime the humidity level increases this dormancy ends and mould growth continues.
A tell-tale sign of mould growth is a musty odour as you enter the basement or a specific room or closet. Mould growth is a major health concern and should be removed immediately without contaminating the rest of your home.
My carpeting seems to soil very quickly
The leading causes of rapid soiling problems are: Life styles, Carpet yarn type, Yarn abrasion and Improper cleaning.
Life styles: most people periodically wear street shoes on their carpeting, consume foodstuffs over it, and keep house pets that are not house broken, nor do they vacuum their carpeting as often or as thoroughly as they should. Since soil invasion is continuous, more filth is coming into our homes than going out. Daily, the quantity increases. Without controls, rapid soiling is inevitable.
Carpet-pile yarn types: Of the five yarns commonly used in carpet pile construction; (wool, nylon, olefin, acrylic and polyester) wool being the exception; all are by products of petroleum and are oil friendly. Certain petroleum products will actually bond to olefin fibres permanently.
When one treads over oily parking lots and streets day after day, returning home to tread over one’s carpeting, these yarns readily accept the soil. Further, the gummy consistency of oil-based soils collects other soils, adding to the rapid soiling problem. If these soils are not cleaned away, pile packing and crushing will result; creating ugly traffic lanes.
Yarn abrasion: New pile yarn has a highly polished finish that normal soil cannot easily adhere to; oily soil however will attach to new yarn and begin to collect normal soil. Normal soils contain huge quantities of abrasive grit; under foot traffic grit scratches and gouges the yarn’s polished finish; leaving a rough finish that soil can adhere to far more easily.
We all collect oily soils on our shoes and when we return home these oily soils are tracked directly onto carpeting (indirectly if you remove your shoes). The point: It is wise to clean carpeting immediately when soil begins to show; otherwise the resulting yarn abrasion will facilitate rapid re-soiling and ultimately premature carpet wear.
Improper cleaning: Whether one is removing a spot from carpeting or cleaning it wall to wall, rinsing is an imperative part of the cleaning process: Cleaning agent, which is and must be used by all carpet cleaning methods, is designed to penetrate and loosen the soil that has adhered to the pile yarn. If the cleaning agent is not rinsed away it too will collect soil causing rapid re-soiling.
Proper rinsing being necessary, one should know that four of the five carpet-cleaning methods have no facility for rinsing whatever. Only the hot water extraction method (steam cleaning) can rinse; yet few professional cleaners who employ this method properly rinse.
Reason: In selecting a professional carpet cleaner most people shop price; for this reason most professional cleaners sell price. When the carpet cleaner reduces his charges he is forced to concentrate on volume to meet his financial needs. Concentrating on more jobs he has less time for each. Quality workmanship is lost to cleaning procedures that will get the job done quicker; such as employing less expensive (and highly residual) cleaning agents and or running such chemicals through the cleaning water (which negates the rinsing process).
Shopping price the customer may initially spend less; but poor cleaning procedures results in rapid re-soiling and the constant need to clean the carpet. Improperly cleaned carpeting also deteriorates more rapidly as a result. For reasons of carpet life, appearance, and health, ‘cheap’ cleaning can prove very expensive in the long run.
“When you are fortunate enough to find a qualified, quality-oriented professional cleaner, you’d be well advised to pay his price and stick with him. He’s a rarity in an industry inundated with ignorant handymen.”(Quote by, Dick Ragan – Cleanfax magazine – 1998)
Beware of a carpet cleaning firm that claims not to use chemicals in their cleaning process. They are misrepresenting their services. Just as you employ cleaning chemicals while washing your clothes and dishes, they must also be used to clean carpeting. Additionally, rinsing the carpet with fresh water (free of cleaning chemicals) will provide a residue free carpet.
Tips for Extending Carpet Life
Normal household dirt and dust is abrasive to your carpet. Frequent vacuuming not only keeps your carpet cleaner, it significantly reduces wear and tear (cause by abrasive soils) in traffic areas. A quality, well maintained vacuum cleaner can make this job a snap.
Adopt a “no shoes” policy in your home. Not only do shoes track in dirt from the outside, they can be very abrasive to your carpeting. House slippers or socks are the best way to go.
Strategic placement of durable scuff mats or area rugs (ideally not on top of the installed carpeting) adjacent to the highest traffic areas can help keep your carpet cleaner and may help to reduce uneven wear patterns. Using carpet remnants on top of your carpeting will cause the carpet to wear faster, as the rough backing on remnants is highly abrasive.
Cleaning up spots and spills: Avoid using home remedies or cleaners not formulated for carpeting. Many cleaning agents contain detergents or other chemicals that can actually “set” a stain or cause colour loss.
The first thing to do is to remove any excess liquid and/or matter from the carpet by blotting with copious amounts of paper towelling or with a shop vac. Apply a small amount of spotting agent to a clean white terry towel and then work from the outer edges of the spill towards the centre to prevent further spreading.
Do not rub excessively or use a brush as permanent fibre distortion can result. Once removed blot dry the area as much as possible after treatment and air dry or simply place a pile of paper towelling over the area and weigh down.
To eliminate oily soils and maintain a healthy home schedule professional carpet cleaning at least once a year – more often if you have kids or pets. Cleaning on a regular basis will significantly extend the life of your carpet. Remember, as a rule of thumb, it’s easier to maintain your carpet than to restore it. Always insist upon a certified professional technician.
If you have any questions or concerns about your carpet, please call us. We’d love to be of assistance. Advice is always free.
In the past I have conveyed carpets as being a filter for your indoor environment. The purpose of the filter is to collect the pollutants from within your home and trap them within the carpet fibres. In doing so; this filtering means that you breathe in less harmful airborne contaminants, such as pollens spores, vehicle emissions dust and an assortment of other volatile organic compounds (as compared to a hard surface floor with the same contaminants).
The next step is to faithfully clean your carpet filter on a regular basis, to remove the collected contaminants and refresh your entire home. The benefit of regular scheduled carpet maintenance is two fold.
The first benefit was just described above, and the second is one that you will not really notice until it becomes too late to change it. What I am getting at fibre wear caused by gritty soils like dust, sand and small food particles. These are the soils that actually damage the carpet and cause it to appear worn.
The worn appearance will be visible in many different forms but the most common are matting and crushing. What happens to cause this is rather simple; abrasive soils cut against the fibres as you travel across the carpet, these small cuts actually weaken the carpet fibre until it eventually falls over. Like chopping down a tree, eventually it gives way to gravity. This effect is compounded by both new abrasive soils being added daily but also by repeatedly walking over and over in the same path and direction.
Before you know it the carpet looks flat and dull. In some instances it appears rather dark, especially from one direction. This is called shading or nap reversal. The nap of the carpet has become matted and crushed in the opposite direction of the rest of the carpet, causing a dark path or patch. This is further compounded by ambient light not being reflected by the fibre. Reflection is affected by the abrasions and cuts from the soils. Of course oily soils and regular dirt add to the dark appearance.
Areas most prone to matting, crushing and shading are of course high traffic areas, but they also are found in areas that require your foot to pivot on the carpet either to get around a coffee table or to round a corner to enter a room or hallway. The added pivoting of your foot really does a number on the carpet fibres on its own, add gritty soils to the mix and you have an instant wear and tear area.
Entryways into the home, especially the garage, are the primary source of gritty soils. Once inside they track well into the home in a very short time, even if you do take your shoes off. Another area to look at is where tile or wood flooring meets carpet. Kitchens and bathrooms are prime areas. The accumulation of dust and food particles easily tracks into the carpet and becomes a source of gritty soil. Carpeted areas such as these should be vacuumed twice as often as the rest of the house.
In addition to the filter effect carpets should be viewed in the same light as your teeth and vehicle…if you do not apply a periodic maintenance schedule they will soon fail and require replacement or costly repairs.
So what is a good cleaning plan?
Well let’s start with vacuuming; a good rule of thumb is to vacuum as often as possible (everyday) especially in areas of high traffic and at entryways. This will minimize the build up of damaging abrasive soils between professional cleaning.
To remove the oily soils schedule professionally carpet cleaning of your high use rooms approximately every 6 months, more often if you have pets or children. The best approach for high use rooms is to at least clean the carpet traffic areas every 4 to 6 months and then wall to wall every 12 months.
To help maintain a healthy environment throughout your home simply add on an extra room or two each time you clean. Generally rooms that have less traffic require only an annual cleaning; but over all it helps your indoor air and the healthiness of your home, especially in bedrooms where the largest accumulation of dust mites exist.
Soil Filtration Stains – Draught Marks
Soil Filtration Stains are those dark lines running along the baseboards, in front of cold air return vents for the fire, under long hanging drapes, around edges of heat vents, sofa skirts, around plastic chair mats and along dressers or other furniture that does not get moved very often. Soil filtration is caused by air (which contains various soils) being drawn through the nap of carpet or other fabrics. In the process of being drawn through the carpet fibres these airborne contaminants are filtered out as it passes through.
Soil filtration has three major soil components:
Larger soil particles; such as sand, clay, hair, fibres from paper & clothing as well as pollens, dead skin and mould spores.
Very fine particles; such as carbon, soot, smoke, pigments used in inks and fabric dyes; these soils stay airborne for long periods of time until finally being filtered out of the air and into your carpet fibres.
Oily soils; such as car emissions, smog, burnt items (like nicotine and candles), gases from cooking and (the largest contributor of all) our gas fired appliances.
All three of these soil types are filtered out by the carpet’s nap however it’s the very fine and the oily soil that causes the most problems. Over time the oily soils (gas vapour's) dry out forming a resilient film which encases and bonds the very fine particles of soil within the carpet fibres. Once encased the very fine soils act like dye pigment and become fixed to carpet fibres by strong electrical forces.
Additionally airborne molecules composed of oxides of nitrogen or sulphur combine with water vapour (humidity) to form nitric or sulphuric acid. These diluted acids begin to effect dyes used in all fabrics causing a faded appearance which some call fume fading or atmospheric soiling. These acids also add to the overall carpet appearance and further complicate the removal of soil filtration stains.
Aside from open windows or forced air heating/cooling systems there are other air currents that allow soil filtration to appear at the wall edges, under doors and at duct vents. These other air currents are actually created by differences in air pressure; wind/cold/heat acting upon an outside wall of a house can create a vacuum effect inside wall cavities or on different levels of a house.
Soiled air is drawn (by pressure differences between rooms or levels) through the carpet fibres along the baseboard, around furniture and even underneath walls (filtering out the fine and oily soils as it goes). Pin holes in carpet backing created by the carpet installers’ knee kicker are also susceptible to air currents. Pin-hole filtration lines are usually away from and perpendicular to the wall.
Doors that are always closed can also create a small vortex between the bottom of the door and the tips of the carpet fibres causing a filtration line to form under the door.
Warmer air on upper levels of a house will create thermal air currents as the warmer air expands; this expanding air volume must go somewhere, usually following the path of least resistance along wall edges, into cold air return vents and down the stair case all the while being filtered through the carpet fibres.
The homes’ heating and cooling system is a major contributing factor by itself. No matter how efficient your furnace may be; hydrocarbons are being emitted into the ducts as the natural gas burns. These hydrocarbons are classified as oily soils when it comes to soil filtration stains. If there was no such thing as dust and nothing else was being encased by the oily soils; our filtration lines would be a very light gold colour and would hardly be visible in the carpet fibres.
Clogged Filters: In most new homes fresh air for the furnace is drawn in from an outside vent; this fresh air intake has a filter to stop dust and debris from entering the furnace system. When that filter becomes clogged with soil and debris the system can no longer draw the outside air it needs. Thus the furnace pulls air out of the basement rooms (like older furnaces) which creates a negative air system in the basement (vacuum effect) at the same time warm air is being forced up through the ducts which in turn creates a positive air system that increases air flow back to the basement.
This positive air flow (containing the soils previously mentioned) is now also being forced to pass through the carpet gulley, along the baseboards, through wall cavities, down stair cases, through the nap of the carpet located in front of the cold air return vents and any other cracks and crevices that may exist.
Day to day vacuuming of the wall edges (with a crevice tool) and timely professional cleaning will eliminate or drastically reduce the build up of soil filtration staining. Stop burning scented candles, smoke outside and try using the range hood fan when cooking.
Check all furnace filters for cleanliness and change them on a regular basis; you may also consider HEPA style filters that remove smaller particles. Installing additional filters inside the heat duct registers and cold air return vents will also keep the flow of soil air to a minimum.
However due to the complex chemistry and microscopic size of the particles that cause soil filtration stains it is very difficult (if not impossible) to remove this type of staining from carpet fibres once it has a foothold.
I had no idea this colour would show
I had no idea this carpet colour would show soil so badly. It was supposed to have been Scotchgarded at the mill. But, within a few months, the high traffic areas look terrible.
The reason books, magazines, newspapers and such are printed on white paper is that black print upon it is easy to read, due the colour contrast. The same principle applies to parking lot grease and street grime tracked indoors on light-coloured carpeting. On white carpeting, black grease becomes apparent. To understand both the topic problem and the solution in depth, lets begin with the soiling process.
(Note: The above example implies that the solution to offset soil contrast is to install darker carpet : People with carpet of medium or dark colour tones often fail to clean their carpeting as frequently as they should, because the degree of soiling is not apparent for lack of colour contrast. Keep in mind that all carpeting gets dirty, regardless of colour.)
The soiling process:
Soils that first adhere to carpet yarn-including carpet with a protective treatment-is oily or oil based. Some are airborne, coming from cooking vapour's and vehicle exhaust pollution. Others are brought indoors on shoe leather-picked up from parking lots, sidewalks, and the garage floor.
At first, the amount of oily soil that sticks to carpet is minuscule, invisible to the naked eye. But, it is enough to serve as a bonding agent for additional quantities that collect still more soil. Thus, the increasing quantity becomes progressively darker and more visible. Of course, soils accumulate faster in traffic lanes and shoe pivot areas, such as at corners in hallways and before sofas and chairs. And, obviously, the more people in the household, the more shoes and the more rapid the soiling rate. Further, the tacky consistency of oily soils collects other soil types as well-especially dust which contains a wide variety of contaminants (organic, inorganic and biological) including huge quantities of abrasive grit.
While the progressive accumulation of tacky, oily soils will cause carpet pile packing-if it isn’t cleaned away-the grit content threatens additional damage. You see, grit is a microscopic rock with many sharp, jagged cutting edges. Therefore, walking upon soiled carpeting becomes tantamount to walking on sandpaper. Abrasive grit under body weight or shoe leather grinds gouges and scratches the yarn’s polished finish, which, in time, will cause permanent shading, a greyish colour-cast in pathways that cleaning cannot remove.
Soil Retardants (Scotchgard):
Soil retardants help to keep carpet cleaner two ways: 1) Liquid spills bead on the carpet surface, making them easier to clean up, and 2) dry soils cannot adhere to so easily. This is not to say that soils cannot adhere to it. Soil retardants slow down the soiling process. In other words, they are an aid, not a solution.
Since soil retardants, being topically applied, coating the yarn, they are subject to wear from soil and foot traffic abrasion as is the yarn itself. For this reason, cleaning your carpeting as soon as soil becomes visible will prolong both the beauty of your carpeting and the efficiency of the protective treatment. You’d be wise to use the hot water extraction (steam cleaning) method. Cleaning methods that employ brushes and do not rinse cleaning agent from carpeting are not recommended. Cleaning agent left in carpeting attributes to rapid re-soiling.
From the date carpeting is installed, when should a soil retardant be reapply?
From home to home, there are too many variables to say. Still, you should know that hot water extraction cleaning does not remove factory-applied soil retardants. However, the longer you delay cleaning, the more abrasive wear to both the soil retardant coating and to carpet yarn. Therefore, timely, proper cleaning is important. Still, since high traffic areas get the most wear, reapplication of the treatment in these areas will be required sooner than others. In most homes, the treatment should probably be reapplied to high traffic areas after one or two years.
This carpet is hardly a year old
Tuft fraying can be caused by friction heat, by some methods of carpet cleaning, and by improper spot removal procedures.
Friction heat: Some people do not lift their feet high enough when they walk; and, as a result, their heels brush the surface of the carpet. Sometimes loose shoes, such as clogs, are the cause. When the foot is lifted, the heel of the shoe drops to drag the floor. The resulting friction weakens the yarn twist, causing tufts tips to fan out or to fray. Still, heal dragging can be the result of carpet construction or, possibly, the padding beneath the carpet.
The deeper the carpet pile, the higher the foot must be raised to prevent heel contact. If the pile depth is higher than a person normally lifts his feet as he walks, heel contact is inevitable. Obviously, in this instance, a carpet with a shallower pile depth (at or below one half inch) would have been a wiser choice.
Still, the same problem can develop when carpeting with a shallower pile depth is installed over a thick pad: The thicker the pad, the more the carpet is compressed under foot and body weight. When the pad is too thick (greater than one-half inch) such becomes tantamount to walking with one foot in a hole, causing the heel of the traveling foot to brush the surface of the carpet.
Carpet cleaning methods that employ brushes: The conventional shampoo method uses a rotary brush, while absorbent particle and dry foam cleaning use reel brushes. The harshness of both brush types can cause tuft fraying, especially when used repeatedly. For this, as well as for reasons of cleaning efficiency, Shaw Industries and some other major carpet manufacturers only recommend the hot water extraction (steam cleaning) method for cleaning carpeting. (Whatever the cleaning method, beware! Many cleaners, either for lack of knowledge or caring, violate proper cleaning procedures, which can easily lead to both carpet and sanitation problems.)
Improper spot removal procedures: Many spots, such as soft drink drippings, can be cleaned away with a water-based cleaning agent, while others require a different cleaning chemical type, such as grease tracked in on the heel of a shoe. It is not uncommon for homeowners to apply the wrong cleaning chemical type. And, when the spot does not come out, they try to make the cleaning agent work by scrubbing harder-a big mistake. One cannot make the wrong cleaning chemical work. Scrubbing harder will only cause tuft fraying.
Most people are not affected by dust mites due largely to the low ambient humidity levels (below 50% RH) in most homes there is generally no significant problems with dust mites or associated allergens, which are attached to their fecal pellets. Increase the level of humidity and you begin to provide ideal conditions for mites to thrive.
You might say I’ll just keep the humidity low and there will be no problems! However there’s one area often overlooked when dealing with dust mites and excessive humidity.
Our mattresses and pillows are the exception to this low humidity rule. We humans provide mites with a plentiful source of food, (dead skin cells), of which we shed some 300,000 skin cells on any given day.
Since we spend about eight hours in bed, a large amount of these skin cells wind up in the mattress, they sift down through the sheets as we toss and turn. Further, our bodies generate high amounts of humidity and moisture during the night, by means of perspiration, trapped body heat, and of course breathing; an oasis for our nocturnal bed fellows.
While dust mites serve to remove dead skin cells they also cause contamination and allergens in the process. It has been estimated that upwards of 2 million dust mites inhabit the average bed mattress, which produce, on average, 20 fecal pellets each per night…40,000,000 daily. These fecal pellets (although even smaller than our microscopic friends) contain a protein from the stomach of the mite, which causes an allergic reaction when the pellets are inhaled by humans; particularly children and asthmatics.
Now imagine after a few years of neglecting your mattress how much dead skin, dust mites (dead or alive) and fecal pellets have accumulated inside your pillows and mattresses. It’s been said that as much as 10% of the weight of a mattress is the accumulation of the above mentioned nastiness.
There are steps that you can take to reduce and control dust mites: vacuum the mattress at least once a month, using a HEPA filter equipped vacuum. Steam clean and sanitize your mattress at least once a year or after steam cleaning it purchase a mite resistant cover for the mattress. This is also a great idea for your pillows also. The best way to vacuum a pillow is by placing it into a plastic bag, insert the vacuum hose and turn on the vacuum.
Bed mattresses are often over looked as an item that requires routine cleaning, let alone bi-monthly vacuuming and steam cleaning; unless of course you have severe allergic reactions or live with an asthmatic. Then of course this type of maintenance is as routine as placing your pillow in the freezer during the daytime hours.
How often is normal
How often is normal
We are often asked, “How often should I have my carpets cleaned?” While we often jokingly reply “once a week”, the truth is there is no set amount of time. Cleaning frequency really depends on the type of traffic you have on your carpet and how you maintain it. Some people can get by with professional cleanings every couple of years, while other people need their carpets cleaned every 3 months or so.
Appearance alone should not be the determining factor when deciding when to clean the carpet. Today’s carpets are engineered from the fibre up to hide soil. In fact, a tan, residential grade Saxony carpet can hide up to a pound of dirt per square foot before it becomes noticeably soiled. Once a carpet reaches this degree of soiling, it is not just in need of maintenance, but restoration as well. Commercial carpeting is often placed on a maintenance program where cleaning is scheduled before it reaches an unacceptable level.
Manufacturers are increasingly requiring that residential carpets be placed on a regular maintenance program as well. Soil, grit and grime in a carpet can work like tiny razor blades, slicing and dicing your carpet fibres, causing them to lose that “new” shimmer and taking years off their life. Carpet that is well maintained will wear longer and is less likely to contribute to indoor air pollution.
Appearance, reduction of potentially unhealthy contamination that may accumulate in the carpet, and manufacturers requirements to maintain your warranty should all be factors that help you decide how often to clean your carpeting.
A “no shoes policy”, an application of carpet protectant, frequent thorough vacuuming, and spotting with a residue-free carpet spotter are all excellent ways for you to keep your carpeting vibrant and healthy and extend the length of time between professional cleanings.
Value vs. Price
I spend a lot of my time finding out what my competitors’ do for the money they charge. This year there are well over 100 carpet cleaners in the yellow pages, and many more that are not; as a consumer you are faced with the daunting task of choosing one cleaner over another. So how do you choose? What are the going rates? What should I look for? Who sets the standards? Why are some cleaners better than others? How do I know the difference? Why do some company’s charge more, and are they really worth it?
I am sure I have over looked a few questions, but I will answer the most common one as objectively as possible.
Did you know that the #1 customer complaint against all service companies is not showing up on time?
Yet almost all carpet cleaners are late.
At Clean Tech we offer fixed time appointments.
Unfortunately price is one of the most common factors used when evaluating a carpet cleaner. I get numerous calls each day from people price shopping for a carpet cleaner. I say unfortunately, because price should rarely enter into the decision of choosing to clean your carpets since there is no such thing as a going rate. There are standards though – the IICRC sets them and following the standards provides you with a better cleaning. www.iicrc.org
Prices will range widely from as little as £100 for your entire house; the difference lies with the services performed and the end results achieved by a specific company. How they go about the whole process is also a factor, including respect for the client’s time.
Let me give you an example of a £100 cleaning.
A salesman posing as a carpet cleaner arrives at your home (most likely an hour late) then attempts to sell you extra services deodorizer or carpet protection almost the moment they walk into the house. Usually an attempt to charge for spots prior to cleaning is carried out.
The carpet will likely not be pre-sprayed with a professional cleaning agent; generally it is diluted soap that runs through the machine. Some of the less scrupulous cleaners use laundry soap instead of proper cleaning agents. A rapid rinse and extraction is done while the second salesman badgers you with more sales pitching. The whole house will be cleaned in about an hour.
This very rapid cleaning process may achieve two results, (1) a seemingly clean carpet for a very short period of time, due to lack of proper rinsing of soap residue. (2) A very wet carpet that starts to re-soils before it is dry and continues to re-soil due to residue not being rinsed out. Drying usually takes 2 or 3 days and the carpet may start to smell bad. Begrudgingly furniture is moved upon your insistence but protective measures may not be carried out.
Now let’s compare to the proper way of cleaning; the way Clean Tech Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning performs the service.
An IICRC certified Master Textile Cleaner arrives, conducts a pre-inspection with you, points out any problems or concerns with the carpet, ascertains information regarding spots or stains, and offers an opinion as to what can be done with them.
A Professional, (fibre specific), cleaning agent is applied to the carpet and allowed to dwell. This is followed by a thorough rinsing and extraction with as many dry passes as required to achieve the fastest possible dry time. The goal is to have the carpet dry in hours, not days.
Further spot cleaning, if required should be included with the price however some stain removal may require additional cost. The furniture has been moved, cleaned underneath, blocked or tabbed to protect both carpets & furniture from damage. Typically a carpet protector would be suggested for specific high traffic areas. Cost would be discussed, as well as providing you with the information to allow an informed decision on your part, as to whether or not you need or want a protector. Sales quotas or pressure to buy should not enter into the equation.
A post inspection with you assures that you are satisfied with the work, prior to the technician leaving. Specialty problems, maintenance tips or general spotting information is made available to you.
Presuming all is satisfactory, a no-charge spotting agent and a spotting guide for safe removal is supplied. Re-affirmation of our company’s solid guarantee is provided, as well as after cleaning care instructions.
Price aside for a moment which of the above two services is actually worth paying for? Are all the hassles really worth the lower price?
We all make value vs. price decisions every time we shop. A certain item may be inexpensive, but will it perform as well or last as long as a similar but higher priced item? Or will you have to put up with the problems of inferior quality.
I make the same decisions for my business purchases. Which protector or detergent will work best in my client’s homes? Will the cleaning be as effective if I use a less expensive product? The whole evaluation process for my company is based upon this… what will provide the best end result in my clients’ homes? Cost is never an issue, unless two products perform equally as well.
The value of my decisions shows up within your home! If your carpet dries within hours, stays cleaner longer, has fewer spots and no one badgered you for add-on sales; is that not a valuable company trait worth paying more for?
Peace of Mind
Why pay more? In addition to all of the previously mentioned reasons, next to the cost of your house the carpets are the next most expensive item in a home. Are you willing to risk damages to the carpets or worse yet having to replace ruined carpets due to the mistakes of an inexpensive, untrained cleaner?
Remember those over wet carpets that took 3 days to dry? During that 3 day drying period the warranty on your carpet was voided. Laundry soap and some other cheap chemicals can also void warranties. We won’t even talk about what might be growing under the carpet as a result if this over wet carpet.
Generally prices are derived by a company’s evaluation of operating costs as well as the benefits of its service performance when compared to its competitors. Nothing else should affect this evaluation. Comparing prices of different companies should evoke some questions that need answering. Such as; is the cheaper cleaner using the best detergent for “my” carpet or is it an inexpensive soap? Is he/she properly trained and IICRC certified to ensure that my carpet is not damaged? Can they afford insurance, professional cleaning agents, state of the art equipment?
Let’s face it; it costs a lot of money to operate any business in our current economy so a business owner must price their products and services to stay in business. Hoping to make money by charging low price in hopes to get lots of customers is not a solid business plan thus the need for persistent and relentless “hard sell” salesmen to top up the coffers.
Food For Thought
Take a look around your home, why did you shop at Ethan Allen as opposed to Discount Jim’s? Why did you insist upon a Stain Master carpet? It certainly wasn’t because of the price. More likely it had to do with Quality and performance. Rarely does Value come with a low price. How does that old saying go…”the bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of a low price”.
Ugly Traffic Lanes
Understanding Traffic Lanes and What Can Be Done About Them:
Often, we forget that carpeting is a textile, just like our upholstery, linens and clothing. When we pay £50 for jeans, we are not upset when the seat and knees become threadbare. Why, on the other hand, do we feel that carpet should last a lifetime? After all, it is a fabric, similar to other products made from textiles.
The main reason a carpet shows signs of premature wear is because of improper maintenance. If major traffic lanes were vacuumed more frequently and spots and spills were cleaned properly, carpeting would look better and last longer.
Traffic lanes and patterns are usually caused by the following factors: Traffic lane gray, soiling, matting and wear. We will review each problem, how it is caused and what can be done to prevent it.
Traffic Lane Gray:
Carpets are known to eventually show signs of wear. This wear creates an illusion of soiling, which often causes frustration and misunderstanding between homeowners and carpet care experts. Even though a carpet has been cleaned, it doesn’t mean that it will look the same as the rest of the carpet. Wear often causes what is known as traffic lane gray, a condition that has been nicknamed “uglied out”.
There is not a lot that a carpet care expert can do with “uglied out”. If a 10-year-old carpet is cleaned, you have a clean 10-year-old carpet. Just as a clean pair of old jeans will show wear and discoloration around the knees, a clean old carpet will show signs of wear in the traffic lanes.
The main cause of traffic lane soiling is tracked in soil, dust, airborne pollutants, food and beverages spilled on the carpet.
Soil damages carpeting as well as making it look dirty. The main problem caused by soil is called fibre abrasion. Fibre abrasion is created by dirt particles scratching and scraping the fibre surface. Scratches and scrapes block light reflection causing these areas to look even dirtier and gray. The easiest way to prevent soil from damaging the fibre is to vacuum daily.
There comes a point when carpet fibres no longer return to their original shape. As fibres lose their shape, they begin to look twisted, frayed or distorted, causing the carpet to look dirtier and gray. The easiest way to avoid matting is to vacuum and rake the carpet often. Rearranging furniture also helps to prevent traffic lanes and patterns.
Wear is a combination of several things. Soil, heavy traffic, loss of fibres, improper vacuuming, improper cleaning and time; all contribute to a worn carpet.
The best way to prevent excessive wear is to properly maintain your carpet. Vacuum every day if possible. Vacuuming removes loose soil before it becomes embedded in the fiber. Removal of abrasive soils from the carpet helps extend its life.
Do not use any products on your carpet unless advised by a professional cleaner. We provided a carpet spotter that removes most common stains without causing carpet damage or rapid re-soiling.
Have your carpets cleaned at least once a year by. The removal of embedded soils and spots refreshes the appearance of your carpet while ridding the fibres of abrasive materials.
The stain resistant treatment applied by the carpet manufacturer will wear off…especially in the traffic areas. To maintain your warranty, have the stain resistant treatment re-applied each time you have your carpet cleaned.
The most common question I hear is: Do they work?
We recently cleaned carpet in a home that houses two adults, a teenager, and two dogs. The last time we cleaned their carpets 3M Scotchgard was applied to protect the carpets. It was amazing how easily the soil released itself from their carpet fibres on the last visit.
A carpet protector such as 3M Scotchgard cannot make soil, food or drink hover six inches above the carpet, but it does provide you with the necessary time to clean up a spill before it can become a permanent stain.
Protectors guard against two things – “Soiling” and “Staining”. Does that mean that a protected carpet or sofa cannot be stained or become soiled? Of course not; protectors improve the release of spills, soils, and dust.
If coffee or a soda is spilled on a protected area and left unattended to dry, the dyes from these spills will eventually seep through the protector and may stain the fabric; however if the surface is immediately cleaned with an appropriate spotter or by a professional cleaner, the chances are very good that all of the spill will be removed. Dust and soils are easier to remove (from protected carpets) when vacuuming.
Protected fibres essentially have a barrier to lessen the entanglement of abrasive soil within a carpet…thus vacuuming is far more productive. This means you reduce the wear and tear and the abrasive effects of soil within your carpet. Hence, with routine maintenance it will last longer than un-protected carpet.
Are protectors perfect? No
Do they wear off? Yes
Do they need re-application? Yes
Can they increase the life span of carpet and fabrics? Yes
Do they keep your carpets or fabrics from ever getting dirty? NO
The bottom line is that carpet protectors give you an infinitely greater chance of cleaning soil or spills than you would otherwise have without a protector. Almost all new carpets now come with a protector to help prevent staining or premature wear.
Just as you apply wax to your cars’ finish to protect it from the elements and keep it looking new so should you protect your carpets’ finish by having a protector applied after it has been professionally cleaned. In addition to helping prevent staining, protectors help prevent soils from adhering to fibres which makes your normal vacuuming more productive.
While no protectant is bullet-proof they will allow you a window of time to remove spots and stains. By protecting the fibres from abrasive soils you will be rewarded with a longer over-all carpet life.