Steam Carpet Cleaning Information

Despite the name, steam carpet cleaning does not use steam. Instead it uses hot water. The water is not at the boiling temperature but is hot enough that some steam is generated during the cleaning process and makes it look like steam is being used. Hence the name, even though that gives an incorrect impression of how it works. Thanks to Steve of Annapolis Clean Carpet ( for help with information on this topic. He has been in the business over 20 years, and we appreciate his expertise and knowledge.

Steam Cleaning vs. Chemical or Dry Carpet Cleaning

Steam cleaning uses hot water and detergents. It gets all the way down and cleans the pile of the carpet that the carpet fibers are attached to as well as the carpet fibers themselves. Steam cleaning removes 97% of dirt and bacteria, so if you have allergies, this method is probably the choice for you.

Dry or chemical cleaning uses a cleaning solution. It is still wet, but uses much less liquid than with the steam cleaning method. The chemical solutions do not get as deep and tend to just clean the top layer of the carpet. Therefore, if you have deep stains, you probably want to use steam cleaning.

There will be some residue left in the carpet so you should make sure that the carpet cleaning company tell you what chemicals are being used so that you can do your own research if you want.

Carpet Drying Time

The drying time will take longer with steam cleaning than with chemical cleaning. The drying time is impacted with how efficient the extractor is that the carpet cleaning company uses. Because it can take several hours, sometimes more, you should choose a time to get the carpet cleaned when it will get little to no traffic immediately after cleaning.

Professional Carpet Cleaning vs. Rental machines

You can do a decent job with rental machines but they are not as powerful and do not clean as deeply and thoroughly. So, you can use rental machines normally, but from time to time you really should get your carpets cleaned by a professional.

Carpet Cleaning Preparation

A professional can do all of the following steps, but you can save yourself some money by doing the following in advance.

Clear Out the Room

The cleaning will be much more effective if you take everything that is on the floor out of the room. That means all the furniture and anything else that is in the room. If some of the furniture is too heavy, you may need to leave it in place or perhaps get the carpet cleaners to help you move it. If it can’t be moved, you can put foil, plastic wrap or wax paper under the legs to protect from the moisture.

Or, you can move all the furniture in one spot, get the carpet in the rest of the room cleaned and then, after it is dry, move the furniture to the other side and repeat the process.

Clean the Baseboards & Ceiling Fans

By dusting the baseboards and ceiling fan you will limit any dust which might fall while the carpet cleaning process is going on.  Or even worse, after the cleaning is over.

Vacuum the Carpets

If you are cleaning the carpet yourself, you should do this. If you have a professional cleaning the carpet, they should vacuum first. The reason is that the vacuum will pick up larger dirt. The steam cleaning process is designed to remove smaller dirt wedged down in the fibers. It is preferable to vacuum twice before cleaning. Vacuum in one direction and then the second time vacuum in the opposite direction or at a 90-degree angle to the first time. Even though you are going to vacuum twice, vacuum more slowly than usual to maximize the amount of dirt you remove.

If there are any stains, you or the professional will pretreat the spots with a stain remover.

We hope you found these tips useful.

Dealing with Water Damage of Carpets

Hopefully Your House Doesn’t Look Like This

The type of flooring in a house reflects the lifestyle preferences and tastes of its dwellers. Carpet is a popular flooring choice along with other options like wood, marble and tile. Available in a large variety of materials and textures, carpets give a warm and welcoming feel to any space they cover. Tastefully and diligently done carpet flooring can help elevate the general décor and aesthetics of a house several notches higher.

However, not only are carpets on the more expensive side of the available flooring options, they are also high maintenance and very prone to damage, especially from water. Therefore, ensuring the carpets remain damage-free should be part of your preventive maintenance plan for the house.

But accidents do happen. What if your carpet does get damaged by water despite your best attempts to prevent that from happening?

Act fast!

The first and foremost rule of water damage control is to act fast. Carpets are highly absorbent due to which they soak moisture really quickly. Acting at the first sign of trouble can limit the area of carpet affected and minimize damage.

Below are the steps you can take to address water damage of carpets:

  • Identify the cause of damage / leak
  • Identify the type of water involved
  • Assess the area of damage

Identify the cause of damage / leak

Determine whether the cause of water damage is a single point leakage e.g. an inadvertent spill, a leaking tap or an overflowing bath tub, etc. In such cases, as the wet area is small, damage control is easier. Drying out the carpet after addressing the leakage of water, wet/dry vacuuming and fan/heater air drying will usually suffice.

On the other hand, if water damage is due to flood, leaking roof, bursting of sewage pipe, etc., the area of carpet affected is usually significant. It can sometimes affect the whole house. In such cases, calling professionals for the job or simply pulling out and discarding the carpet is recommended.

Identify the type of water involved

Fresh water damage: Carpets damaged by fresh water are comparatively easier to restore. Water from tap or non- contaminated rain water can be wet vacuumed. Fans have to be used 24 hours a day for around a week. If possible, owners can get industrial fans on rent for the job.

Black water damage: Damage from sewage or the so-called black water is much more difficult to address. In such cases, it is advisable to call a professional disaster restoration contractor from the area. Industrial bleaching and professional drying may also help salvage the situation.

The biggest concern in such cases is the growth of mold and mildew in the affected carpet. Unattended, this may pose a health hazard in the form of allergies and respiratory distress in individuals prone to those ailments.

Besides being annoying, treatment of a black water affected carpet can sometimes prove to be more expensive than replacing it. Despite best efforts the flooring may have to be entirely pulled, discarded and re-laid.

Assess the area of damage

As discussed earlier, small area of water logged carpet is easier to get cleaned and dried than the entire floor of wet damage. Also, in case of excessive damage, contact a professional service to assess and know how much of the cost can be recovered in case a relaying of carpet is needed.