Hot Water Extraction VS Steam Cleaning
What’s the difference, and which is better?
Today, steam cleaning is really a misnomer for hot water extraction. True steam cleaning is a different method, and is rarely used at all in modern carpet cleaning. In true steam cleaning, the water is heated to the point of vaporization creating steam, which is then forced through the carpet fibers. The problem with this method is that you cannot effectively rinse with steam, leaving behind cleaning agents and soils. Because of this, steam cleaning has become a thing of the past. The term steam cleaning, however, stuck because of its association with sanitation.
Nowadays, the terms hot water extraction and steam cleaning are used interchangeably, but typically refer to the same method. Hot water extraction uses pressure to push cleaning agents and hot water deep into the carpet fibers, breaking up soils and stains. The water is then immediately extracted with powerful suction, removing the soils and stains with it. As a final step, Al’s Carpet Cleaning and Restoration uses a clear water rinse to remove any remaining agents, leaving the carpet soft and residue free. Surprisingly, many cleaners do not perform this very important final step.
Hot water extraction is safe for all carpets, and is the manufacturer recommended method of cleaning. It is often required to have your carpets cleaned yearly by a professional, specifically using truck mounted hot water extraction, to maintain or validate the warranty on a new carpet purchase.
There are rental and home units available; however they do not offer the power of commercial units. This means less pressure to break up soils, and less suction to remove the water. If you can’t remove all of the water, you risk mold, mildew, and bacteria growth. Hot water extraction performed by a trained technician is risk free.
Every day we attack our carpet with foot traffic, pet traffic, spills and stains- all of which can contain bacteria. Having your carpet cleaned regularly removes these offenders, allowing you to enjoy your carpet worry free. Regular cleaning also extends the life of your carpet. We recommend having your carpets cleaned professionally at least once a year, with truck mounted hot water extraction.
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