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Athens Carpet and Duct Cleaning
Carpet Cleaning FAQ

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Q: How does "steam cleaning" work?

The first step is pre-treating the heavy traffic areas with sprayed cleaning solution to loosen up the soils. Then the truck-mounted equipment is used to spray heated cleaning solution into the carpet pile at a high pressure and then is immediately extracted along with the suspended soil particles. The machine will work the solution into the pile and loosen soil.

Factors that affect the results of this method are:

  • operator skill
  • solution temperature
  • spray pressure
  • vacuum power

    Q: How often should my carpets be cleaned?

    The time between cleanings is dependent on several factors: frequency of your vacuuming, type and color of your carpet, amount of traffic, and the method used the last time your carpets were cleaned. On average we recommend once or twice a year. (Some cleaning methods cause carpets to re-soil faster than others.)

    Q: How can I slow down soiling and carpet wear?

    Carpeting usually represents the single most expensive item in your house, often thousands of dollars. To prevent premature soiling and wear, carpet manufacturers and professional carpet cleaners suggest five things:

  • Vacuum regularly heavy traffic areas twice as often as other areas.
  • Use recommended spotting techniques.
  • Place attractive, washable mats/rugs by most-used doors. Do not use rugs or mats with rubber backing of volatile dyes that may harm your carpet.
  • Have your carpets Hot Water "Steam" Cleaned on a regular basis. DuPont recommends only Professional Truck-Mounted "Steam" Hot Water Extraction Cleaning for their new Stainmaster carpet.
  • Reapply a carpet protector, at least in the heavy traffic areas, after cleaning.
  • Remove shoes before walking on carpet if possible.

    Q: Now that I know my carpets must be cleaned which method is the best?

    In 1972 an independent research team made a survey and found that the Hot Water, "Steam Extraction Method" was superior to all other methods for cleaning carpeting. In 1988, DuPont required that their Stainmaster Carpets must be steam/water extraction cleaned or the warranty is voided.

    Currently there are three basic methods of cleaning carpets: Rotary Shampooing, Dry Cleaning, and Hot Water "Steam" Extraction. Each of the first two methods have what appear to be two advantages: shorter drying time and less cost. The major disadvantage is that these two methods only surface clean. While we recommend "Steam" Extraction. This method cleans to the base of the fiber rather than scrubbing dirt deeper into the carpet.

    Therefore, for your carpets to be truly clean, the first two methods will require almost monthly (costly) cleanings-compared to annual, or biannual Truck-Mounted Hot Water "Steam" Extraction cleaning.

    Q: What is hot water "steam cleaning" and aren't all steam cleaners the same?

    "Steam Cleaning" is actually hot water extraction cleaning, with the hot water creating some steam. All steam cleaning is definitely not the same.

    Basically, there are three types:
    1. Do It Yourself - You rent a small portable machine, use lukewarm tap water with 100 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure and a vacuum of 2hg. It may take you four to eight hours of hard work and your carpets will be wet for days. If you're lucky, you won't ruin the carpet. And, they will resoil quickly so you should clean them three or four times a year ($120).
    2. Hired Portable Machines The major difference between this and "Do It Yourself" is someone else does the work, but they still use a portable machine. The result is the same-the cost is often double ($240).
    3. Professional Truck-Mounted Hot Water "Steam" Extraction - The major difference is in the POWER.... The water is heated to 2000 F, pressurized to 500 PSI and vacuumed up with a suction 10 times that of a portable machine, so carpets are normally dry in hours, not days. (This process does absolutely NO harm to your carpets if done correctly.)

    Q: How long will it be before our carpet is dry enough to use?

    In normal conditions an average of 6-8 hours. We will leave plastic booties for you to use until carpet is dry. (One possible solution for extreme humidity is to turn the heat on with the windows slightly open to release the condensation)

    Q: What safeguards do you take to prevent damage.

    We use corner guards to protect the walls and baseboards from damage from the hose and we are extremely careful as we clean.

    Q: I've heard that carpets get dirty faster after cleaning, is that true?

    It may be, depending on the method used to clean them. Years ago carpets were shampooed using a rotary brush. Because the shampoo and dirt were pushed down into the carpet rather than lifted out, the top looked nice for a few days. But it soon was dirtier than ever because the shampoo residue attracted more dirt. This same thing happens when you clean your own carpets, because without adequate heat, pressure, and vacuum power, you leave too much soapy residue in the carpets. They look worse in a month, and you end up cleaning them three or four times a year-at $30 each time plus four or five hours of back breaking work! WITH PROFESSIONAL TRUCK-MOUNTED HOT WATER "STEAM" EXTRACTION CLEANING WE LEAVE NO RESIDUE AND ELIMINATE THAT RESOILING FACTOR. YOUR CARPETS WILL LOOK NICE FOR MANY, MANY MONTHS.

    Q: If something gets spilled on my carpet what do I do?

    If something gets spilled on your carpet, take prompt action to prevent staining. You will need some clean white absorbent cloth or tissue and the four basic solutions listed below. (Please check that your carpet is colorfast and safe to clean, by testing all solutions in an inconspicuous area before application).
    1. Dry cleaning Solution - surgical spirit.
    2. Detergent Solution - One teaspoonful of gentle detergent for washing clothes to 0.75 liters (a half pint) of warm water.
    3. Detergent and Vinegar Solution - Add one tablespoon of white (not malt) vinegar to the Detergent solution.
    4. Ammonia Solution - One teaspoonful of branded household ammonia (available from hardware stores) to one cup of warm water.

    Tackle the stains as follows:
    1. Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Liquid Foods and Urine. Blot up surplus spillage. Use detergent vinegar solution. Work from the outer edge of the stain inwards, using a little at a time, blotting up with dry cloths frequently. See below for final rinse procedure.
    2. Chocolate, Sweets, Blood, Glue, Ice Cream, Milk, Soft Drinks and Vomit. Scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use a detergent solution starting at the outer edge. Blot dry. Follow up with Ammonia Solution. Blot dry. See below for final rinse procedure.
    3. Solids, Fats, Tar, Chewing Gum. Oil, Ointment and Shoe Polish.Scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use a dry cleaning solution followed by Detergent and Vinegar Solution. Blot dry. See below for final rinse procedure.
    4. Unknown stains. Scrape up or blot surplus spillage. Use a dry cleaning solvent followed by clean luke warm water. Blot dry. If further treatment is needed, use either Detergent or Detergent and Vinegar Solution. Blot dry. See below for final rinse procedure.

    Final Rinse Procedure: This rinse procedure is applicable to all the above methods of stain removal. Simply mix one part white vinegar and four parts water. Pour mixture into spray bottle and spay over the stained area. Blot dampened area (do not rub) to remove excess moisture. Spread white kitchen towel (stacked 6-8 sheets deep) over the affected area and a place a weight, such as a book, directly on top. This will help the moisture residue to soak into the towels. Leave overnight and repeat if necessary. REMEMBER Act quickly to scrape up the solids. Blot up the liquids, taking plenty of time. It is worth the effort.

    Mix the solution accurately. Test it on an out of the way piece of carpet. Always work from the outer edge of the stain to the center. NEVER OVER WET. Dab rather than scrub or rub hard. Even though you do not completely remove the stain, the correct routine will give your professional cleaner, when called, the best possible chance of success.

    NOTE: Some new carpets have been subjected to antistatic and soil resistant treatments. Even when these have been applied, it is wise to follow the stain removal procedures suggested

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