If you’re like most of us, you use hot water when you need a little help getting something clean – your hands, the dishes, or maybe your favorite shirt. That’s because a little extra heat can break bonds, dissolve substances, and to help release dirt or stains into the water. It’s no wonder that we count on hot water to clean carpets, too.
There’s just one catch: We’re always trying to keep water off of our carpets. Since when is it a good idea to spray water onto them?
As it turns out, getting carpets wet isn’t necessarily a problem – provided that you’ve got the means to get them dry again soon. That’s where the “extraction” in “hot water extraction” comes in. After application, extraction equipment is used to pull the water, cleaning solution, and stains up and out of the carpet. When the extraction is effective, just-cleaned carpets can dry in matter of hours.
It’s worth mentioning that some extractions are more effective than others, and that this has a bearing on the quality of the carpet cleaning. Equipment makes a difference; portable extraction equipment will leave more moisture in the carpet than more powerful, truck-mounted equipment. The amount of water and cleaning solution also makes a difference; as more liquid is applied, more will be left behind in the carpet.
If you want to use hot water extraction to clean your carpets, the keys are to use a minimum of liquid and to use the most powerful extraction equipment available. If you’re planning on cleaning the carpets on your own, be judicious in how much solution you spray; don’t overdo it – especially important when you consider that your portable cleaning machine will not be able to extract liquid as well as a professional could.
Many of Olympia’s carpet cleaners employ hot water extraction with excellent results. Of these, Meridian Chem-Dry is my favorite carpet cleaning company. They have top-of-the-line extraction equipment. They use a hot, carbonated cleaning solution. I believe they’re able to apply lighter sprays of solution than the competition; I know that their carpet cleanings are first-rate and fast-drying.
It might also please you to know that Meridian’s cleaning solution is completely safe and non-toxic. This is true of Chem-Dry as well as many other carpet cleaning companies. But it isn’t true of all of them. If you have health concerns (or children or pets), you should be able to find a similarly safe and non-toxic carpet cleaner near you. If you’re not sure about their solution, go ahead and ask. You won’t be the first to do it.
Remember: Hot liquids clean better. Less liquid used means less left behind. Truck mounted extraction equipment beats portable machines. If you use a professional, ask if his cleaning solutions are non-toxic. If you can check all of these boxes, a clean carpet will be your reward.