Most professional carpet cleaning services rely on a wet carpet cleaning method commonly known as steam cleaning. However, this type of "steam cleaning" is not really steam cleaning at all; technically, it is hot water extraction, and professional cleaning technicians typically use a wet vacuum to suck up a mixture of hot water and detergent which was used to shampoo the carpet.
Problems with Hot Water Extraction
If you are allergic to mold or dust mites, you probably already know that you should keep the relative humidity level in your home below 50% to avoid the growth of unwanted organisms. Mold and dust mites thrive in damp environments, and hot water extraction leaves carpet fibers damp. Mold spores can germinate after only 12 hours in hospitable conditions, and a mold colony may form in as little as a day.
Wet carpet cleaning methods often dampen the padding below the carpet, too, and the covered padding takes even longer to dry, providing ideal conditions for mold and mildew growth. Hot water extraction can also damage the floor beneath the padding, especially if it's wooden.
Some furniture, when exposed to wet carpet, may stain the carpet with dyes. Metal parts touching the carpet may leave rust stains.
Hot water extraction can damage the carpet itself as well. The moisture may cause the carpet to shrink or lose its color.
Finally, wet carpet cleaning leaves behind a chemical detergent residue. This residue makes the carpet sticky and attracts more dirt to the carpet fibers.
When people rent hot water extraction machines, the risk for damage only increases. Professional cleaning services normally use very powerful wet vacuums to suck up the dirty water from the carpet. Rental equipment, however, is not as powerful and often leaves the carpet even damper.
The Real Steam Cleaners: Vapor Steam Cleaners
Vapor steam cleaning, as opposed to hot water extraction, actually harnesses the power of steam for a rigorous carpet cleaning. Reliable Home Vapor Steam Cleaners come with floor brushes that allow you to clean, deodorize, and sanitize your carpet without the use of chemicals. All you need is regular tap water.
Vapor steam cleaners heat the water to 221°F, and the ensuing hot steam destroys allergens and bacteria. We recommend that you vacuum your carpet first using a HEPA vacuum cleaner, then
sanitize using a vapor steam cleaner.
SEBO Duo Carpet Cleaning System: A Dry Alternative to Wet Carpet Cleaning
To get rid of deep soil and stains without creating an allergen farm, use the SEBO Duo Carpet Cleaning System. The SEBO Duo-P Cleaning Powder consists of tiny granules that lift soil and stains out of the carpet without getting the carpet wet. The SEBO Duo Brush Machine opens the carpet pile to ensure that the powder cleans around each separate carpet fiber.
The SEBO Duo Carpet Cleaning System eliminates allergens and bacteria, does not promote mold or mildew growth, does not leave behind a sticky residue, and
does not damage carpet; it will leave your carpet clean, refreshed, and dry. Scientists at a major allergy research center in Germany found that after just a
single cleaning with the SEBO Duo system, seven out of ten carpets remained free of dust mite allergen for six months!
American Vacuum Cleaning: History & Trends
Originally published in the
August 2007 issue of
Allergy Consumer Report.
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