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When only wet carpet cleaning will do

27 September 2016

Mark Daniels of InDepth Managed Services examines the merits of wet carpet cleaning

Carpeted floors get quite a work out and in many cases the footfall is very punishing. However, carpets can trap dust particles, preventing them from becoming air-borne. It’s important to remove any trapped abrasive dust from carpets because this will improve their longevity. Regular vacuuming is often not enough, as suction can’t reach the embedded soil and dust. 

This is where the intervention and expertise of the professional cleaner proves invaluable and adds extra value by lengthening the shelf life of your carpet. It entails regular cleaning using the right equipment, operated by highly trained individuals. But then the argument arises - what’s the best way to keep your carpets looking good for as long as possible? Dry and wet methods both have their merits, so ideally, a balance between the two is desirable. However, there are times when only wet cleaning will do. 

Most modern carpets, like those with synthetic backing, do not shrink yet they smooth easily so they can be cleaned using a wet treatment. The main concern with wet cleaning has been the drying time involved; slow drying can lead to the risk of discolouration or odours, moulds and mildews, as well as the risk of slips, trips and falls caused by the wet floors.  

Hot water extraction

Thanks to modern technology, a variety of hot water extraction carpet cleaning equipment comes to the rescue. This includes engine powered, truck-mounted machines which enable deep cleaning of areas up to 500ft away. They limit noise levels on site and fulfil health and safety regulations by limiting manual handling and lifting, whilst ensuring the deepest of cleans. Moist air is exhausted out of the building, lessening damp odours and improving air quality. 

Commercial and public buildings including hotels, airports, sports venues and offices can benefit from this method of high performance soil extraction and fast drying. The water pressure, temperature, suction power and chemical mixtures can all be adjusted to match the soiling levels and carpet characteristics, and integrated power wash enables both walls and floors to be washed down effectively.

Dedicated cleaning companies will go to great lengths to find the best and most ecological cleaning solutions. At InDepth we use technology that works by breaking down the soil to levels that are a millionth of a metre. It is derived from renewable sources and gives great cleaning results. This approach means that the solution does all the hard work (with a little help from our fully trained operatives) and our water consumption is now far less. 

Carpets are much drier once cleaned and back in service less than an hour later, with the added benefit of being residue free and ph neutral as our cleaning agents contain no sticky detergents. 

Cleaning challenges

There are some materials of course that challenge the performance of both wet and dry cleaning methods. Certain floor covering materials such as natural sea grass and coir, have a tendency to shrink, or lose colour and consequently wet cleaning is not advisable. However, these materials often don’t respond well to dry cleaning either, as it can be difficult to get the dry cleaning compound out afterwards.

The condition of the carpet will also have an impact on the type of cleaning used. If a carpet is very worn, it may be more cost effective to replace it in the long-term. Lighter carpets will require a more thorough clean, as there is no hiding place for stains or soiling. Antique floor coverings will require more specialist attention, with pre-testing required. 

Sometimes what seems like the least desirable option is actually the right path to take. Wet cleaning does not have to be time inefficient, messy or hazardous. If your people are well trained to use the technology available, it’s a winning combination to deliver the best results for your client. It increases efficiency and ensures that your carpeted flooring retains its appearance, safety and comfort.