Carpet Cleaning: Putting the Heat on Dirt####Carpet Cleaning: Putting the Heat on Dirt
As techs re-fluff your carpets and your vacuum weeps in envy, learn how they work their magic with Groupon's guide to steam cleaning.
Although steam can be an effective cleaning tool, when pros talk about steam-cleaning a carpet, they're usually talking about a process technically known as hot-water extraction. That's because steam—which occurs when water reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit under normal conditions—is simply too powerful for many residential jobs, posing a risk of damage or shrinkage to some kinds of carpet fibers. Fortunately, water usually only needs to be heated to around 140 degrees to kill most of the microorganisms that can live in a carpet and cause odors. A skilled technician will know what range of temperatures is ideal for any given fiber.
Whether it's a rolling model or a massive van-mounted machine, a carpet cleaner has three important elements: a heating device, water jets, and vacuum suction. As the water is heated, it will sometimes be mixed with detergent, but one of the benefits of steam cleaning is the fact that soap isn’t necessarily a must—pressurized jets can reach deep into fibers to get at grime. A vacuum hose then pulls most of the liquid back into the machine, though some dampness will linger in the carpet. Generally, after about three or four hours a carpet will be ready for you to walk on and set all your little army guys back in position.
There are few activities in life that Time to Shine owner Laurence Brooks enjoys more than making dirty things clean. In 1999, he turned that compulsion into a business, which has grown from a small basement-located operation to a fully staffed crew of cleaning technicians. The team deploys professional-grade solutions, steam cleaners, and vacuums, ousting dirt and stains from shag carpeting as well as upholstery and pet Chewbaccas.
Forever Clean owner Raylene Ewing, who's worked in the cleaning industry for 16 years, still channels her degrees in criminal justice and psychology to make savvy business decisions. She hires fully bonded and insured housekeepers to scour homes from top to bottom, sending the same employees on repeat visits to increase familiarity with the home. By heeding common complaints about other companies, she has also developed a reliable system for leaving each room spotless, which includes hand washing all the hard floors instead of simply lighting them on fire.
The staff members can purge private residences, apartments, and offices of grime. They strive to accommodate homeowners by providing detailed estimates over the phone, even after traditional business hours, and do not charge additional fees for homes with pets.
Nu-Life Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner’s professional rug-scrubbers, certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration, purify carpets using powerful truck-mounted steam cleaners. Upon their arrival at customers’ homes, technicians set to work removing stains and banishing dirt trapped in carpet fibers and the pages of tell-all memoirs. On return visits, homeowners can request that other rooms be cleaned, or space out service to maintain previously steamed carpets. Workers can also clean sofas using dry-cleaning or steam-extraction techniques, depending on the type of fabric. Freshly pressed sofas show fewer signs of aging and wear and enable better naps than couches covered in a fine dust of cheese powder.
Most Popular Service: Janitorial Service
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Brands Used: Simple Green
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