Steam Carpet Cleaning Shampoos

The wonderful world of carpet cleaning can be quite the jungle to those who are not professionally involved in it. New methods, technologies and solutions are developed regularly and keeping up isn’t easy unless you have an active interest in the subject – and let’s face it, most people don’t care that much about carpet cleaning. It’s no wonder, then, that there is a fair bit of confusion surrounding the subject; and one of the most common misconceptions is that you need carpet shampoo when steam cleaning your carpet. In reality, you do not. Let’s take a look at the process of steam cleaning, and compare it to shampoo carpet cleaning.

Steam Carpet Cleaning

The best place to start is probably to look at the process of steam cleaning your carpet. When asked by laymen, this is generally the method I recommend they use at home. Why? Well, there are several reasons. Firstly, there is a fantastic variation available in terms of domestic equipment, and there are machines to suit pretty much all budgets. Second, it’s comparably less messy than the other good value for money alternative, which happens to be shampoo cleaning.
Now, the process of steam carpet cleaning involves:

  1. Pre-treatment of the carpet using an alkaline agent;
  2. This is then worked in to the carpet by ‘stressing’ it, which in layman’s terms basically means working it into the carpet using a grooming brush;
  3. Leave the agent to dwell in the carpet for 20 or so minutes;
  4. Finally, break out your carpet steamer (or hot water extractor) and rinse the carpet thoroughly – you will need to run over each part of the carpet at least twice; and
  5. Leave to dry, which generally takes 6-12 hours though this will depend on temperature and airflow.

As you can see, there is no need to use steam carpet cleaning shampoos – and the process is quite straightforward and clean.

Carpet Shampoo Cleaning

Now, cleaning your carpet with a carpet shampoo is both messier and more time-consuming. The process involves using a shampoo – for anyone interested, these used to be made from coconut oil but are now largely synthetic  - and the problem with that is that they often leave behind a residue. This residue can be sticky or foamy and is likely to attract dirt quickly, which means that you often have to vacuum your carpet once its dry.
The process of carpet shampoo cleaning involves:

  1. Using a rotary machine which excretes a combination of carpet shampoo and water, and works it into the carpet;
  2. Leaving the shampoo to work its magic for a short period of time;
  3. Using a so-called wet-vacuum to rinse the carpet; and
  4. Vacuuming the carpet once dried, to remove any soap residue.

Shampoo cleaning, then, is a considerably harder process and requires slightly more expensive equipment. In summary, steam carpet cleaning shampoos are a myth, and steam cleaning is preferable to shampoo cleaning in a domestic setting.


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