Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning Methods

Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Machine

There are basically two types of hot water extraction carpet cleaning methods that professional carpet cleaners in Vancouver, Wa. will be using. 

In this article we will go over them both, and then include a hot water extraction method that is...well, not exactly hot water extraction but many cleaners call it that. It isn't, and we will explain.

One of the many questions we have been asked over the
years is what method do we use at Linton's Carpet Cleaning to
clean carpets.

In fact, besides asking about price (which is important, but
not the most important aspect of hiring a carpet cleaner), questions
about our cleaning method are what customers who have not used
us in the past typically ask.

Why Is The Method YOUR Carpet Cleaner Uses So Important?

Well, the main reason is the overall quality of the end result.
The carpet cleaning method used to clean your carpets can have
a major impact on overall soil removal, not just the appearance.
And overall soil removal should be a MAJOR consideration when
hiring any carpet cleaning company.

In this article we are not going to talk about the different methods,
but more about the differences in one particular method and that is
the hot water extraction method (HWE), which is commonly referred to
as steam cleaning - although no steam is actually used to clean the
carpet.

There are three main types of hot water extraction carpet cleaning units, with
one of them being a bit deceptive because while it is referred to as HWE,
it doesn't use any hot water, and at best uses warm water. But we will also
include this method when discussing the different HWE methods.

The THREE Main Methods Of Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

1. Truckmount Carpet Cleaning
2. Portable Carpet Cleaning That Uses Hot Water
3. Portable Carpet Cleaning That Really Does NOT Use Hot Water

As we have mentioned in other articles - hot water extraction carpet
cleaning is the most recommended method for deep thorough cleaning. While
some companies, that do not use hot water extraction, will debate this, we
are going to make this very clear: They are wrong.

You can take a look at Shaw Industries Carpet Cleaning recommendations here. Shaw is the leading carpet manufacturer in the world, they have done thorough testing, and they would not recommend a method that is bad for their products.

Shaw Industries clearly states that the method they find best for overall cleaning is hot water extraction. So with that out of the way, let's take a look at the three methods of hot water extraction.

But, actually, let's take a quick step backward. While the method used to clean your carpets is important - the most important things when hiring a carpet cleaning company is the skill of the carpet cleaner and the integrity of the company cleaning your carpets.

It will not matter what method is being used to clean your carpets if the carpet cleaner doesn't know what he or she is doing, and they are dishonest crooks.

Ok, let's take a look at the methods, we will start with the best overall HWE
carpet cleaning method - and that is from a truckmount carpet cleaning machine.

Truckmount Carpet Cleaning: So what is truckmount carpet cleaning? To put it simply it is a carpet cleaning machine that is installed in a van, sometimes a trailer, and either runs by it's own fuel source or it runs by the power of the van itself.

Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Machine

The truckmount machine we use at Linton's Carpet Cleaning in Vancouver.

We are not going to go into all of the ins and outs of the different truckmount cleaning machines on the market, but the basics are what we mentioned above.

The advantages of a truckmount carpet cleaning machine is power, and the main power advantages are the ability to recover HUGE amounts of water and the ability to produce very hot water.

The ability for a carpet cleaner to recover a very high percentage of water they put down is critical for overall soil removal and the ability to get the carpet dry as fast as possible.

The ability to clean with really hot water is also a major advantage as hot water, all other things being equal, cleans more efficiently and better than cold or just warm water. And with hot water the carpet cleaner can use LESS pre-spray, and other cleaning agents, to get your carpet clean and it is always a good thing to use as little cleaning agents as possible to clean a carpet.

Another advantage of MOST truckmount carpet cleaning machines is the ability to use long hose runs. This means that the hoses (water and vacuum hoses) brought into your home can easily be 150ft to 200ft long and what this does is allow the cleaner to clean even large homes and keep the machine far away from the cleaning area.

This lowers the noise in your home during cleaning, which is always nice. A portable carpet cleaning machine is almost always put inside your home and therefore the noise can be a bit overwhelming.

And finally, an advantage that most people never think of is that the waste tanks with truckmount carpet cleaning machines are large. They can hold over 100 gallons of waste water; which means that there is no dumping
of waste water in your home, such as in the bathroom.

And there is no dumping of large amounts of water in your yard or flower garden. There should NEVER EVER be dumping of waste water on the sidewalks or streets, as that is illegal.

Portable Hot Water Extraction With Heat: Many cleaners use portable carpet cleaning machines that produce water, but very few (none that we have seen) are able to produce the water temperatures that a good truckmount carpet cleaning machine can produce.

Hot water, in almost all cases, is a major advantage to cleaning and the
end result.

Portable Carpet Cleaning Machine

A Portable Hot Water Extraction Unit

But, there are portables that produce hot water. The issue that even the best portables have is keeping the water hot with decent flow rates. Flow rates are important because it is the flow rate, and the vacuum power, than flushes the soil from the carpet.

It not hard to clean with hot water if the flow rate is low, but with a low flow rate the cleaning ability is greatly reduced unless the cleaner decides to make numerous cleaning passes over the same area - and very few, if any, cleaners are willing to do this.

With a powerful truckmount carpet cleaning machine the flow rate can be two to four times higher than a good portable and the heat is also better - usually much better.

But portables with heat do have a purpose. There are many times in the commercial carpet cleaning environment that access to the building is limited because of security concerns so all doors must be shut. A bank is a good example of this. In this case a portable has an advantage in that it can be moved indoors and therefore no doors from the outside have to be left open.

The other issue with any type of portable is the power of the vacuum. In almost all cases the power of a good truckmount, and the ability to have large amounts of lift and airflow, give the truckmount carpet cleaning machine
a MAJOR advantage when it comes to extracting the water and soil.

The ability to recover the water put down and flush the carpet is the most important aspect of carpet cleaning. The goal in having your carpets cleaned
should be maximum soil removal AND good appearance. Not just appearance. Truckmount carpet cleaning machines are much more powerful than the average portable.

A good portable with heat can deliver excellent cleaning results, but if everything else is considered equal a truckmount carpet cleaning machine just offers a better overall capability for soil removal than even the best
portables.

Portable Carpet Cleaning Machines Without Heat: There are many portable carpet cleaning machines that do a decent job of cleaning, especially if the cleaner is talented. However, in most cases a portable that doesn't offer heat is limited to a certain degree, especially in conditions where there is a lot of oil or grease in the carpet. Such as in many restaurants.

A portable with no heat can still give good cleaning results but usually it is going to take the cleaner longer, many times much longer, to get the same results as a good truckmount carpet cleaning machine.

As we have said a number of times: heat is an advantage in almost all cleaning situations and with no heat the same cleaning agents and the same cleaning techniques just don't produce the overall results that a truckmount with a lot of heat can produce.

As with a portable with heat, a portable without heat usually lacks really strong water extraction capability. And this leads to two issues. The first issue is that the cleaner doesn't get out as much soil as they would if they were cleaning with a truckmount. The second issue can be dry times, especially if the cleaner puts down too much water and is not very careful with dry strokes. Having said this there are portables which offer good to really good extraction capabilities, but none that can rival a good truckmount carpet
cleaning machine.

Also, portable carpet cleaning machines are not nearly as efficient using high powered cleaning attachments as the RV360 and other power wands.

Portables can run these power wands, but usually at a much lower flow rate
and with much less heat because the portable unit just cannot produce the amount of vacuum and heat that a good truckmount can produce.

Should You Hire A Carpet Cleaner That Only Uses Portables?

It depends on what you are looking for. If the cleaner is skilled and has the desire to do a really good job of cleaning, you can find very good carpet cleaners that use portables. And these cleaners can deliver results as good, and sometimes better, than an average cleaner that uses a truckmount.

But a skilled cleaner with the desire to do a good job and one that uses a truckmount cleaning machine will almost always deliver better overall results, even if you do not see those results visually.

What do we mean by this? Well, a lot of the soil that is in your carpet is below the top half of the fiber. In fact, in many cases the soil is very near the backing of the carpet.

In this case a good portable, even with heat, has a hard time getting to this soil because of the lack of flow and the inability to really recover the water and soil that is deeper down in the pile of the carpet.

Most people have their carpets cleaned for appearance, and that is a good reason to clean. But cleaning for health is also important and getting all of that deep-down soil out of your carpet, or most of it, is a good
idea.

If your carpets are lightly soiled then a portable can do a really fine job of removing most of the soil in your carpet and giving you good visual results, especially in the carpet cleaner is good at removing spots
and stains.

But if your carpets are heavily soiled and need a really deep thorough flushing of the soil then nothing does a better job than a good skilled carpet cleaner using a powerful truckmount carpet cleaning machine.

Again, there is a reason that Shaw Industries, the worlds largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction for the best overall cleaning results. And there is a reason a majority of the best carpet cleaning companies in the world use hot water extraction in the form of a truckmount.

All other things being equal, a good truckmount carpet cleaning machine offers numerous advantages to the end result and to the carpet cleaner.

Here is a video of our cleaning system using a truckmount and the RV360 Powerwand.

Linton's Carpet Cleaning in Vancouver, Wa. is considered by many to be the premier carpet cleaning company in the Vancouver area. We offer FREE no obligation quotes, high quality cleaning, and customer service that is second to none. If you need any carpet cleaning done please give us a call by clicking the button above.

We will be more than happy to answer any and all questions related to our carpet cleaning service in Vancouver and the surrounding areas.

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