Contra to belief, carpets and upholstery should not be steam cleaned!
Carpet cleaning companies that offer steam cleaning for maximum protection are misleading you by selling a product that is not available or should not be used.
Carpets and upholstery are made of fibres (natural or synthetic), no different to our clothes. When we wash our clothes, we usually place them in a washing machine and put them on a cool or warm wash with a mild detergent. We never boil them as they will shrink or distort. Our carpets are no different! If we were to spray our carpets or upholstery with steam, they would distort, warp and become damaged. The damage may not be noticeable at the time of exposure, but the signs of damage would show over time.
Most carpet cleaning machines do not have a water heater; those with a heater have a maximum setting of 65 degrees Celsius to 68 degrees Celsius. Truck-mounted systems can reach high temperatures that can produce steam, but by the time the solution is transferred over several metres or more of piping, the high temperature is lost.
Steam is created when water is boiled at 100 degrees Celsius; the water then turns to vapour, known as steam.
What is seen when carpet and upholstery cleaners offer this service is condensation and overspray at the head unit of their cleaning wand, thus giving the illusion of steam.
When cleaning fabrics on carpets and upholstery, we as professionals use an acronym called CHAT.
The system is simple to use…
Chemicals. Select the correct chemicals for the task/clean in hand.
Heat. Add the chemicals to tap-warm or hand-hot water to activate the chemicals.
Agitate. After applying the warm solution to the surface being treated, we now agitate the carpet or upholstery for maximum penetration.
Time. Allow the solution time to work its magic on the fibres.
After this process is followed, we can now rinse if required. The rinse added to our machines can be warm or cold—the warmer the water, the better the clean. The rinse used is balancing and removing the solution we have applied and returning the fabric to a safe pH level.