This section is devoted to keeping everyone informed of all the various carpet warranties and their recommended cleaning instructions. You will notice that all of them promote hot water extraction (HWE) as the preferred or "best" process by which to clean and restore their product. The "dry clean" systems these manufacturers do mention, are typically viewed as "maintenance only" surface-type carpet cleaning processes.
Hot water extraction to refresh carpet texture, performed by a trained, qualified carpet care professional, is required at least every 1.5 to 2 years for coverage under this warranty. Please keep your receipts for proof of service.
Professional carpet cleaners cannot only keep your carpet fresher, brighter and newer looking longer, they can replace missing tufts, repair cigarette burns -- and perform other repairs to your carpet. Many professional carpet cleaners are attending classes and passing written examinations to become certified to clean stain resistant carpets. It is best to choose one with this certification.
1. Hot water (also known as steam) extraction method.
-- Detergent solution is sprayed on the carpet followed by a clear water rinse.
-- Detergent solution is sprayed on the carpet followed by a thorough extraction with a rinse surfactant.
-- Detergent applied initially through the dispensing tank. This type method must be followed by a clear-water extraction rinse to ensure that all of the residual detergent is rinsed from the carpet to prevent a rapid re-soiling situation.
b. The alkalinity (pHi of the detergent solution should be 9.0 to 10.0. The pH should never be any higher than 10.0; it may be lower than 9.0, but cleaning will usually be less effective.
c. You may wish to express your concerns to the cleaning company you are considering using, about over-wetting your carpet. A situation of this nature can be avoided with equipment in good working order with a strong vacuum system. Plan to stay off the carpet for 8 to 12 hours after the cleaning to allow the carpet to dry free of foot traffic.
Light Surface Cleaning
Dry compound cleaning utilizing semi-moist powders, that are worked into the carpet and extracted with a strong vacuum system. Examples of these compounds are Capture® and Host®.
Bonnet cleaning which utilizes a carbonated solution. An example of this type of cleaning is the ChemDry system.
Foam cleaning. The detergent is turned into a foam, brushed into the carpet and then extracted with a strong vacuum system. An example of this system is the Von Schrader cleaning method. (Avoid aerosol foam carpet cleaners such as those available in grocery stores.)
The three methods reflected above are adequate for light surface soil, however, once the carpet has become appreciably soiled and has been in use for an extended period of time, a deep cleaning should be utilized. It should be understood that with the dry compound, bonnet and foam methods, traces of the cleaning agent remain in the carpet. It should also be understood that after employing these methods a few times, a switch should be made to the hot water or steam extraction method. This is not to say that the hot water or steam extraction method cannot be used initially.
Avoid any cleaning system that utilizes rotary brushes, unless a cover or bonnet is utilized, as these may untwist the tufts of your carpet and cause an accelerated wear/appearance change. Soft cylindrical brushes used in the moist powder systems are not as apt to cause a problem but should be tried on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first.
®Host is a registered trademark of Racine Industries.
®Capture is a registered trademark of Milliken Research Corp.
Any cleaning system is only as good as the person operating the equipment. After discussing the type cleaning you have chosen for your carpet with the cleaning company, you may wish to ask for name, phone number and date of his/her last three cleaning jobs for references concerning quality of work performed. The Better Business Bureau is another source for references. Please be aware that the cheapest cleaners may not necessarily be offering the best service.
We cannot recommend a specific cleaning company, however, we do offer this basic information about cleanings to assist you in locating a reputable carpet cleaner in your area.
PLEASE NOTE: To protect the stain efficacy of the carpet, no cationic materials should be used on carpet such as disinfectants (Lysol®), insecticides, biocides or fungicides (Sylguard®), without first checking with Solutia.
®Lysol is a registered trademark of Lehn & Fink Products, a division of Sterling Drug
®Sylguard is a registered trademark of Dow Chemical Co.
Periodic Professional Cleaning
Periodic professional cleaning of the overall carpet is recommended. The frequency of overall cleaning may vary depending on the level and type of traffic and the conditions to which your carpet is exposed, and may range from as little as 6 months to 18 months between cleanings. Carpets perform best when properly cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner using specially formulated products developed for your carpet.
WARNING: Non-approved cleaning products and topical treatments, applied by you or by a professional carpet cleaner, will invalidate your warranty. We support industry standard procedures for cleaning stain resist carpet. The preferred method is hot water extraction utilizing cleaning products which are non-cationic and have a pH less than 10.
If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. It is a myth that cleaning the carpet before it is absolutely necessary will cause it to get dirty faster. Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months depending upon the number of residents and amount and type of activity.
Choice of the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which promote re-soiling and defeat the whole purpose of cleaning. The recommendations below represent the best current knowledge and should help prolong the time between cleanings.
Hot Water Extraction System
Shaw Industries recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly referred to as "steam cleaning," although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and wand brought inside or, where a truck-mounted unit cannot reach, by a portable, self-contained system brought into the home.
How often your carpet will need to be professionally hot water extraction cleaned depends on how the carpet is used and cared for. Carpet featuring Scotchgard protection should stay clean 2 to 3 times longer than similar untreated carpet; providing a better appearance with less cleaning. Professional hot water extraction cleaning is the preferred method because it leaves the least amount of detergent residue.
If you choose to do-it-yourself, DO NOT use wet shampoo equipment. Shampooing can leave a soap residue in the carpet which not only masks the Scotchgard protection, but actually attracts and holds dirt.
Frequency of cleaning
How often you have your carpet cleaned depends on the amount and kind of use your carpet gets, and the quality of your day-to-day maintenance. The warranty requires your carpet to be hot water extraction cleaned at least once every two years by certified carpet cleaners that carry the Scotchgard brand.
Reapplying Scotchgard protector always enhances the amount of protection. It is important that you retain your cleaning receipts in the event that you need to make a warranty claim. Areas of higher traffic and soiling should be hot water extraction cleaned more frequently.
Proper carpet cleaning requires experience and special equipment. Most rental or home cleaning equipment is unable to extract thoroughly the water and detergents they put into the carpet. Left in the carpet, the detergents attract more dirt, causing rapid resoiling and the need for recleaning. Professional hot water extraction is the method 3M requires for cleaning your carpet.
Hot water extraction
This is the best method for deep-cleaning most carpets. Hot water extraction cleaning requires the use of a machine which sprays cleaning solution into the carpet pile. Chemicals attack the soil and greasy build-up on the carpet fibers. A powerful vacuum then extracts the solution almost immediately.
For optimal soil and stain protection, 3M recommends that Scotchgard protector be reapplied after every hot water extraction. 3M recommends using a reputable professional cleaner.
1. Pile Lift
2. Hot Water Extraction
1. Absorbant Compound
2. Bonnet/Absorbant Pad
3. Rotary Brush Extraction
4. Hot Water Extraction