They are both popular methods used in carpet steam cleaning. It is important to understand that steam is never actually used to clean carpets. Instead most machines use hot water because steam by itself cannot clean carpets. Instead, the machine spreads detergent on the carpet and hot water activates the detergent on the fibres and the detergent should be alkaline for synthetic carpets and acidic for wool and natural fibre. A wet vacuum is then used to mop up most of the water on the floor. Some people choose steam carpet cleaning because they believe that the chemicals used in dry cleaning have an effect on the health of the family and the environment around them. In technical terms, the only way to clean a carpet without using any chemicals is to simply use a vacuum cleaner because, technically speaking, even water should be regarded as a chemical.
When most people ask about carpet steam cleaning without chemicals, they actually mean if carpets can be cleaned safely. For many service providers, the answer would be yes. Because it is quite likely that they use cleaning solutions which can effectively clean carpets without causing any kind of harm. The hot water extraction rinse used in the process of steam cleaning or carpet shampooing is enough to remove any traces of cleaning solution leaving behind little or no residue on the carpets. For customers as concerns about health conditions such as allergies and asthma, special cleaning solutions are available which will not aggravate the condition. Steam cleaners operate by inserting a cleaning solution into the machine and then moving the machine slowly across the carpet. The machine will then soak up the water and get rid of it. After the cleaning, the customer should stay off the carpets for between 12 and 24 hours until they are completely dry. In some cases, there is shrinkage after the water dries, but this should not be a problem unless carpet is made of natural and untreated fibre.
The name dry cleaning is misleading in the context of carpet steam cleaning because professional do use a small amount of moisture as application solutions which complement the dry compounds used. Dry cleaning offers the advantage of time saving because floors can be used again soon after the cleaning is complete. In industrial and retail environments, dry cleaning chemicals are often used for this reason. Steam cleaning can be done in the house because the only thing that is required is hot water, detergent and a hired machine. However, there is a wait of up to 24 hours before the carpet can be used. After steam cleaning, stains could appear on the ground, but can be treated with solutions available commercially. Dry cleaning has the advantage of almost no drying time, but the chemicals used can often be harsh and expert advice should be obtained.
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