Why Allergy Sufferers Should Avoid Wet Carpet Cleaning Methods
Most professional carpet cleaning services rely on a wet carpet cleaning method commonly known as steam cleaning. However, this type of “steam cleaning” is not really steam cleaning at all; technically, it is hot water extraction, and professional cleaning technicians typically use a wet vacuum to suck up a mixture of hot water and detergent which was used to shampoo the carpet.
Problems with Hot Water Extraction
If you are allergic to mold or dust mites, you probably already know that you should keep the relative humidity level in your home below 50% to avoid the growth of unwanted organisms. Mold and dust mites thrive in damp environments, and hot water extraction leaves carpet fibers damp. Mold spores can germinate after only 12 hours in hospitable conditions, and a mold colony may form in as little as a day.
Wet carpet cleaning methods often dampen the padding below the carpet, too, and the covered padding takes even longer to dry, providing ideal conditions for mold and mildew growth. Hot water extraction can also damage the floor beneath the padding, especially if it’s wooden.
Some furniture, when exposed to wet carpet, may stain the carpet with dyes. Metal parts touching the carpet may leave rust stains.
Hot water extraction can damage the carpet itself as well. The moisture may cause the carpet to shrink or lose its color.
Finally, wet carpet cleaning leaves behind a chemical detergent residue. This residue makes the carpet sticky and attracts more dirt to the carpet fibers.
When people rent hot water extraction machines, the risk for damage only increases. Professional cleaning services normally use very powerful wet vacuums to suck up the dirty water from the carpet. Rental equipment, however, is not as powerful and often leaves the carpet even damper.
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