by Phil Barnes
(Lincoln, Nebraska)

There are many different methods of carpet cleaning. With so many methods it can be difficult to determine which one is best. So is there one method that is better than all of the others? The answer is no. Each method has its place and has a particular advantage and disadvantage.

Do you need carpets that are dry very quickly? If you have a carpet that you cannot stay off of for a long period you might want to use a dry cleaning method. Most dry cleaning methods leave the carpet dry in well under an hour. There are various dry cleaning methods and they include bonnet cleaning, shampoo cleaning and dry powder cleaning. They all do a great job of cleaning the carpet but might not be best if you have severely soiled carpet or pet stains.

Do you have severe staining or pet stains? If so you will probably want to use a steam cleaner or a hot water extraction cleaner. This method has a great flushing capability since it uses a lot of water to rinse the carpet. The disadvantage to this method is that it does take longer to dry. Drying times are typically from four to twenty four hours.

Are you sensitive to chemicals? If so, then you should find a cleaner who uses all natural chemicals instead of petroleum based cleaners and solvents. Natural cleaning methods are becoming more popular. Many dry and steam cleaners use natural chemicals today. The disadvantage to natural cleaning is that if you have a severely soiled carpet it might not be enough to get it clean. –

What is encapsulation cleaning? Encapsulation carpet cleaning is a very effective method of cleaning dirt and oils out of your carpets without leaving chemical residue behind to attract future stains. This method is more popular in a commercial setting. Encapsulation cleaning has been offered as a residential service much more frequently in the last several years.

The term "encapsulation" refers to the dirt being surrounded by chemical agents. A chemical is sprayed down onto a stain or carpet surface. A brushing machine powers the chemical onto the area. The chemical works into the carpet fibers and grabs the dirt. It surrounds the dirt particles and then crystallizes so that no other dirt or fibers can hold onto the mess. The dirt is then released from the carpet fibers and can be vacuumed up.

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