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Chemical Free Carpet Cleaning – Fact or Fiction?

July 12, 2013

Unfortunately the word “chemical” has negative connotations – but think about it. Even water is a chemical, namely h2o. An aware carpet cleaner always tries to avoid the word chemical, but today we are going to talk about whether carpet can be cleaned with water alone.

I’m going to ask you a question. Have you ever tried washing the dishes with hot water alone? If you have, you’ll notice that everything still has a greasy film on it, including non-stick fry pans. Why? The reason is simple. Water and oil don’t mix. Even really hot water and oil don’t mix. We use a little detergent when washing dishes, as the detergent molecules interface between the water in the sink, and the grease and oil on the dishes. The detergent is what gives the cleaning it’s muscle.

So let’s talk about carpets. We clean carpets to get rid of foreign soil and matter. A carpet is vacuumed (or should be!) initially to remove fluff, sand, grit, hair and other non-soluble matter. What remains in a carpet after vacuuming consists of things like grease, fats, oil, starches, perspiration etc. Some of this is water soluble, but most of it is not. Like the dishes, we need some muscle to interface between the oily soiling, and the water we use to rinse. A good carpet cleaner will apply a carpet suitable detergent to a carpet, agitate the carpet to ensure the detergent comes into contact with the soiling, and then will rinse with water – leaving little to no residue behind.

So what about the SmartStrand IQ carpets. Can’t they be cleaned with just water? The answer is no. Although it is recommended that the consumer only use water, this recommendation is to avoid the potential issues that can be created by consumers when detergents are not adequately extracted from carpet. However, a professional carpet cleaner will always use detergents to clean a carpet.

For all your carpet cleaning, rug cleaning and upholstery cleaning needs in Penrith, the Blue Mountains and surrounding suburbs, call Phil from Mighty Clean Carpet.