Office Carpet Cleaning: Hot Water Extraction versus Steam

Office Carpet Cleaning

Office carpet cleaning is important — you want your business to look sharp and professional, and dirty floors say a lot about your company’s character. Embedded dirt and grime also degrade the indoor air quality, potentially causing allergies and breathing problems for you and your employees. Regular cleaning will also extend the life of your carpeting. Replacing your floor coverings is expensive and disruptive to work flow, and definitely not a job you want to do any more often than necessary. Read on to learn more about two of the most effective methods for getting rugs clean: hot water extraction and steam cleaning.

Hot Water Extraction Methods

This approach provides a highly effective means of getting to the heart of grime, deep down in the carpeting. Typically the process starts with applying a detergent or an emulsifier that goes to work breaking up the grease and grime. Next, a fine spray of hot water is projected onto the rug where it displaces the dirt, and in essence, flushes it out of hiding. An extractor then sucks up the entire mucky mess into a holding tank. The equipment used for extraction is bulky, expensive and sold only to professionals. For that reason, you may see extractors mounted in trucks. However, many effective standalone and portable extractors are used today. Hot water extraction is also a highly effective method for stain removal, unlike steam, which can set a stain into the fibers permanently.

Steam Cleaning Methods

It’s easy to confuse this approach with the extraction method — the main difference is the temperature of the water that is used. The steam approach uses super-heated water that converts to a gas. Although cleaning with steam can be highly effective, it is also potentially dangerous for many types of carpet fibers and upholstery fabrics. You wouldn’t throw an expensive jacket or pair of slacks into the washer with hot water, for fear of shrinking or ruining the garment. The same philosophy applies here.

The extreme heat produced by the steam method can damage many types of fibers. For this reason, many flooring manufacturers warn against the steam method. Also, steam doesn’t use the rinsing and extracting approach that the hot water method does, so detergents and residual dirt may be left behind. As a result, your floors can quickly revert to looking dingy and matted, and stains may mysteriously reappear.

Choosing the Best Approach for Your Office

Because many cleaning companies use vague terms for their services, you may have trouble differentiating one method from another. The safest approach is to review your carpet manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning, then speak with your commercial cleaning service for recommendations. A professional janitorial company will understand the implications of each approach, and recommend the process that will be most effective for your situation.

Although many business owners and facilities managers are tempted to rent a machine at the hardware store and do the job themselves, if you try it you may find yourself with a wet mess on your hands. The DIY equipment lacks the powerful extraction properties that commercial machines have. Consequently, dirt and water are left behind, sometimes taking days to dry.

Contact Town and Country Office Cleaning today for professional advice and suggestions on all of your office cleaning needs. Our experienced team understands how important a clean facility is for you, and we can work with you to determine the best way to achieve your goals. Contact us today for more information on your office carpet cleaning needs.