Should we shampoo or “dry clean” our carpet? This is a hot topic discussed among our customers and an ongoing debate within the carpet cleaning and carpet manufacturing industry.
Wet carpet shampooing companies would argue their system deliver the most effective cleaning result as their cleaning process includes deep shampooing and extraction – a step which dry carpet cleaning technique does not apply.
Dry or Low Moisture carpet cleaning companies have retorted that their cleaning results are not more inferior than the conventional wet carpet shampoo cleaning method. Although dry carpet cleaning is considered a new kid on the block in Singapore compared to the wet carpet shampooing systems, dry carpet cleaning’s growing popularity has proven to be able to deep clean carpet using moist natural wood sponges. The wood sponges, or commonly known as cleaning compound, will be brushed into the carpet pile to absorb dirt from within carpet fabric. Soiled wood sponges will then be thoroughly removed at the end of the carpet cleaning treatment.
So, what are the differences?
The Unspoken Problem with Carpet Shampoo Cleaning:
1. Waste Water Management
Carpet shampoo cleaning service providers often boast about their carpet rinsing step which dry carpet cleaning does not do. But many do not realise that carpet shampoo cleaning uses a lot of water to clean and rinse. In fact, an average sized 2000sq feet office carpet with medium soiling condition will typically use 300 litres of water! This means, besides using a large amount of water from our limited fresh water supply in Singapore, a wet carpet cleaner who cleans 3 average sized offices in a day would have thrown away close to 1000 litres of soiled water into our drainage system! Multiply by 20 working days in a month, we can do the math how much soiled water is disposed into the drainage system every day by ONE cleaning company.
Most carpet users are not aware that the discarded wastewater from carpet shampoo cleaning contains contaminants like sands, bodily waste, resins, and carbon from automotive exhausts. In addition to these residues left behind by human traffic, the wastewater collects chemical residues from the chemical used during carpet cleaning process which is highly alkaline, bleach, and a variety of solvents for stain removals. These contaminants found in soiled wastewater from rinsing of carpet are highly toxic when accumulated in big volume and can be high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Unfortunately, up to now, there are no enforcement of wastewater management regulation for carpet cleaning companies in Singapore. This means, all the disposed wastewater from carpet cleaning is released into the main drain system without prior water treatment.
So, not only wet carpet cleaning uses a large amount of water to clean carpet, carpet shampoo cleaning may potentially increase wastewater hazard.
2. Consequence of Insufficient Drying
Humidity affects the rate of carpet drying time. The moisture in the wet carpet needs to evaporate into the air to dry. In very humid climate like Singapore, the air cannot absorb a lot of moisture thus it takes longer time for wet carpet to dry. Thus, carpet shampoo cleaning providers in temperate countries would suggest opening up of windows to allow drier air to replace humid indoor air to help with drying process during dry seasons. But, in constantly warm and humid climate like Singapore, we have to switch on the Air Conditioners and dehumidifiers for 24 hours, or longer, which use a lot energy.
Because of high energy consumption to dry carpet, most carpet owners in commercial and residential buildings will not turn on the AC for extended time after cleaning. While rinsing of soiled carpet is an effective method to remove dirt from the carpet pile, insufficient drying of wet carpet can cause many problems that are often not talked about by carpet shampoo cleaning companies.
In warm and humid countries like Singapore, insufficient drying of carpet can promote growth of micro organism such as mold and mildew in the carpet pile. In addition to potential health hazard, insufficient drying of wet carpet in an enclosed area often cause odour problems and quick resoiling. Resoiling is caused by “wicking” process where stain residue rise up carpet fibres through evaporation.
Advantage of ‘Dry’ Carpet Cleaning
The latest carpet cleaning technology has been invented to address the above issues without compromising carpet cleaning quality. Dry or low moisture carpet cleaning can cleaned and thoroughly dried in 60 minutes or less, depending on soiling condition. This is a fraction of the time and energy needed to dry wet carpet after wet extraction method!
For businesses that require to operate 24 hours 7 days a week, dry carpet cleaning is the ideal solution as business can run as usual during the cleaning process. Not only dry carpet cleaning is less disruptive and more eco-friendly, this cleaning technology also prevent wicking which speed up re-soiling of carpet.
Dry carpet cleaning technology uses biodegradable wood sponges to clean carpet. These sponges are eco-friendly and will not release toxic chemical into the indoor air. Most importantly, by using wood sponges to clean carpet, dry carpet cleaning company will not need to dispose chemical laced wastewater into our drainage system.
In contrary to common allegation that dry carpet cleaning performance will be compromised because rinsing step is not needed, this new cleaning technology has combined the usage of counter rotating brush machines, with effective and safe cleaning pre-sprays, stain removal solutions and techniques, to produce an excellent cleaning result.
Seeing is believing
To decide whether dry or wet carpet cleaning works for your carpet, you may consider contacting reputable dry carpet cleaning companies for complimentary demonstrations on your carpet so you can experience their cleaning processes and compare the cleaning results. Wet carpet cleaners generally do not provide demonstrations because their technology does not work in small area.