After cleaning, how long will my carpets take to dry?

The time it takes for carpets to dry after cleaning depends on the density and type of carpet, room temperature, humidity, air movement and the method of cleaning used. Typical drying times are 3-5 hours after steam cleaning and 1-2 hours with low moisture methods such as encapsulation cleaning. If proper cleaning methods are used, drying times should never take "days".

What are the differences between wet and dry cleaning?

There are several differences in the types of carpet cleaning methods used. Hot water extraction (sometimes referred to as steam cleaning) utilizes hot water which is pumped into the carpet at high pressures and then pulled back out with a powerful vacuum. Hot water extraction is the most recommended and thorough cleaning method. There are many methods of dry cleaning for carpets and upholstery. These methods may also be referred to as low moisture cleaning. Some methods utilize powders, crystals, solvents and shampoos which are applied to the carpet and then vacuumed or buffed out. Residues are often left behind with these methods due to a lack of rinsing. Dry cleaning methods are more of a surface cleaning to improve appearance versus a deep clean. Although dry cleaned carpets may dry quicker, these methods are typically less effective. Low moisture cleaning (encapsulation rotary bonnet cleaning) is a common method used in routine maintenance of low pile carpets or common commercial areas.

What method does The Stain Expert use?

The Stain Expert offers both steam cleaning and low moisture cleaning methods. The method used is based on the needs of the client and on the carpet itself.

Why not rent a machine at the supermarket?

You can, although we do not recommend it. Machines that you can rent at your local supermarket are simply not adequate for proper, thorough cleaning. They are under powered and cumbersome. These machines typically leave residue in the carpet due to lack of power and improper cleaning methods.

I have my own machine at home and I clean my carpets often. Do I still need professional cleaning?

Yes! Those home jobbers are under powered! Although some personal machines used for maintenance in between professional visits are good for quick clean ups, that is about all they are good for. Most owners of their own cleaning machines often do not realize how much work is involved in performing regular cleaning and soon neglect to use their own equipment. Cleaning methods used by the owner often contribute to faster re-soiling of the carpet. Mixing up a soapy batch of water, poor or no rinsing at all, over-wetting and under powered machines contribute to faster wear, soiling and indoor air pollution. There is just no substitution for routine professional cleaning.

Do carpet protectors and soil repellents really work?

Yes. There are many topical treatment products available on the market. There are differences in their formulations and quality of protection. Always insist on known brand names for the best product and results. Good quality carpet protectors do help to reduce soiling and increase the longevity of your investments.

How often should I have my carpet and/or upholstery professionally cleaned?

This depends on the amount of traffic you have in your home. Do not wait for your carpets to look bad or become odourous before professional cleaning as this is a sign of being left far too long without proper maintenance. If you have children and/or pets it is possible you may require professional cleaning every three or four months to ensure cleanliness and to improve the longevity of your carpet and/or upholstery. If you have allergies, it is recommended that you have your carpets and upholstery cleaned as often as possible as this will assist in decreasing the settling of allergens. In general, it is recommended that professional cleaning be performed every 12-18 months.

How can I help to keep my carpets and upholstery clean between professional cleaning?

The first step is to vacuum regularly with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner. You should also clean entry ways and high traffic areas more often. Always clean up spills immediately as letting a stain "settle" may increase the labour needed for its removal. Also, having a fiber protecting topical treatment (soil repellent) applied by a professional will aid in the upkeep, beauty and longevity of your carpet and upholstery.

I had my carpets professionally cleaned but there is still an unwanted odour. What can be done to get rid of this lingering odour?

This really depends on what is causing the odour. Mild odours should subside within a day or two after cleaning. If possible, do not keep windows closed after cleaning as fresh moving air will assist with drying. Some odours, such as animal, mildew and smoke odours, require specific odour treatments. Areas other than carpeting or upholstery, such as walls, may also have to be cleaned to eliminate the odour. Removing the source of the odour and a thorough cleaning of the area is the first step. In some cases (especially with cats that spray or severe mildew problems) the under pad, carpet and/or baseboards may have to be removed and replaced. The floor may also require sealing and/or the walls painted. All porous textiles should be checked for odour absorption and the proper remediation taken.

I had my carpets professionally cleaned but the stains returned or were not removed.

First of all, some spots (especially tannin) will appear to have been removed with cleaning. The technician may also assume that the spot was removed. If spots return after drying this may indicate that further treatment(s) may be required. If a spot did not appear to be removed at all, the special treatments and time consuming removal efforts may have not been included in the service call. It is also important to remember that no two spots or stains are alike (see the Q & A below).

What is the difference between spot removal and a stain?

Spot removal is soiling that can typically be removed with regular cleaning methods. A stain (usually deemed permanent) requires additional means of removal with special treatments. A stain may also be permanent despite all available removal methods.