Is Carpet Shampooing a Solution?


Is Carpet Shampooing a Solution?

Carpet Shampooing

From time to time we are asked about carpet shampooing. It is sometimes assumed that this is what we do when cleaning carpets. I find that most people who talk about carpet shampooing just want to get their carpets cleaned and don’t really care how it is done, just that it is done well.

Very occasionally there is a little confusion about what is done when cleaning carpets. Nowadays, when carpet cleaning is done, steam cleaning (hot water extraction) and dry cleaning are mostly done.

So what is carpet shampooing then?

Carpet shampooing involves using a high foaming detergent on the carpet which is agitated using a rotary scrubbing machine with nylon bristles.

An advantage of this cleaning process is that it can make it easier to remove heavy soiling that has been ground in but the disadvantages seem to outweigh this advantage.

It is a carpet cleaning process that became less popular in the 1970s because there are some definite disadvantages to this type of cleaning.

Some of the disadvantages of using carpet shampooing include:

  • It is hard to remove all the shampoo from the carpet so leaves a sticky residue that can damage the carpet fibres. This sticky residue also attracts dirt that normally could be vacuumed out. These stuck dirt particles can damage the carpet further.
  • The rotary scrubbing can damage the carpet. Especially if the brush used is too firm or spun too fast.
  • A lot of moisture is used so it takes a very long time to dry. This can cause additional problems if this cleaning process is done in cooler months or rainy seasons.
  • Because of the long drying time, the carpet cannot be used for a long time after the cleaning is done.

Because of these disadvantages, this carpet cleaning method is seldom used today. I have noticed that there are some retailers that sell small domestic carpet shampooers. While my experience is mostly with commercial carpet cleaning systems, I would expect that what applies to the commercial cleaning also applies to these machines that are sold for domestic personal use. I have noticed sometimes that while cleaning carpet that had previously been cleaned using a carpet shampooer, I have had to put a considerable amount of effort in lifting the detergent residue left behind.

In getting a carpet cleaner to get your carpets cleaned who has had training and the benefits of experience, steam cleaning can get fantastic results without the negative effects of shampooing. Dry cleaning also has its advantages in certain circumstances. There is another article that covers the difference between dry and steam carpet cleaning.

No matter which carpet cleaning method you choose, the result can vary greatly depending on who does the work regardless of which method or brand of chemicals is used. For example, I have met carpet steam cleaners who believed that to do a good job, they have to use highest water pressure when cleaning and push the pressure up so high, water is forced right through the carpet drawing out the drying process and when it eventually dries, it draws up dirt and organic compounds from its backing into the carpet. 

Because all our technicians know what they are doing, we can avoid issues caused by lack of training or inexperience.

In Summery

Carpet shampooing is not really used that much any more because it leaves a sticky residue and can damage the carpet. Steam cleaning is normally the way to go and sometimes dry carpet cleaning in certain circumstances.