Carpet cleaners generally use one of three methods: Steam cleaning, spray-on additives or hot carbonated extraction. Chem-Dry uses hot carbonated extraction, which is more effective and healthier than the others.
The most common alternative is steam cleaning, which works only to a point. Steam cleaners dump gallons of hot water onto carpet, then suck up the dirty water with a high-pressure vacuum. The suction can damage the carpet, and the excessive water can soak into the backing of the carpet, creating a moist breeding ground for mold and mildew.
And steam cleaning isn’t even that effective. If you’ve ever run your washing machine without soap, you know that hot water alone won’t remove stains. So most steam cleaners use additives, chemicals and soaps that can help get stains out but leave behind sticky residue that can actually trap more dirt. That’s why steam-cleaned carpets often form fresh stains in the same spots as the old ones.
Some other carpet cleaning franchises use “dry” spray-on additive methods that coat carpet with a chemical cleaner, then rely on several rounds of vacuuming to extract the loose dirt. This method leaves chemical residue on the carpet and tends to push dirt deeper into the carpet. Carpet may look cleaner afterward, but often, the dirt is just moved around and remains in the carpet.
A Better Way to Clean Carpet
The explosive power of organic hot carbonated water extraction — millions of microscopic bubbles blast the dirt from carpet fibers and other surfaces — requires one-fifth of the water used in steam cleaning, eliminating the risk of mold and mildew and ensuring your carpet will dry in an hour or two instead of a day or two. The carbonation works at the molecular level to lift dirt particles to the carpet surface, which means Chem-Dry technicians require less pressure to whisk the dirt away, reducing the risk of damage to your carpet.
There’s a reason why our patented cleaning solution is called The Natural. We’ve used it in homes for more than 20 years, earning the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval. It’s a simple carbon dioxide-and-water solution that’s safe enough to drink — and we do drink it, tossing some back in a toast at our annual franchise conference!
The Natural’s simplicity and effectiveness come from an understanding of chemistry and how it applies to getting stains out of carpet and other surfaces in your home and workplace.
Certain elements just aren’t water-soluble, or have limited solubility. Water alone is a decent solvent, but there are certain soils — and fats, and dyes — that don’t come out with just water. The trick is to break the chemical bond certain elements form with carpet fibers and other surfaces, and if you don’t break that bond, you don’t fully remove the stain.
That means you have to add something to the water. You could add chemical cleaners or detergents to the water, which help clean the surface more thoroughly but come with a penalty: They can leave behind sticky residue that actually can attract more dirt, defeating the purpose of having your carpet cleaned to begin with, and irritate the eyes and mucous membranes of children, pets and you. Imagine frolicking with your young child and dog on a carpet crusted with chemical residue. Not terribly inviting, is it?
Now consider the effects of carbonation. No harmful chemicals here. No need. Carbonation, which to you appears as a pleasant “fizzing” effect, is actually pretty violent at the molecular level, where soils and fats cling to carpet and other surfaces. The “explosions” literally shake the dirt loose from the surface and lift the soil particles upward, where they’re easily removed.
Even better, because Chem-Dry’s process of hot water carbonation extraction is so effective, it requires a fifth of the water used in steam cleaning. That not only conserves precious water but allows the carpet to dry within an hour or two as opposed to a day or two with normal steam cleaning, which greatly reduces the risk of mold and mildew.
Our process doesn’t leave behind any sticky or soapy residue. In fact, carbonation tends to form a protective barrier of carbonate residue that resists dirt. The molecular surfaces of the residue don’t offer bonding sites for most soils.
And one other thing about carpet: For a long time, people had the idea that bare floors were somehow healthier than carpet because, the thinking went, carpet attracted dirt, dust, pet dander and other allergens. In recent years, we’ve discovered that just isn’t true.
Carpet really acts as a filter to trap most of those particulates, whereas in a home with just bare floor, the dirt and dust swirls around and gets kicked up for you to breathe every time there’s activity on the floor. As long as you get the carpet cleaned regularly — the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that most homeowners clean it at least every six months — it should act as a filter to keep allergens under control in your home and workplace.
It all adds up to an outstanding business opportunity. Green cleaning induces customers to pay extra for healthy products and services, which means it makes money for franchisees. Companies like Chem-Dry, which constantly searches for ways to make its processes safer and better, has positioned itself to tap into this growing and profitable market.