Carpet Cleaning Blog
Dreading Spring Allergies? Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning to the Rescue!
According to Canada's Allergy and Asthma Information Association (AAIA), up to one-quarter of all Canadians can expect major suffering when the spring allergy season rolls in during the next few weeks.
Even worse, 2.5 million Canadians (12 percent of children and 8 percent of adults) will experience asthma attacks severe enough to require missing school and work.
There is nothing like staring down the barrel of allergy season to make you want to say, "Enough!" Like so many allergy and asthma sufferers, you want to be able to get out and actually enjoy the fresh air and sunshine this spring!
It's just that you don't know what to do to avoid getting sick again this year. In this post, we share how scheduling a professional dry foam carpet cleaning service now can help you and your family stay healthy this year to enjoy the arrival of spring.
Fighting Back Against Your Triggers
Among allergy and asthma specialists, the term “trigger” is used to describe whatever brings on your symptoms.
The Asthma Society of Canada offers a booklet on how to detect and reduce or eliminate common asthma and allergy triggers present inside your home. These include:
Dust and dust mites
Mould and mildew
Pet hair and dander
Bacteria, fungi, and virus germs
Tobacco smoke (first and secondhand)
Fumes from cleaning products, air fresheners, or candles
Outdoor air pollution that gets inside (such as smog)
The Concern Over Carpet
Regardless of the type of indoor carpeting your home has, you can bet it isn't alone.
Hiding deep inside the fibers are many of the irritants that conspire to make each spring such a miserable time for you health-wise.
In fact, your carpeting is likely harboring pretty much every potential trigger on the list here (see previous section). Dust mites are busy meeting, snacking, mating, and reproducing.
The household pet contributes hair every time she pads across or lies on the carpet or rug. Residual vapours from craft adhesives, cleaning products, candles, and smoking settle in along with all the rest.
Moisture from humidity, drink spills, and the great outdoors provides the perfect climate for tiny mould spores to take root and spread.
Pollen floats down from where it was clinging to your clothes and shoes. For that matter, you yourself are flaking off dead skin cells on a near-continuous basis… which just happens to be the dust mites' favourite food.
With all this activity going on literally right beneath your feet, it is no wonder you can expect to log significant waking hours sneezing, sniffling, snorting, and generally staying indoors in a mistaken attempt to stay allergy free!
Carpeting: Should You Keep It?
In some allergy management circles, the guidance veers towards carpet replacement.
And sure, that can work great for families with loads of excess disposable income (not to mention time and patience).
But in most cases, families have some really good reasons even aside from budget for wanting to keep their carpeting. Carpeting is soft. It is attractive. It feels good under your feet. It is paid for.
Crystal Clean Carpet Services has been cleaning clients' carpeting in the Greater Hamilton and surrounding areas for more than three decades now.
In all that time, we have rarely ever seen a carpet in such disrepair that it absolutely needed to be replaced, either with new carpeting or with another alternative, such as tile or hardwoods.
In fact, you have a lot to gain by keeping your existing carpet, since brand-new carpeting can emit its own brand of potentially toxic fumes ("new carpet smell") that can take a long time to dissipate.
What nearly every carpet we have ever encountered typically needed was just a thorough, deep dry foam carpet cleaning.
Even in the case in which a homeowner has purchased a home and inherited with it older carpeting that has clearly been neglected, we have typically been able to wow and amaze the clients with the difference a professional dry foam carpet cleaning service can make.
On occasion, we have even heard the words, "I can't believe that is the same carpet!"
Why Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning? Why Not Use Steam?
This is the question to end all questions within the carpet cleaning industry.
To cut through all the debate, if your goal is to minimize or eradicate indoor allergens, the allergy experts get the last word, and they say to avoid wet carpet cleaning services.
In fact, as Patient Info points out, domestic steam cleaning typically has no effect whatsoever on dust mites, and may even make your allergies worse by increasing dust mite populations and mould growth.
What can work, however, is dry foam carpet cleaning. Dust mites hate it. Mold and mildew can't withstand it.
Small particulate matter such as pollen, pet dander, dirt, and bacteria don't last long in the face of the dry foam cleaning solution, which acts like thousands of tiny sticky sponges to collect anything that is not carpet to be sucked up into the turbo vacuum extractor along with all excess moisture.
The final result is a dry, allergen-free, squeaky clean, new-appearing carpet that you can enjoy free and clear of allergy or asthma symptoms.
Yes, Dry Foam Shampoo Is Safe for Kids & Pets!
What if someone told you right now that your carpets are loaded with allergens and toxins that could make your pets, your kids, and you sick?
You would probably want to rip up those carpets, right?
This is a normal and natural response, and yet it is the same sort of response people often have to the concept of professional carpet cleaning services: aversion. "Oh, no," they think, "those professional services use such toxic chemicals. We could never do that!" But what if we told you that the cleaning products we use are just as safe as the soaps and shampoos you already have in your bathroom cabinet? And what if we said that the stuff hiding in your carpet fibers right now is more dangerous than anything we would ever use to clean them with?
In this article, learn why you absolutely CAN have your indoor carpets professionally cleaned AND still provide a safe environment for your family.
Meet Our Cleaning Products
Here at Crystal Clean Services, we are parents too and we love our pets! This is exactly why we wouldn't use anything on your carpets that we wouldn't use in our own homes.
This is also why we post full and detailed MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheets) for each product we use—you won't find any surprises here! We want you to make your own full and informed decision that you will feel good about.
This list represents the sum total of all the cleaning products we may use during your carpet cleaning job, depending on what you specifically request us to do:
- Dry foam shampoo. Sodium lauryl sulphate and ethanol are the only two ingredients. Ethanol comes from the same family as rubbing alcohol—it is just in a slightly smaller molecular form. And sodium lauryl sulphate is a foaming agent that is present in most soaps and shampoos today.
- Pre-treatment spray. This water-based spray is organic and alkaline. We use it for spot treatment only (if you have a particularly deep or difficult stain) at your specific request.
- Post-treatment stain shield. This stain shield provides UV-resistance and stain protection and we use it only at your specific request.
- Deodorizer. This optional deodorizer contains three ingredients: fragrance, propylene glycol, and primary alcohol alkoxylate. Propylene glycol is classified as a "small organic compound" commonly used in personal care products as a skin conditioner and fragrance. Primary alcohol alkoxylate is a type of surfactant (cleaning agent) that is biodegradable.
But Certainly There Must Be SOME Risks, Right?
While some of the ingredients listed in the four products we may use during carpet cleanings have scary-sounding names, they are considered to be as low-risk as many of the household cleaning products and personal care products you likely already have in your house today… with one notable exception.
Just as you wouldn't guzzle a bottle of hand lotion or stick a straw in a bottle of counter spray, you wouldn't want to drink or eat (or let your kids or pets drink or eat) our products. That is not what they are made for, of course.
Similarly, you don't want to spray or rub them into your eyes, nose, or skin. Here, even doing this with a common all-natural cleaner like baking soda or lemon juice could do some serious damage to those delicate tissues!
But we just like to mention this up front, to be sure you are aware that these products are entirely safe so long as they are used for the purposes for which they were created.
What's That You Said About Allergens & Toxins in My Carpets?
Oh yes. Your carpets — right now as they are — are much more toxic than anything we could possibly bring into your home to use to clean, deodorize, or protect them.
According to the Canadian Lung Association (CLA), existing carpeting offers a ready home to all of the following major irritants, allergens and toxins:
- Dust and dust mites
- Mould and mildew
- Pet dander
- Bacteria and fungi
- Chemical and biological irritants
- Smoke residue
These irritants and allergens are responsible for a host of health symptoms, including the following:
- Allergies that never go away
- Wheezing or asthma attacks
- Dry, itchy eyes or watery eyes
- Nose and throat irritation
- Coughing or sneezing
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Skin irritation
The CLA also mentions that pulling up an old carpet you've had for a while can be a "sobering" experience—not to mention a stinky, dusty one! They offer a list of suggestions for how to ensure the carpeting in your home stays clean and safe:
- Vacuum it regularly with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) rated vacuum.
- Immediately blot up and dry any moisture spills, even water.
- Use only non-toxic carpet cleaners for shampooing and cleaning (and don't do the work yourself unless you are VERY confident about mixing and using the products)!
- Discard water-damaged or mouldy carpets, as mould, and the treatment for it, can be very toxic.
Contact Crystal Clean Services to Schedule Your Cleaning
Here at Crystal Clean Services, we love hardwood floors and tile as much as the next person, but truly, there is no substitute for the feel of a soft, clean carpet beneath your feet!
Plus, carpet is so much nicer for infants and babies to play on and for the family pet who just wants to laze in the sun and nap. With our cleaning products, they can do those things safely.
Let us help you keep your wonderful, soft, and comfy carpeting safe, clean, and healthy for your whole family to enjoy. You can visit us online to learn more and schedule your professional dry foam carpet cleaning service today!
How to Prepare for a Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning
If you have never had a dry foam professional carpet cleaning before now, you may be curious about what to expect and how to prepare.
Since every professional carpet cleaning service has their own process, and there are different methods for cleaning carpets today, it is helpful to understand exactly what the dry foam carpet cleaning method involves and how to ensure you get the best results.
In this post, learn how to prepare for a dry foam carpet cleaning service and what to expect on the day of your service call.
Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning Explained
"Dry foam" can be a confusing term because there is still some use of water involved, albeit it much less than with steam cleaning (the method most people are most familiar with).
The shampoo used is dry foam, but it is activated by applying a minimal amount of water to the shampoo foam before use. The water helps to expand the foaming shampoo. Then the scrubbing machine pushes the expanded foam down deep into your carpet's fibers.
From here, the foam captures dirt, pet hair and dander, mites, and other detritus stuck deep inside your carpet's fibers. This is all then sucked up, along with the foaming shampoo, via our turbo-vac extraction machine, which is kind of like a vacuum cleaner on steroids.
Because the turbo-vac machine is so powerful and efficient at sucking up detritus, foaming shampoo, and any excess moisture, you will also find your carpets dry much more quickly than with the steam cleaning method.
To learn more about how we use dry foam shampoo to clean your carpets, visit our post on why dry foam is the best carpet cleaning method.
Steps to Prepare for Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning Service
Before your carpet cleaning crew arrives, we always recommend that our clients consider taking these actions:
First, if possible, vacuum your carpets in advance. This helps open up your carpeting fibers so our foam shampoo can penetrate as deeply as possible.
Mark any places with deeper stains. If you have long-standing or deeper stains you think may need special attention, be sure to somehow note or mark these areas so we can pre-treat them.
Move any fragile valuables or small breakables to another area. This is simply a precaution, since your carpet cleaning crew may want to move furniture off the carpet to gain access to clean every inch of your carpeting.
Decide what to do about "immovable" furnishings. If you have very heavy furniture or items (examples would be a grand piano, a hutch filled with china, a heavy wooden bed frame), decide if you want to hire movers to relocate these items. Otherwise, our crew may not be able to safely move really heavy or semi-permanent furniture items to clean the carpeting beneath them.
Move frequently used personal items to non-carpeted areas. If you have items such as laptop computers, phones, or other devices you will need access to, be sure to move them out of the area(s) to be cleaned, since you will want to minimize all foot traffic in those areas until the carpeting fully dries.
If you are able to take one, some, or all of these steps before your professional carpet cleaning crew arrives, it will help to ensure you get the best possible results from your carpet cleaning service.
What Happens During a Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning
One of the biggest questions clients have is: How long will the carpet cleaning process take?
The answer to this, of course, depends on how much carpeting is being cleaned. As you might imagine, one small carpeted room with minimal foot traffic and no deep stains will take far less time than a full house of carpeting with some areas of high foot traffic and deep stains.
You can get the most accurate estimate of duration from our representative when you book your carpet cleaning appointment.
There are four possible steps that may take place during your carpet cleaning service:
First, we will do a pre-treatment on any areas that are deeply stained, if applicable.
Next, we will apply the dry foam shampoo along with any deodorizing and freshening element you select and begin the cleaning process.
The cleaning will proceed in three phases: application of shampoo, scrubbing, and extraction.
Once the cleaning is complete, we can apply a stain shield protectant if you wish.
What Happens After the Carpet Cleaning Process Is Complete
Once the actual carpet cleaning service has been completed and our service crew departs, we recommend that you eliminate or minimize foot traffic in cleaned areas as best you can until the carpeting has dried fully.
The amount of time required for your carpets to fully dry can vary due to a number of factors:
The thickness, pile,and type of carpeting you have
Whether the carpet was pre-treated for deep stains in some areas
How humid the climate is outdoors and indoors
Here are some additional tips to speed drying time:
Turn on the air conditioning or heat
Turn on a dehumidifier in the rooms that were cleaned
Use ceiling or floor fans to keep air circulating
If the air outside is very low in humidity, opening windows and doors can help
Contact Crystal Clean Services Today
Here at Crystal Clean Professional Carpet Cleaning Services, we spend Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm professionally cleaning carpeting.
We work with both residential and commercial clients in the Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, and St. Catharines areas.
To schedule your service, just visit us online!