Whether you wear a suit daily to work, or have a silk dress that’s in need to be freshened up for an event, you’re more than likely to be familiar with your local dry cleaner. However, dry-cleaning isn’t just limited to delicate clothing, it’s also an ideal solution to freshen up and clean your carpets, curtains and upholstery.
Your carpets, curtains and sofas withstand hours of use every day, year after year, keeping your home comfortable and warm. To keep these items in good condition, they should be maintained via regular cleaning. There are a number of ways to conduct this cleaning, so take the time to understand your options to ensure you get the results you need. Dry cleaning is one option that offers a number of benefits, however what does the dry-cleaning process involve?
Yes, the term ‘dry’ indicates that there is very little water involved in the dry-cleaning process and your carpet or items will be left dry once cleaning is complete. A professional dry-cleaning service comprises of a thorough and complete clean, compared with other methods that leave some areas more saturated than others. This leads to a consistent appearance of the material. Contrarily, stains that are ‘spot’ removed with water and a cleaning agent can lead to a differing appearance or quality in that particular area. DIY spot cleaning may seem instantly effective, but it’s important to understand the longer-term implications.
Using carpet as an example, dry-cleaning involves a pre-vacuum first which removes dry surface dirt such as crumbs, mud or sand. This step is applicable to a steam cleaning process as well, because no matter what technique is used, dry debris can be hard to remove if it becomes wet or compacted.
Once vacuuming is complete, the material is treated with a specific cleaning solution which is an effective yet gentle mix of dry-cleaning solvents that are mixed together with water. The solution works by breaking down the oily residue which is contained within the material. This residue is what enables the dirt or debris to be intertwined into the fibres, which is why spot-treated stains lead to residual stain shadows that can seemingly never be removed. Therefore, once the cleaning solution has removed obstructive oily residue, the material is then in a condition for easier removal of dirt that is ingrained into the fibres.
Absorbing with Cotton
Cotton plays an important role in the next stage of the dry-cleaning process. Large absorbent pads are placed in and saturated with hot water that has been blended with a conditioning rinse. These pads are placed on the carpet or material being attended to on a rotary machine that acts similarly to a floor polisher. The cotton pads are spun on carpets at high speed which releases the dirt from the carpet and transfers it to the pads. The pads used are changed regularly during the cleaning process and in some cases, is done a second time.
Some Other Considerations
Now you have an understanding of what the carpet dry-cleaning process comprises of, it doesn’t guarantee the end result will be professionally acceptable, simply because not all cleaning business are equal. Some may claim to be “professional”, but without doing some research you may end up with an unsatisfactory result. Take the time to understand the techniques used by the dry-cleaning companies in your area to help ensure you’ll end up with a great result.
One question you should ask is what their cleaning “solution” contains in its ingredients. Be alert for chemicals you haven’t heard of and ask why they use the products they do. Not all companies use the solution that they should be using, or a solution that’s appropriate for the materials you need cleaned. Furthermore, if they aren’t informative or willing to provide a reasonable quote, their attitude to the dry-cleaning process may reflect this sub-par service.
You’ll often find one or two customer reviews that give aggressively negative feedback, this negativity may or may not be justified, however, be sure to read reviews across the board, take both positive and negative comments into consideration and their context. Bad customer service is unacceptable; however, it may be an unfortunate one-off situation that’s not reflective of the company as a whole.
Once you’ve selected and used a dry-cleaning company that’s delivered a great result, it’s a good idea to book in their services periodically. Establishing a strong relationship with a carpet cleaning company you can trust is key to keeping your carpets, curtains and upholstery beautiful on the visible surface and deep within the fibres.