Tips for a Smooth, Safe Cleaning Day
- We need your signature/authorization to start work.
- If possible, leave us a parking spot close to the entrance so we can easily get our equipment into the house.
- If you have pets, ensure they are in a safe place where the cleaning won’t disturb them.
- Please call to our attention any spots or stains that may require special treatment.
- We are happy to move standard couches, chairs, loveseats, and coffee tables prior to cleaning. However, we don’t move heavy or expensive items (e.g., cabinets, book shelves, entertainment centers, antique/fragile furniture, etc.).
- Be careful when you step from damp carpet onto a hard surface—it will be slippery.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to wait to use the carpets?
You can walk on carpets with clean, bare feet or socks immediately after the cleaning, however, we recommend as little activity on the carpet as possible to avoid re-soiling. The bottom of your shoes or bare feet can easily pick up dirt from the other surfaces you walk on and transfer it onto the damp carpet. We also offer Scotchguard carpet protection to further guard against re-soiling and stains. Be sure to ask your cleaning specialist for more information.
How long will it take to clean my carpet?
On average, it takes approximately 20 minutes per room. We apply cleaning solution to all of the carpeted area—wall to wall—not just on stains or spots. Additionally, on heavily soiled areas and heavy traffic paths, we take several passes in different directions for better results.
What are these plastic tabs and blocks under my furniture?
If your furniture legs are made of wood or have metal on the bottom, we protect your carpet with plastic tabs/blocks to prevent varnish transfer or rust. (Note that if your furniture has plastic legs, it will not stain the carpet.) Please leave the plastic tabs/blocks under your furniture for 24 hours after cleaning.
How long will it take for my carpet to dry completely?
Drying time depends on inside and outside humidity levels, airflow in the room(s) cleaned, type of carpet, furnace temperature setting, and air circulation in your home. After our technicians leave, we highly recommend turning on ceiling fans, box fans (if you have any), your furnace fan (from the auto to the on position), and exhaust fans in your bathrooms. This helps accelerate the dry time.
After steam cleaning, your carpet will be slightly to sufficiently damp and will take approximately 5-7 hours to dry.
Will my carpets re-soil quickly after the cleaning is finished?
Steam Plus uses an all-natural, biodegradable carpet and upholstery cleaning solution that leaves behind no sticky or filmy residues to attract dirt.
Will your cleaning solution harm my pets or kids?
No, Steam Plus uses entirely safe and certified cleaning products.
Common Carpet Problems
Pet Stains and Odor
Carpets need special management when there are pets in the house. Dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, and any other creature with kidneys and a bladder will occasionally have an accident that stains the carpet. Compounding the problem are odor, bacteria, and the high-mineral salt content of urine.
When urine is first deposited onto a carpeted floor or fabric, it has a pH of about 5 or 6, which is on the acidic side of the pH scale. It is easiest to remove right away. Once it dries, it turns alkaline (or to a high pH of 10-12) and becomes more difficult to remove. Even in its original state, urine begins to oxidize and react with the carpet to create a color change. Some of this color change can be attributed to the strong ammonia that forms as the urine undergoes bacterial and chemical change. If left for days or weeks, depending on the fabric or floor type, it changes the dye structure and causes permanent staining. Even when the soluble deposits are eventually removed, the damage to the dye structure may already be done.
Furthermore, the salt content in urine may result in untreated areas never drying completely, especially in humid climates. Moisture is drawn into carpet from the air, allowing bacteria to grow and odor to continue until the area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- For light to moderate contamination, we neutralize the stain, steam clean it, and apply an enzyme (from the surface of carpet). This dramatically improves the odor situation in your home.
- For moderate to heavy contamination, we treat the carpet surface and backing, which is a bigger project. Both must be neutralized, steam cleaned, and have enzyme treatment applied on the front and back. In these cases, the carpet pad is replaced, the sub-floor is treated with phosphoric acid, and the next day is sealed with shellac-based sealant. The carpet and pad both must be reinstalled. (This takes a few days.)
Not only are pet stains unsanitary and unpleasant, but they can also permanently damage carpet, furnishings, and even floors and walls. The bacteria and dampness create ideal conditions for molds to grow. Very severe odors may require carpet replacement, sanding and refinishing floors, and replacing woodwork and damaged drywall—so it’s best to get these problems taken care of as soon as possible.
Abraded fibers cause unsightly “traffic lanes” in carpet, which are visible even after thorough cleaning. If not removed, particles such as sand, clay, carbon, grit, and grime scratch and pit carpet fibers over time. As a result, light bounces off them at irregular angles. When carpet is dry, this uneven reflection of light makes it appear soiled even though it is perfectly clean. Interestingly, cleaning with any wet process creates an illusion. While the carpet is still damp, moisture fills the scratches, so light reflects evenly and the carpet may look almost like new again. When dry, however, fiber shading returns and looks like as residual soil or premature wear. Once its fibers are damaged, the rug or carpet cannot be restored to its original appearance.
It’s the soil we don’t see that does the most damage. By the time soil is visible, the carpet fibers have almost certainly suffered damage. But there’s good news: The cure is prevention.
- Use a tested and certified vacuum cleaner often, daily on high traffic areas.
- Carpets also need regular, professional deep-extraction cleaning. Hot water extraction (steam cleaning) is the most effective means to remove dirt and debris. Cleaning every 6-12 months is best for rooms with normal use.
- Use a reputable service provider that is IICRC certified—like Steam Plus—and uses professional grade, truck-mounted equipment.
Reappearing spots on carpet, also called “wicking,” occurs where relatively big spills have penetrated into the backing, carpet cushion, and sometimes below to the sub-floor. As the carpet dries after cleaning, the spilled substance is wicked to the surface and becomes visible again within hours or days. Sometimes, repeated cleaning can correct the spot. However, in some cases, even repeated cleaning may not remove spots completely.