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Answers to common questions about Smart Carpet Cleaning

SMART® is deep cleaning but does not use high amounts of water like the steam cleaning method. Our low-moisture system uses only 3 gallons of water in an average house compared to 30 or more gallons used with steam cleaning.

Because our process never allows moisture to soak into the back of the carpet, pad, or subfloor, you can walk on your carpets immediately with no need to keep windows open or set out fans.

We also don’t run bulky hoses through your home and we never need access to a water source.

Spills often soak all the way down to the back of the carpet and pad underneath, where they then dry and settle in. When steam cleaned, the fiber gets cleaned, but the spilled material in the backing and pad are now wet, and even though some of the spilled material is removed, a portion of it remains. Over many hours of drying, it will have time to wick up into the fiber and that is why you see it again. SMART®’s process NEVER gets the carpet backing or pad wet, so we completely eliminate what causes the problem to begin with.

No. What damages fiber is dry soil that remains in the carpet which grinds away at the fiber when you walk on it. SMART®’s removal process includes using vacuuming as needed for removing dry soil and the static-attraction formula removes the remaining soil that adheres to the fiber. Of course any type of carpet cleaning process can potentially damage carpet. That’s why we spend many hours over a period of months training field crews, and we have not had a warranty claim in over 30 years of operation. The static-attraction process gently removes the soil without the use of hot water, high pressure jets, or high amounts of solution and harsh chemicals commonly used in other methods. Our unique system has been confirmed deep cleaning with no harm to fiber by an Independent Testing Laboratory.

Yes, virtually any type of carpet: natural, wool, or synthetic.

Vacuuming and perimeter edging as needed, targeting spots with a highly effective spotter product, soil removal via static-attraction soil transfer, and finishing with carpet grooming. And absolutely no pre-sprays that would add residues.

Yes. The encapsulation method uses chemicals to encapsulate the soil particles but doesn’t actually remove much of it; instead the customer has to remove it with repeated vacuuming. Smart’s process removes large amounts of soil during the cleaning process. An Independent Testing Laboratory has confirmed that Smart’s carpet cleaning provides truly deep cleaning results.

1–2 times per year, depending on your family size and lifestyle, will help extend the life of your carpet and will keep the carpet looking its best. You can reduce that to once every several years if you follow best practices.

Other ways to maintain your carpet: remove your shoes inside, wear socks, have good walk off mats at entry points, and vacuum often!

Leading manufacturers like DuPont state that vacuuming can virtually never occur too often. The reason is because some elements of dry soil have sharp edges and this will etch the small filaments and be the cause of the appearance of wear. As a rule, the need to vacuum increases if you don’t wear socks, walk with shoes on, don’t have walk-off mats, and have pets.

For beverage spills that contain colors, immediately blot it up with a clean towel, dilute with a little water, and blot again. Follow up using Lift-Off Stain Remover. Unlike other spotters, Lift-Off cannot “set” a stain and it will not leave gray residues or make the spot lighter than the carpet as many other spotter products do.

We highly recommend Motsebocker’s Lift-Off Stain Remover. This is important because guessing can lead to using the wrong chemical formula and accidentally locking it in forever! Lift-Off spotters cannot lock in the stain.

Carpet roll or slack is nearly always caused by either improper installation or a high-solution cleaning method. However, most carpet slack is caused by excessive water used in the cleaning process and inadequate removal of the water when it’s sucked back out. Also, when a high-solution method like hot water extraction, or steam cleaning, is used, the backside is automatically saturated with water. In many carpets, the backside material is latex. When the latex is wet, it softens and becomes up to 90% weaker. This wet backing can take many hours to dry and if foot traffic occurs before it’s completely dry, it can cause slack to develop.

No. An enzymatic approach is effective, but requires 48 hours or more to be effective. Smart’s approach requires no dwell time. On contact, it immediately stops the smell from going into the air.

The #1 reason: residues! Pre-sprays are used in most carpet cleaning methods and are concentrated cleaners that often result in more residues that attract dirt. Did the carpet cleaners using a high solution method actually use a rinse before finishing? Nope! Kinda like shampooing your hair and not rinsing out – yuck! That’s why SMART® never uses pre-sprays. The second reason carpets can get dirty quickly is if the drying time was long, like hours or days. You won’t have to worry about drying times with us either: with so little moisture remaining, carpets can be walked on and used immediately.

Only if used for the right reason. Too often they are sold because you are told they are needed to prevent accelerated re-soiling. If the carpets were cleaned correctly, not leaving behind residues, you wouldn’t have that problem. Protectants are useful for extending the carpet’s  life and achieving greater stain resistance, not to try to correct inadequate results.

Yes! You’ll need an iron, a wet towel rung out lightly, and a spray bottle of water. No hammer or chisel is required. Spray the wax area with water, put a wrung out wet towel over it, and place the hot iron on steam setting on top. After about 10–15 seconds, the wax should have dissolved and you can wipe up with a clean towel. Repeat as necessary. That’s it! If the candle had color, then special methods are usually required to remove the color.

Yes, we carry a $2 million liability insurance policy.

Sometimes carpets that have been cleaned might not look like they did when they were new, but are actually clean. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Apparent soil or as we like to call it, “Virtual Soil”, is not soil, but it has the appearance of soil.  It is due to wear.
  • Dark areas or traffic lane gray is caused by scratches or distortions. Scratches are the result of soil containing silicates, which have razor-sharp edges that etch the fiber. Scratches on the fiber surface cause a dull appearance that will look like soil. You can minimize the scratches by vacuuming more often. Fiber distortion due to wear will cause light to reflect at different degrees and angles instead of uniformly, thus heightening the visual perception of soiling. This condition is referred to as matting, flaring, or tip compression. The loss of tip definition looks dramatically different from un-trafficked areas such as along walls.
  • Shading, water marks, pooling and nap reversal are distortions which develop in the pile and only occur in cut pile. According to carpet manufacturers, the cause is unknown and not considered a mill defect. Steam cleaning may temporarily improve the appearance, but it always comes back.
  • Corn rowing occurs only in cut pile carpet and is a phenomenon in which alternating rows of tufts bend over to fill in density voids in the carpet, thus creating a row-like effect at right angles to the traffic patterns. According to carpet manufacturers, this is not a mill defect.
  • Reflections and shadows are caused by reflections which make the carpet look light or dark due to different light sources. Examples would be: light fixtures, shades and window coverings, reflections from shining objects such as mirrors, chrome, chair legs, and walls.
  • Pivot Wear is a physical alteration to the fiber, often appearing as a circular wear area of 3–4” caused by the ball of your foot when you pivot and change directions. Often found at the base of stairs, in front of elevators, or outside doorways, it can look like soil even when it is cleaned effectively.
  • Banding refers to a thin 1/4″–1/2″ gray “band” tone that occurs around perimeters of rooms along baseboards and at the outer edges of stairs. If the dark band is caused by airborne dust it can be removed using a crevice tool and vacuum, but most often it is caused by the steam cleaning method when the injected water is not fully recovered or sucked up. This water, mixed in with soil and residue, dries up and leaves a gray band. Once this has occurred, there is very little that can be done to eliminate it.
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