Steam Cleaning is also known as Hot Water Extraction
A hot water extraction process is a chemistry term referring to a method by which hot water (50-120 degrees Celsius) is used to extract impurities from a surrounding area. The most common practical application of chemical hot water extraction processes is for cleaning carpets, and is often called steam cleaning. Read on to find out more about how hot water extraction processes can help you keep your carpets clean.
The way hot water extraction works is by first covering the surface in an alkaline, or basic, solution of at least 7 or above pH rating. Next, the surface is brushed to agitate the alkaline solution and let it do its work. Finally, the fabric is exposed to heated water to begin the hot water extraction process.
Though the process is often called steam cleaning in casual language, this isn’t fully accurate. While the water can present as steam after the cleaning if the water used is hot enough, the actual hot water extraction is done by liquid water anywhere from 50 to 120 degrees Celsius applied directly to the surface. The heated water thoroughly rinses the carpet, extracting impurities and rinsing away the alkaline used in the previous step.
Finally, after the carpet has been thoroughly treated by hot water, an acidic solution is added to balance the pH level to normal, and the carpet is clean. This process is very effective for removing impurities that would be otherwise impossible to get out of the carpet by hand, such as juice or wine stains, pet urine and other messes, deeply buried dirt and grime, and other things that can negatively affect the look or function of a carpet.
The benefits of using hot water extraction processes to clean your carpet are obvious. The carpet is the foundation of the home, and a dirty carpet can affect the way an entire room feels. You might be surprised what a difference a cleaned carpet makes in the quality of air; your carpet may smell bad without you even knowing! A dingy carpet can also take on a generally darker color, which absorbs light and makes a room feel dark and dreary.
Hot water extraction processes are a great way to use chemistry to fight carpet stains and odors. If your carpet is suffering from stubborn grime that won’t come out, try using a hot water extraction process technique to restore them to their original state.