Carpet Cleaning Terms You Should Know
The world of carpet cleaning has its own language at times. If you have your carpet professionally cleaned these are some terms you may hear from the cleaning crew and what they mean:
Browning- The result of stains reappearing after they have been treated and looked clean. This happens because soil residue or older stains that did not completely get cleaned from the carpet rise to the surface.
Builder- These are compounds that are added to the cleaning solution to soften the water and give the cleaning power an extra boost.
Clouding- This term is used to describe what happens when carpet is wetted and residue from past cleaning solutions that were never rinsed come to the surface and give the carpet a cloudy effect.
Digester- Enzyme based cleaners that break down or “digest” a stain to make it less stubborn to remove.
Fiber- This is one of the most used terms in the carpet world. A fiber is the strands of material used in the carpet. Fiber type is important to determine the care method you take and cleaning solutions that should be used. Most carpets are made of synthetic fibers such as nylon and some carpets are made of natural fibers like wool. Both are very different and require different care.
Grooming- Some professional carpet cleaners will use a special grooming tool to work cleaners into the carpet as a pre-treatment this is the act of grooming. Other cleaners use the term as a way to describe their post cleaning process of applying a final protective treatment/coating to the carpet fibers as well as fluffing and producing a smooth even appearance.
Mat- An area in the carpet that has crushed or flattened fibers caused by a number of things including constant foot traffic, heavy objects or over zealous spot treatment.
Nap-The nap of carpet is the direction in which the fibers are woven into the backing. Carpet is typically laid with the nap running in the the same direction for an even and consistent appearance. Professional cleaners will clean in the direction of the nap to preserve overall appearance.
Oxidizer- An oxidizer is a cleaner that reacts with oxygen and is used on stains like coffee and urine. Oxidizers work great on many different stains and most fiber types except for wool.
POG- These are carpet safe spotting agents formulated to remove Paint, Oil, and Grease.
Reducer- A cleaning solution that will reduce or get rid of the oxygen in a stain and make it easier to clean from the carpet. Reducers have less chance of yellowing and are a good option for wool carpets. Reducers work well on colored stains and are great on foods and drinks with artificial colors.
Stripper- This one sounds intimidating so you may not hear it often. A stripper is a cleaning agent that will reduce or strip oxygen levels from spots and stains allowing for easier stain removal.
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