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Why detergent-free cleaning?

Wednesday 21st October 2015

First, let's look at what detergent-cleaning means.

Detergents are old. Detergent-cleaning is an old technology that has barely changed over centuries. Yet it is still the method most commonly used by carpet cleaning professionals. Most people don't know otherwise, so they stick to what they know.

Detergents are sticky. Traditional carpet cleaning detergents must always be rinsed rapidly with hot water. If not rinsed in time, and with plenty of hot water, it will stick back to the carpet, and attract more soil. This is called "rapid re-soiling", and is a common issue caused mostly by using detergent cleaning and cutting corners.

You cannot cut corners with carpet cleaning, especially with detergents. After vacuuming thoroughly, and treating potentially stubborn stains, there are (as a minimum) another THREE important steps in carpet cleaning: SPRAY-AGITATE-RINSE.
Please note, these three steps cannot be done all-at-once with one machine, despite any sales and marketing efforts to tell you otherwise. It really has to be done in three separate steps:

First, SPRAY: the detergent is mixed with water and applied directly to the carpet, using a sprayer with a fine jet. Put simply, the detergent particles work like a double-ended magnet. One end attaches to the soil on the carpet (or to the carpet if there is no soil), and the other end will attach itself to the rinsing water, at stage three.
Second, AGITATE: using suitable equipment with brushes or pads, the detergent is agitated to loosen the soil (now also attached to the detergent) from the carpet. So the soil and detergent are now "in suspension", ready to be rinsed - in theory anyway. Some more "stubborn" soil may stay firmly attached to the carpet.
Third, RINSE-EXTRACT: the "suspended" soil and detergent are rinsed away with an extraction machine filled with water (and possibly a rinsing aid). This machine sprays rinsing water and sucks up the soil, detergent and the rinsing water.
Note that any detergent that is not rinsed will re-attach to the carpet and become sticky when dry.

As you can see, you cannot do these 3 steps in one go with just one machine.

TIP: Never hire a carpet cleaner who puts the detergent directly into the rinse/extraction machine. The machine is for rinsing, both the soil AND the detergent.

Yet, when you hire a machine from the shops from example, the instructions tell you to pour the cleaning solution (detergent + water) straight into the machine, and off you go. There is no rinsing stage. If you "rinse" with the cleaning solution, then the "cleaned" carpet will also contain some detergent.
Cleaning your carpet like this is a bit like washing your hair/skin/clothes/dishes, in running hot water that has shampoo/soap/cleaning product mixed in it. Then without rinsing with clear water, just squeeze the excess water and towel dry. You woul end up with soapy residue. Not nice.

My guess is that if people were told do each room twice in rapid succession (once with detergent and once with just water), they would probably get put off using these machines. Besides, if your carpets get dirty quicker, then you will just have to clean them more often...

Detergents are toxic. Manufacturers now combine various additives to improve their detergents. For example, they use bleaching agents or artificial eye brighteners, to make the carpet look cleaner and brighter. Nevertheless, detergents mostly remain toxic and difficult to fully rinse. Not to mention the extra harm done to the carpet over time, and what you are left to breath in.

But it smells so clean!

Most cleaning products, including carpet cleaning "shampoos", come with many unnecessary additives, like strong perfumes. These are used either to cover up the smell of the other toxic ingredients, or simply to make the room "smell" fresh and clean.
But "clean" does not actually smell of anything. An artificial smell of lemon or fresh flowers is only a trick for the mind, it does not make anything cleaner.
Besides, some added perfumes can be pleasant to some but unpleasant to others. All these added ingredients can also trigger some discomfort, sensitivities or allergies.

The leap forward from traditional detergents

Our solutions use advanced technologies and expertise that have been developed and perfected over the last few decades. Dealing with the soil differently, the fibre is left intact and the environment free of toxic chemicals. Our solutions are made from plants and food-grade ingredients that rinse very easily, yet are highly powerful cleaning agents. Most are also odourless or have a very subtle, naturally occurring scent.

Using our most recent understanding of how the various types of soil and fibres behave at a sub-molecular level, there is absolutely no need for harsh cleaning products.

Cleaning with toxic chemicals and gallons of steaming hot water is so last century!