Extraction carpet cleaning methods have been around a very long time because they work. When done correctly they can produce great results and restore some very nasty carpet. Extractor examples are portable carpet cleaning machines such as high-end equipment that pro’s use, the consumer Rug Doctor (weak device) or Truck Mounts.
Extraction devices work with or without heated water and essentially spray water/solution on the carpet at an average PSI of 200-400, suck the dirty water back up, and repeats this process. The disadvantages of this method are:
- Gallons of water are ultimately unleashed onto your carpet
- Dry time, even with a Truck Mount ranges from 4 hours (Truck Mount) to 30 hours
- Many carpet types respond poorly to high water levels and don’t clean as well along with trapping moisture in their padding resulting in mildew
- Truck mount, the high-end of carpet extraction, is expensive for both the cleaning company and consumer ultimately.
Very Low Moisture (VLM)
VLM carpet cleaning was originally designated as a commercial carpet cleaning solution (commercial glue down carpet) which absolutely tanks when any high water extraction method (including truck mounts) is used. VLM allowed commercial carpet cleaners to successfully handle difficult commercial glue down carpet or Berber as well.
Over time the methods, chemicals, and equipment have been refined to allow this low moisture method to clean all carpet types as successful as a Truck Mount with a faster drying time and less expense.
While there are different types of VLM equipment we primarily use portable devices called “orbitals” that use almost no moisture (about 2 gallons per 200 square feet) and transfer dirt to microfiber pads (disc shaped pads).
The advantages are:
- Drying time less than 1 hour
- No risk of saturating carpet pad
- Safe on wool and all Berber carpet
- Works on stains that an extractor (like a Truck Mount) simply won’t remove
- More cost effective for the consumer