After ten years' worth of dirt, grime, and stains, you might be seriously considering replacing your carpet. You could do that, except that it is much more expensive than another, less expensive option; carpet cleaning. Carpet cleaning methods have advanced to the point where your carpet is less wet, dries faster, and may not have to get wet at all. One method that requires almost zero moisture is encapsulation. It is a very remarkable way to clean a carpet. Here is more about it and how it works.
Encapsulation Is as It Sounds
Encapsulation as a word means to enclose something inside something else, like a shell closing around a small amount of medicine or liquid. It essentially has the exact same meaning when it comes to carpet cleaning, except there is a slight difference. Encapsulation chemicals draw the dirt and soil from your carpet upward toward itself, and then closes in around the dirt and soil it has drawn up.
It boggles the mind that a chemical can do this, especially with embedded dirt and soil in your carpet. Yet, this totally works. The chemicals used are actually polymers that encapsulate the dirt by chemically responding to it and then turning it into dirty crystals. Then the suction of the carpet cleaners' machines suck up the dirty crystals, leaving your carpet very clean. It requires just the tiniest amount of steam, not water, to activate the chemical, and once it becomes a pile of dirty crystals, the moisture is gone.
Stained Areas and High Traffic Areas
Ten years of dirt and soil in your carpet is no match for the encapsulation polymers. As for high traffic areas, the carpet cleaner may need to apply the encapsulation chemical a couple of times to get all of the dirt out and make the high traffic soil disappear. Stained areas are also difficult to remove this way because they are often organic, or do not respond to the encapsulation powder. These areas may need to be pretreated, scrubbed a different way, and then exposed to the encapsulation powder to remove moisture and remaining soil underneath the stains.
Odors Go Away Too
As the encapsulation chemicals remove the dirt, they take the related odors out with the dirt too. Funky pet smells, food smells, urine smells, and even mildew odors are gone almost immediately after the encapsulation chemical hits the carpet. It beats the number of products you have tried to spray on or dump on your carpet to make everything smell better. Then your rooms smell better too.
The Process Is Very Quick
The encapsulation chemicals react very quickly to soiled carpet. It is akin to pouring hydrogen peroxide on a wound and watching it bubble up, except that the encapsulation chemical does not do any bubbling or make any indication that it is working. It just becomes very obvious that it does work after the cleaners vacuum over the carpet and you see that the vacuumed areas look like brand-new carpet.
You Can Walk on the Cleaned Carpet Right Away
Probably the best part about carpet cleaners that use the encapsulation chemicals is that you can walk on the carpet right after the cleaners have left. There are no restrictions about time needed to dry (because there is no moisture left!), and nothing about stepping on the carpet to prohibit re-accumulation of dirt on a freshly-cleaned carpet. You do not need to remove socks and shoes to walk on the carpet either, and you will never again experience that wet or damp squishy carpet that was so common with wet carpet cleanings.