The soap did a great job at attracking the dirt in your carpet when you cleaned it, but there is pretty much no way to get all the soap back out of the carpet (yes, even with extra rinsing with plain water). So when there is even the tiniest bit of soap in your carpet, it continues to attract dirt (just like it is supposed to do) and therefore your carpet gets dirtier faster. |
Why should you never ever EVER use any soaps to clean your carpets and rugs. There is actually a pretty logical reason to skip the sudsy stuff. It's an old myth that it is better to wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet, and that carpets will get dirtier much more rapidly after cleaning.
This soap was usually made from the reaction of sodium hydroxide or lye with the fatty stearic acids in a process known as saponification. The resultant detergent was very effective in the removal of all kinds of soils, but was very caustic and had a very high pH value.
In response to concerns about the effects of soaps used in the carpet-cleaning process, many carpet cleaners now offer soap-free or no residue-cleaning services. Some homeowners are wary of the hot-water extraction or steam carpet cleaning methods. This is a carry over from the old days when the principal cleaning agent used in this process was high-alkaline soap derived from natural plant or animal fats and oils.
To ensure proper cleaning, the residues from the cleaning process would have to be thoroughly neutralized and extracted or they would become a virtual soil magnet that would only attract more dirt when dried.
How to choose a carpet-cleaning soap?
Today, carpet cleaning soaps and detergents are made from synthetic materials. There is wide variety of chemical formulations and available. These days, carpet cleaning products not only have cleaning properties, but also may have accelerants, builders, carpet deodorizer and fluorescent dyes included.
As a result, their effects vary widely and they are no longer called soaps. In reality, they are surfactants, or surface acting reagents, and vary widely in properties.
The most aggressive surfactants are quite similar in effect to the old type soaps, and therein lies the problem. They are high in alkalinity and must be neutralized after cleaning or they will leave a soapy residue that will attract soils when dry.
A good carpet cleaning professional will be thoroughly familiar with different types of cleaning agents and will be able to determine the best type of soap-free reagent to use in your particular situation.
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a carpet cleaning solution or soap, so you'll want to talk to your carpet cleaner about the best options for your floor.
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