One of the most frequently asked questions we receive as carpet cleaners is, "when will the carpets be dry"? This is for good reason; because as we are having our cleaning done in our homes, life still goes on. The kids will still get out of school at the same time, the pets will still want to come in and get out of the elements, and Mom and Dad will still want to relax in their socks or bare feet at the end of the day. These previous concerns are mainly just convenience, but we still have other more pressing concerns: the base of furniture needing set back down, potential for bed skirts and drapes wicking up moisture as well as prolonged dry times leading to unwanted odors(this last one is not much of a concern these days).
While modern truck mounted cleaning systems provide exceptional vacuum power, thus removing more moisture and giving us quicker dry times, sometimes that is not quick enough. Maybe you are one who keeps their carpets spotless, or you are on a time crunch, possibly the added moisture from hot water extraction is a slip hazard for yourself or a loved one; any of these could be a reason to opt for Very Low Moisture (VLM cleaning.
VLM cleaning allows us to perform a quality cleaning (on most carpets), that gives excellent results with dry times as quick as one to two hours and sometimes less. What allows VLM to work so well is the combination of products and tools used for the job. In all types of cleaning, we use the cleaning pie to help us achieve the desired results. The cleaning pie consist of four areas: Temperature(hot water extraction/heated cleaning agents), Agitation(carpet rake/Brush machine/cleaning pads), Chemical, and Time. In a perfect world you have 25% of each of these and this is the "perfect" pie. But, there are times where you may lack in one area, so you must increase another area to make up for the loss. I.e. we do not have the ability to get hot water or hot chemical to the area to be cleaned, so we may agitate the cleaning product into the surface more than normal or we may allow it to dwell(time) longer then normal. Any of these will help make up for the lack of another area.
With VLM, we sometimes are missing dwell time, so we compensate for this by using the necessary low moisture tools to scrub and agitate the carpets as needed. Since we are not running a heated rinsing system, we may need certain spotting products to help make up for a lack of temperature. These scenarios vary from job to job and are sometimes of concern and other times are no issue at all. VLM cleaning is not designed to replace hot water extraction, but can be very beneficial and provide exceptional results(in some cases cleaning visibly better than hot water extraction) when the situation allows for it.
Next time your carpets just need sprucing up, or your in-laws call and say they will be here tomorrow, ask a carpet cleaning professional about their VLM cleaning system. As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below or contact us!