Frequently Asked Questions
1) How is Hunter's Dry Carpet Cleaning different?
Everyone wants to advertise that they are dry because of all the inherent problems with excess moisture. Most companies that state that they "dry clean" carpets often have a low moisture method that usually doesn't affect the pad underneath, however, it usually is inadvisable to walk on the carpets. This can be a major inconvenience.
The Hunter's Dry Carpet Cleaning method involves very minimal moisture. Our organic sponges do contain moisture, however, the moisture content is approximately equivalent to 1 teaspoon of water per square foot. Except on carpets that require extensive pre-treatment due to excessive soiling, our cleaned carpets are ready to use immediately.
2) What assurance do you give so I know my carpet is clean?
If you are uncertain, we ask that you pick the worst area of the house to clean. We will gladly clean a 4 x 4 area and let you see the results. In some cases, we may need to clean it a couple of times, but you are the ultimate decision maker. If it is clean to your satisfaction, we can continue. If you are not satisfied we can simply leave and there is no cost.
Occasionally, there are stains that no company can get out. They are permanent. However, through the years we have built a reputation for getting out stains where others have failed. Though we may not get out every single stain in an excessively soiled carpet, it can still be clean and healthy but not completely stain-free.
3) How often should carpets be cleaned?
The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that household carpets should be cleaned every 12-18 months. Though many carpets may not visibly demonstrate the outward need for cleaning, pollutants in the air, allergens, and oils usually go undetected but should be removed.
The longer time in-between cleanings, the more difficult the challenge to get the carpet back to original. Thus, a more frequent cleaning is recommended.
4) Frequent Cleaning?
A carpet cleaned frequently but improperly can lead to a premature replacement especially if copious amounts of water continue to penetrate into the carpet backing. However, with our method of dry cleaning, the life of the carpet is actually enhanced. Extracting impurities, soils, sands, etc out of the carpet is key. Thus, frequent vacuuming along with our carpet cleaning method will actually prolong the life of your carpet.
5) True or False? Will cleaning lead to re-soiling?
False! That is an old wives tale, but there is a little truth in it If a cleaning method leaves a lot of residue in the carpet, it will attract soil and will lead to a rapid re-soiling. With Hughes Dry, our product is approved by nearly every manufacturer of stain resistant carpets, leaves no oily or sticky residue behind, and spots do not reappear.
6) Why do spots reappear?
Some "so-called" reappearing spots are just new ones in the same area. We sometimes see that around favorite chairs in the TV room or by Fido's favorite area in the house. However, most reappearing spots that come back within a day or two of a cleaning is as a result of a "wickback." Typically, the spot was dissolved and gravity pulled it down to it's lowest level, the backing. When it dries, through capillary action, the spot moves up the carpet yarn back up to the surface. Thus, with most wet cleaning methods, reappearing spots can be an often occurrence.
Sometimes a reappearing spot is caused by the use of usually an alkaline spotter that was not properly rinsed out. The residue left behind can attract soil like a magnet. It's rare that new spots ever come back immediately with our dry cleaning method. But if they do, SO DO WE!!
7) Do you use scotch guards or recommend them?
Did you know, a scotch- guard is already applied to most carpet fibers when it is manufactured; If you use steam cleaning processes, hot/steam water, the heat will cause the protectant to let go each time it is cleaned. This makes carpets more vulnerable to staining, and to what is called "ugly out". Steam professionals usually recommend a protectant to make extra money. Especially if they just did a cheap coupon promotional job, they want to make up their profits with protectant charges. Protectant can be slightly sticky and leaves a layer on top of carpet so the next time they come the dirt will have stuck to the protectant. This will cause carpet to get dirtier faster. Protectant also makes it easier for the steam cleaning company to clean your carpets next time, then charge more money for the protectant again, and continue the cycle of coming back more often. ***Importantly: scotch-guard can be toxic and harmful to children and pets. Host professionals do not recommend protectants as we do not take the stain resistant out, but if you prefer a protectant there are some non-toxic protectants out there.
8) I love this cleaning process but sometimes, when I vacuum, I notice tiny host particles...is that safe for my animals?
This is confusing for people who are new to the host process. I totally understand this question as that was my first question when I first looked into using this carpet method. What is important to remember first, is when you have your carpets steamed cleaned, you have lots of water left behind, and chemicals/soap that you cannot see are invisible but you can smell and feel the steam cleaning results. (Water left behind can cause a number of problems: water may have forced through the carpet below and into the pad leaving water to foster odors, bacterial ,or mold. Truck mount systems can be needing of repair and do not suck up the water effectively, or their tanks that hold water may have dirty water left in it from previous customer and then introduced into your home, So either method is going to leave behind something.) Most would agree that it would be better to have some natural tiny sponges left behind, that can be vacuumed later, rather than water/chemicals and leave carpet damaged and toxic.
Host cleaning method does leave very small amounts of the cellouse natural cleaner behind, but this is not sticky residue. (Sticky residue is considered soap/chemicals that cause rapid re-soiling of carpet) The Host compound is totally non-toxic, organic and will not harm your children, animals, or other hard surfaces if comes in contact with it. The next few times you vacuum the sponges will continue to come up. As long as it is in the carpeting it is still cleaning/absorbing allergens, conditioning fibers, and absorbing dirt from carpet fibers.
***Host does not become airborne, due to the weight of it. Tiny amounts left in carpet is safe for infants, animals, and people with lung problems due to it not being able to become airborne. However, when putting an infant on a carpet, a blanket is always important to protecting the infant FROM BREATHING INTO Carpeting. Carpet fibers can be irritating to babies' sensitive skin.
9) Is Host a new carpet cleaning method?
Our cleaning process HOST has been around since the 1950's. Host method has continued to evolve and adapt to carpet conditions throughout these many years.
10) Is the HOST products made in America?
Yes, the headquarters that developed HOST products is located in Racine, Wiscounsin.
11) You say you are a dry process, but you use water?
We use a teaspoon of water per sq. foot on carpet that is normally soiled. Water is needed to break down dirt. (If you don't use water, then chemicals are needed to break down dirt.) But to much water can cause waste-water and steam professionals often can lose control of their wastewater. Carpet that is wet underneath the carpet and takes more than four hours to dry can cause mold, odors, bacteria to foster; water stains wick up fibers and reappear later.
We use the product called HOST, the dry extraction carpet cleaning system. The moist HOST sponges are extracted out dry after they have done there job cleaning and absorbing dirt with a powerful HEPA commercial vacuum. Areas that are more soiled, or are treated for pet stains may take a few applications of host cleaning treatments resulting in a little longer drying time to extract the host sponges. When we leave, the parts of the carpeting that was cleaned last are usually dry within 15 minutes to a half an hour.
12) I heard that using this cleaning method wears out the carpet faster than water extraction, is that true?
All carpet cleaning can have some friction on carpets when cleaning. That is way proper maintenance is first in keeping your carpets looking new. HOST triples the life span of your carpeting if applied correctly by the host cleaning professional. The right stiffness or softness of the host machine brushes must be used for proper cleaning to not cause texture change. If carpeting is matted, a stiffer brush may be used to fluff up carpet fibers to make the carpet plush and renewed.
13) This is such as excellent cleaning process for carpets, why haven't I heard about this cleaning process before?
I believe that due to our dry climate in CA, steam cleaners can be more successful as to not fostering mold by the water evaporating more quickly. In humid areas, such as in Florida, black mold is notorious due to moisture left in carpeting and taking weeks to dry. All types of steam extraction methods has been flooding the market with advertisements and franchises for many years, with cheap promotional coupons and ads. Another reason for lack of knowing about HOST, is carpet distributors tend to recommend carpet steam cleaners; whereas, carpet manufactures recommend our Host cleaning method or other more drier type carpet cleaning methods to protect their warranty Why the difference? The carpet distributors are more interested in selling carpet; the carpet manufactures need to proclaim how to not damage the carpet, if cleaned.
14) Does this process work on recycled carpeting or wool carpeting?
As our website home page states, it works well on all types of carpeting, area rugs and orientals. Wool carpeting however, needs to be cleaned more often, needs to be cleaned with softer brushes(due to fuzzing), and it takes longer for spots that are cleaned to dry. Host is certified with the Wool Seal of Approval. Recycled carpeting is made from plastic pop bottles, it is very durable but it can have its problems--- dirt can scratch fibers and this makes the carpeting look dull or fibers become so matted they bind or meld together. Frequent vacuuming and routine cleaning of both types of carpeting is recommended for keeping these types of carpet from wearing out prematurely.
15) What about pet stains?
We have good success if the urine is mainly on top of the carpeting. Pet stains can be very problematic, however, if the animal has visited that same area repeatedly. We cannot clean urine if it has penetrated down in the pad, floor board, or wallboard, neither can any other methods including steam cleaning--this condition needs a different approach to fixing the problem. Sometimes we will recommend replacing pad, cleaning stained floor boards and cleaning the back of carpeting. Steam cleaning may be advised, but adding water can cause the urine odor to be activated, to resurface and to be spread more throughout the carpet area, sometimes making it worse than before. (Often the operator of steam cleaning method is the most important factor, as it takes experience to deal with pet problems.) Satisfaction is never 100% guaranteed when dealing with pet problems. See Martha Stewart's comments on Host cleaning on pet stains.
Each job is unique, however, we do have good success if the urine is on mainly on top of the carpet and not in the pad. Often we will leave a small package of Host Sponges so customer can continue to work on the area if needed.
16) All you carpet cleaners say your the best, tell me why your method of cleaning is preferable?
I have to agree that all carpet cleaners are proud and boast about their way of cleaning. Other methods, such as steam cleaning do have uses for certain applications. First of all, our dry cleaning method is not for dirty, greasy, busy restaurants, or car/truck carpeting. The reason is that it will not be cost effective for the customer. Water extraction works well on these types of carpeting and conditions. Deep down mud or urine below the carpeting cannot be pulled out with a dry method, so in this case we may recommend the wet extraction method. Keep in mind however, hot steam cleaning can cause glued down carpet to lift, and result in stretching and warping. Also water can leak down into cement causing mold problems.
Host is superior over steam, rotary methods for residential carpeting that usually has a thick pad and dense delicate carpeting; or for businesses as it is dry immediately, eliminating downtime, and improves indoor air quality. Water extractions can over-wet and cause indoor air problems, mold, and wicking back of brown stains/spots when applied to these residential thick carpets. Expensive area/oriental rugs can also have problems with colors running, rotting, distorting in shape if water extraction is used.
17) Since Host is a dry method, does it become airborne and dangerous for people with asthma/lung diseases?
Host sponges do not become airborne as they are brushed directly into the carpeting. The dust and allergens from the customer's carpet may become airborne from the brushing action of the host machines if the carpet is very dirty or has mold. We advice persons who have severe asthma or lung disease to not be in the same room we are cleaning due to dust that may accumulate in the air temporarily. We also use Hepa filters on our vacuums that also helps with the cleaning process and indoor air quality.