Steam injection and extraction increased hugely in the early eighties in New Zealand. It became and has remained the staple of carpets maintenance in New Zealand and across Australia. Steam extraction has been proven to be unsurpassed in its ability to remove the majority of foreign soils hosted in carpets and fabrics. Stain removal is much more efficient with this method as the extraction process facilitates the use of a wider range of chemical formations.
New Zealand carpets are unique in the sense we have a much larger proportion of wool carpets in residential and executive offices. Although many new synthetic carpets with attractive easy maintenance qualities have entered the market, many kiwis prefer the higher quality resilient natural woollen flooring at home.
Woollen carpets often have a dense pile which can host a lot of soils. The Steam extraction method is very well suited to emulsifying and flushing the soils out very effectively.
This is a key reason Hot water extraction is still the dominant method here in New Zealand.
Drying time after a steam clean can vary depending on the fibre cleaned and the drying conditions in the building. Many synthetic fibres absorb very little water where as a wool can hold the dominant percentage of its weight in water.
Some buildings and homes have excellent drying conditions due to air conditioning and other factors even in wet weather or high humidity, carpets will dry quickly. Drying times are however a concern of yesteryear when steam cleaning technology was in its early stages. Modern vehicle mounted and portable extraction machines are now much more efficient with new technology and better understanding of physics it is not unusual to have a carpet which has been steam cleaned to dry faster than one which has been dry cleaned.
How is it done?
According to the AS/NZS 3733:1995 the Steam injection and extraction method should comprise of four stages.