Traditional carpet-cleaning techniques are typically chemical-based. Large amounts of chemical foam and water are liberally applied and worked into carpet fibres.

These techniques have several disadvantages. Toxic detergents and spot removers sometimes leave residues on fabrics. Fumes are easily inhaled, especially by little ones at the crawling stage. In addition, excess water is difficult to remove, creating the ideal conditions for bacteria and mould to flourish.

A final disadvantage of traditional carpet-cleaning techniques is how heavy-handed and wasteful they are when it comes to using precious resources – clean water and electricity.

Today, professional cleaning services have cleaned up their act, so to speak. Exciting technological developments, based on synthetic diamonds and unique crystallising polymers, have provided highly efficient, eco-friendly solutions for cleaning carpets and upholstery. These complement other more environmentally friendly approaches, including conventional hot water extraction and the use of portable water recycling units.

Hot water extraction

Hot water extraction is a tried and tested water-only approach to cleaning that dislodges, dissolves and removes dirt. Although it doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals, it loses points due to its reliance on large volumes of water.

However, domestic and industrial cleaning services can overcome this disadvantage by using portable water recycling units. A separate discharge pump extracts water from the cleaning equipment for recycling at a reasonably rapid rate so that it can be re-used during the same application.

Synthetic diamond generated ozone

The manufacture of synthetic diamonds by a subsidiary of the De Beers mining group has resulted in a wide range of innovative applications, not least of which is an extremely powerful, chemical-free sanitising agent.

Doped with boron, synthetic diamonds produce ozone in water to create a clean, green detergent, disinfectant, deodoriser and sanitizer capable of destroying almost all known pathogens.

Ozone is cost and energy efficient, maintains a neutral pH balance in carpet and upholstery fibres and doesn’t require heated water to be effective. It’s a super product derived from a super material, produced right here in South Africa.

Polymer-based encapsulation

An all-new cleaning process, fast gaining traction the world over, is polymer-based encapsulation. With this process, unique polymers with crystalline structures form the basis of non-toxic cleaning agents.

Dirt particles are dissolved and swallowed up by the dry crystal polymers, which are then vacuumed up with ease. There is no risk of bacterial infestation due to the fast drying rate, and the system uses minimal water.

For comparison, it typically takes about 190 litres of water to clean 90 square metres of carpet using hot water extraction. Using the encapsulation technique, you can clean the same carpet using just 13 litres of water.