Carpet Cleaning Dwell Time: Why It’s So Important

Imagine your carpet is part of your wardrobe. Would you only clean the stains by washing them hoping that the washer machine got everything? No, of course not! The stains in your clothing don’t come out with a little pre-treatment.

Carpet Cleaning Dwell Time: Why It's So Important 1

Your carpet is the same way. Your carpet is the single biggest fabric in your home. When you hire a carpet cleaning company in the Upper Valley, they should be doing a pre-treatment (pre-conditioning) of your carpets.

The First Step

The first step in any carpet cleaning process is vacuuming the carpet thoroughly to remove as much debris as you can. It is best if you have a vacuum with a beater brush, good suction and a HEPA filter. This will loosen and remove the dirt that is buried in the fibers and be ready for the next step in the carpet cleaning process.


Pre-treatment of your carpet is just as important as the first step. When you have stains, grime, dirt ground into the fibers of your carpet, it will take a little extra preparation to get it clean. Pre-treatment is the process of spraying a cleaning chemical onto the fibers of your carpet to loosen, disinfect and clean your carpet.

Dwell Time

This is a step that is often overlooked for many carpet cleaning companies. Contact time or dwell time is the amount of time that the surface of your carpet must remain wet to allow the chemicals in the pre-treatment process to be in contact with the germs, dirt and grime.

Make sure the cleaning company you hire uses the proper dwell time. More often than not you’ll see many carpet cleaning technicians spray the carpet for pre-treatment and then within 5 minutes start the cleaning process with a steam cleaner or hot water extract. This is NOT enough TIME!

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Your dwell time for any carpet cleaning job should be at a minimum 15-20 minutes before starting the hot water extraction process.

Magically Gone!

With the proper chemicals, a well-trained technician and the proper dwell time many stains in carpets can be removed. It is such a simple step that yields huge results in carpet cleaning. So to recap here are the steps to look for when you hire a carpet cleaning company.

  • Vacuum
  • Pre-Treatment
  • Hot Water Cleaning & Extraction
  • Rapid dry with a room dryer

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