Commercial Carpet Cleaning Pros and Cons – Hot Water Extraction Vs Encapsulation

Carpet in your commercial office or facility is most often a substantial investment. An investment that requires periodic maintenance, like changing the oil in your car or washing and waxing your car. If you don’t wash and wax your car the condition of the paint will deteriorate much faster. The same is true with the carpet in your facility.

Which method of cleaning is right for your needs? In today’s article I’m going to cover the pros and cons of both Hot Water Extraction and Encapsulation. First we must understand what kind of carpet we are maintaining. Most all commercial carpet manufactured today are a loop construction with a olefin chemical composition. Olefin is an oil based product therefore it is oil attracting. Which sometimes make it a challenge to clean. Fear not with the right maintenance schedule based on the amount of foot traffic will give you a clean looking carpet for years to come. At the end of this article I will give a final recommended cleaning schedule.

Let’s first look a the pros and cons of Hot Water Extraction. Let’s put 1 important point to rest. There is no such thing as “steam cleaning”. There isn’t enough moisture to rinse and flush a carpet pile with “all steam”. Besides there is no commercial carpet cleaning machine or truckmount that has the ability to produce steam only at the wand tip. So,, all wand water based cleaning is hot water extraction. Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. Yes. There can appear to be a flume of steam coming out of the wand tip when cleaning, although it’s still the same effect when you go out on a cold day breathe hard and see vapor or what appears to be steam coming out of your mouth.

Most commercial equipment will push nearly 200 degrees out the wand tip. That’s Hot! This is one of the cons. Too much hot water extraction tends to deteriorate the carpet backing. It can also create another condition called Dry Rot. Technically Dry Rot isn’t Dry Rot. It’s caused when the carpet is wetted then dried too often. It should be called Wet Rot. Another con is the amount of wet time or the amount of time required to dry. Security issues with the doors being unsecured during cleaning which is normally done after hours. The biggest Pro of the Hot Water Extraction process is it’s ability to flush the carpet pile then extract. Almost a total removal of allergens, dust and soiling. Let’s next discuss Encapsulation. Then we will cover how the two working together will create a nearly perfect maintenance plan for your facility.

Pros and Cons of Encapsulation. First I must briefly describe the encapsulation process. Caution: this encapsulation description is not scientific. It is kept basic so most everyone can easily understand.

Encapsulation: is a specialized solution that’s applied to the carpet by some sort of sprayer. Then it is worked into the pile by some sort of agitation – normally a rotary floor machine with a bonnet or carpet safe scrub pad. The solution surrounds the fiber like carpet protection. While on the fiber, it will repel or release more surface soil. When the carpet is vacuumed it will further pull more soiling from the fiber. Eventually the non soil attracting coating on the fibers break off being sucked into the vacuum. The pros of encapsulation are most spots don’t return – the carpet doesn’t get wet enough to wick, dries fast and carpets stay cleaner longer. It also reduces the chances of Dry Rot and does not damage the carpet backing. It’s a much faster cleaning process. The only con I can see with the encapsulation process is not fully flushing the carpet pile. This is where we marry the two processes for a nearly perfect carpet maintenance schedule. The Carpet & Rug Institute, the leading authority on commercial carpet maintenance suggest that for every 3 to 4 encapsulation processes that 1 hot water extraction process be done. This will lessen the amount of times required for hot water extraction and extend the life and look of your commercial carpets without sacrificing indoor air quality or cleanliness.

Depending on how much traffic goes through your facility usually determines the frequency of cleaning. Frequency could be every other month, quarterly or every 6 months. Having your carpets encapulated will also save you money. Encapsulation is a much less costly process because of its quickness and not running truckmount equipment. I’ve heard of encapsulation cleaning as low as 5 cents per square foot. I haven’t seen a reputable company offering hot water extraction any less than 10 cents per square foot.

Your carpet cleaning professional can give you a better idea of what’s best for your facility. I hope this article helps you make an educated & informed decision on the carpet maintenance for your office or facility.

Carpet Cleaning 101: Removing Spilled Ink From Your Carpet

A carpet can really make a lot of difference in making a home more beautiful and appealing. The problem is that keeping a carpet clean and fresh is a lot harder than it sounds. There are all sorts of cleaning problems that carpet owners have to deal with on a daily basis, and one of these are ink stains. Ink is probably one of the most common sources of carpet stains. Pens and Markers used for school, work, or writing daily notes can lead to some very discouraging situations.

So how exactly do you remove spilled ink from your carpet? If you are not knowledgeable you might just end up making the spill worse and spreading the stain in the process. To guide you in this challenging task, below are some simple yet effective steps that you can take to make removing ink stains from your carpet a whole lot easier.

  1. Remove the Excess Ink – Before you can attack the ink stain itself, you would first need to clear the soiled area of the excess liquid. For this, get a clean sponge or white cloth and dab the stain with it. This will help absorb the ink so that all that you are left with is the actual stain on your carpet.
  2. Apply Rubbing Alcohol on the Stain – Next, get some rubbing alcohol and pour some of it onto a cotton ball. This will help you control the amount of alcohol that you will be using. Dab it onto the stain several times and then use a clean white cloth to blot the stain. You will instantly see that the ink will be transferring slowly onto the cloth. This is a good sign, which means that the process is working. Repeat this step until the ink is completely removed. It may take a while but you will eventually get rid of the stain.
  3. Rinse the Area with Water – When cleaning all kinds of stains on your carpet, it is always important to rinse the area with water once you are done. This prevents any build-up of residue, which may be left behind after you are finished cleaning.

Ink spills on your carpet do not have to be a frustrating experience for you anymore. If ever you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, don’t be discouraged, just follow the simple steps above and you will be able to clean that ink stain off your carpet.

Auto Detailing Basics – Cleaning the Carpet

The carpet in any car or truck is the first thing to show obvious signs of wear. Dirty shoes, debris from the road, spills, crumbs, and other causes result in carpets that capture and retain dirt. This is why your carpets, even after a quick vacuuming, always appear dirty and soiled.

Luckily, cleaning your vehicle’s carpets is easier than you think. Unlike other surfaces of your car, such as your dashboard or center console, the carpet is very similar to the carpet that you’d find in your home. This means that there are multitudes of cleaning products that exist that are both auto detailing oriented and inexpensive.

Auto Detailing Inside Tip: Laundry Soap Does the Trick!

Using laundry soap, mixed in concentrate with water, is usually all you need. For severe stains, a conventional stain remover (so long as it is non-bleaching) is typically all you’ll need.

Mix the laundry soap (the new “concentrated” detergent works best) into a nominal amount of water (about enough soap for 1 load of laundry in approximately 1-1.5 gallons of water) and use a scrub brush on the carpet. Be sure to really get everywhere with the brush, and ensure that your brush is always carrying a fresh supply of soapy water.

Once you have successfully managed to clean the soiled areas, take a separate brush and rise with clean water. Do not pour the water directly on to the carpet, but apply it liberally enough so as to rinse the carpet out. Then use a sponge to sop up any excess. Then, use a wet/dry shop-vac to suck up as much water as you can from the carpet. The vehicle may need to sit overnight to dry out with the windows open.

The Secret to Successful Auto Detailing is Consistency!

Anyone can clean their car. The benefit of using a professional auto detailing company is that they will take the time to ensure that a high-quality job is done. However, you can achieve that same result by being meticulous in your process as you clean. Your carpets, for example, may need several treatments to completely remove the dirt and stains.

Don’t forget to remove the floormats and seats to ensure that you are able to clean as much of the carpet as possible. Ideally, you should only have to do a thorough auto detail of your car two or three times per year. In fact, it can make a great Saturday afternoon project!