n maintaining commercial facilities, much of the emphasis should be placed on daily maintenance. Daily carpet care is far less expensive than restorative carpet cleaning and carpet appearance levels can be maintained at much higher levels. The average life of carpet will last for years longer, if proper daily care is performed. However, in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s economy with tight budgets and limited personnel, it seems that facility maintenance is always the first area to undergo budget cuts. |
However, even with limited budgets, it is important that carpet cleaning be performed properly. Improper technique or improper use of cleaning chemicals can actually increase cleaning costs or increase the frequency of carpet cleaning.
Carpet cleaning, performed correctly, is a highly technical profession. Carpet cleaning can be described as a science due to the amount of chemistry involved in the cleaning process. On the surface, many people who are not associated with the carpet cleaning profession can not comprehend the intricacies involved. For those people who are about to become associated with the field, the complexity of the information may seem overwhelming initially. It may be necessary to define various cleaning terminology and describe the basic principles of the cleaning process to get a good basic understanding of the field. The Principles of Cleaning
Carpet cleaning can be divided into four categories: dry soil removal or dry vacuuming, soil suspension, extraction or removal, and drying. Soil Removal
Dry soil removal or vacuuming has been discussed in detail in the preventative maintenance section but the importance of vacuuming cannot be over emphasized. The carpet should be thoroughly vacuumed prior to any type of cleaning. Vacuuming the carpet pile is essential for effective soil removal. Vacuuming helps to separate the pile fibers, which aids in the release of soil during the suspension and cleaning phases. Soil Suspension
Once the carpet has been pre-cleaned (vacuumed), it is time to pre-condition the carpet to prepare for the actual cleaning. The purpose of the pre-conditioning phase is to remove or suspend the soil from the fiber. Soil suspension can be illustrated by pouring water into a flour mixture. Particles of flour attach to the molecules of water. The mixture (dough) can then be removed. Soil suspension works in a similar fashion. A cleaning solution is added which attaches to the particles of soil. This solution completely surrounds the soil which removes it from the fiber.
The way in which suspension works is really very simple. To simplify the theory of suspension, four terms should be explained: hydro=water- lipo=oil- phobic= fear- philic=love. A detergent molecule (as shown below) has two ends. In the illustration below, one part of the molecule is described as hydrophylic (water loving), which means it attaches to a water molecule. The other part is described as lipophylic (oil loving), which attaches to oily soils found in carpet. Agitation or mechanical action is used to break the soil molecules from the carpet surface. At this point, detergent molecules completely surround the soil molecule which suspends the soil. This process is known as deflocculation or suspension.
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