Total Solution Carpet Care

June 1, 2002
More than chemistry and equipment, total solution carpet care is a plan of action. A proper cleaning plan increases the longevity and appearance of carpet

More than chemistry and equipment, total solution carpet care is a plan of action. A proper cleaning plan increases the longevity and appearance of carpet as well as improves indoor air quality.

Carpet acts as a filter that traps and keeps dust and dirt out of the air. These contaminants need to be removed from the carpet often to prevent damage to the carpet fibers and recirculation into the air. Most carpet is warranted for 10 to 15 years, but often is replaced in four to seven years because of a lack of correct maintenance.

It is important to have a proactive versus reactive cleaning program to get the most life from carpet surfaces. Proactive cleaning is preventive maintenance before the carpet looks dirty, instead of reactive cleaning after the carpet is visibly soiled.

Daily maintenance

The importance of daily maintenance cannot be underestimated. The key elements are walk-off mats, vacuuming and spot removal.

The first step toward a clean carpet is preventing dirt from getting to the carpet. Because 80 percent of all carpet soil is brought from outside, placing walk-off mats at all entryways and transition areas where soiling is likely is strongly recommended. Daily vacuuming and frequent cleaning of mats provides front line protection to keep carpets cleaner longer.

Vacuuming is the easiest and most effective method of maintaining a facility. It removes 90 percent of dry soils that scratch and cut carpet fibers.

Spot removal can be one of the most confusing and frustrating aspects of carpet care. Improperly treated or ignored spots can destroy carpet. These rules can help simplify the challenge.

  • The faster you get to a spot the easier it is to remove.

  • Know the fiber make-up of your carpet. Nylon carpets will usually contain stain-blocking chemicals, which if properly maintained, can facilitate removal of serious stains.

  • Many spots are concentrated areas of general soil tracked into an area. A general-purpose water-based spotter will remove these.

  • When applying a spotter, never rub the spotted area. Always carefully blot the spot with a cloth. To help prevent resoiling, use a spotting water extractor to thoroughly clean the spotted area after blotting.

Scheduled maintenance

Scheduled periodic overall cleaning with water extraction is required to keep carpets in all areas looking their best. Cleaning by extraction provides the best results and most thorough cleaning. Cleaning down to the base of the carpet fibers leaves far less residue compared to other cleaning methods.

The principle behind hot water extraction is: using a combination of hot water, chemical action and agitation. One cleanses away the soil within the carpet, rinsing it while cleaning, and having the soiled water carried away through a vacuum. Extract with a clean water rinse at least every third extraction. Frequency of scheduled extraction takes place depending on the home or facility's traffic.

Interim maintenance

Interim maintenance is fast, light surface cleaning for heavy or medium traffic areas. Low moisture methods such as bonnet buffing or absorbent dry powder cleaning can be used but water extraction is recommended. Extraction of large or medium size areas can be easier by cleaning a small portion each day.

For a light, quick cleaning with an extractor, users need to move a little faster when operating the machine. This will only clean the top of the carpet fibers but will extract the dirt out of the carpet.

Carmen Abraham is with Abraham Marketing, Highlands Ranch, Colo.


The 6-gallon capacity VAC-160 from Edco is designed for fine dust removal and features a 3-tiered filtration system that removes more than 99 percent of airborne dust. The vacuum has a mechanical shakedown system and gives 95 inches of water lift. The product's electric 120-volt dual motor with 180 cfm is strong enough to work with any of Edco's grinders, scarifiers and saws and only requires a 15-amp breaker to operate. It is mounted on a hand truck and comes with a 25-foot, 2-inch hose and a 40-foot electrical cord.
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Alto's Clarke Technology releases the Vision 17 Series of small automatic scrubbers. These scrubbers maneuver in tight spaces such as small super markets, retail shops, and garages, and offer an affordable way to do big jobs in small places. Designed for ease of operation, the handle adjusts to any height operator. Solution control, brush and vacuum switches are at easy-to-view positions and at fingertip reach.
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Windsor's Saber Compact 17-inch, walk-behind floor scrubber cleans fast and efficiently with maneuverability, ease of use and speed. The spin on/off brush/pad system allows the operator to mount and remove the brush without using hands. A simple two-switch control panel and easy to adjust squeegee decreases training time for greater overall productivity. The scrubber's pad/brush assist propelling system with variable speed control also increases productivity by reducing operator fatigue.
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For those bigger hardwood flooring installation jobs that require greater speed, Porta-Nails Inc. offers the portamatic hammerhead 2. This pneumatic version of Porta-Nails' original hammerhead employs the original preferred-seating system. Designed for nailing 1/2- to 33/32-inch tongue and groove wood flooring, it can be easily converted to a face nailer by simply changing the shoe. Mallet activated and holding up to 200 2-inch Porta-Nails the product's air chamber has rapid cycling with 90 to 100 psi.
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General Equipment

Available with a complete line of tungsten carbide insert flails and lower cost, steel-type flails fabricated from the newly-developed Alloy X, General Equipment's SP8/G Series II surface planer can be used for a wide range of job applications. A unitized, welded steel plate frame and extra capacity ball bearings make this 5-hp unit a workhorse. Cutting depth is adjusted using a screw-type, positive-locking depth selector, and the wheels located behind the drum make it easier to cut through high spots. The unit has a maximum cutting depth of 5/8 inches, a cutting width of 8 inches and a cutting proximity to a vertical wall of 3 1/4 inches.
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Americ Corp.

Americ offers 10- to 24-inch floor machines, 1/3 to 1 1/2 hp. The machines have an all-steel triple planetary gear system that is permanently lubricated with a specially designed flex coupler to guard against possible motor damage when under load. Flexible dual triggers for left or right hand operation are non-conductive and have built-in safety lockouts to prevent accidental startup. The heavy-duty switch is set in a die cast aluminum switch box that won't chip or rust.
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Sinclair Equipment

The new and improved ultrasaw from Sinclair Equipment is a powerful, quality tool with versatility in mind. This all in one saw can perform a variety of tasks, from door and door jamb cuts, inside corner cuts, toe kick cuts, bevel cuts and sanding needs for compounds and underlayment joints. The product features its exclusive rack and pinion blade height adjustment for precise, easy one-touch adjustment from net to 1 1/4-inch height. It has a ball bearing roller system for ease of movement.
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MadVac introduces the 20-gallon water jetspray dust suppression system to the MadVac 101 vacuum litter collection vehicle. The system controls dust within the litter container and provides further dust control in arid dusty regions. MadVac's self-compacting system can efficiently pick up glass, metal, bottles, cans, cardboard, plastic or any debris, wet or dry that fits into the hose. Features include advanced 2 micron dust filtration system, patented straight through suction, 60-gallon capacity litter container, 28-hp Kubota liquid cooled diesel, hydrostatic drive and fully hydraulic machine operation, 8-inch diameter hose, power assisted vacuum arm and easy access disposable bag.
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