Carpet Fiber Identification
The following describes how to identify the most commonly cleaned fibers through chemical testing. Identification is important when cleaning, spotting, or dyeing carpet.
- Cut a few strands of carpet using duckbill napping shears.
- Nylon Test: Fiber strand will dissolve in formic acid or muriatic acid. Keep in mind if you use muriatic acid, the fiber will take a little longer to dissolve.
- Olefin Test: Fiber strand floats in a glass of water. Use a couple drops of Matrix Fast Acting Traffic Lane Cleaner in the water to break surface tension.
- Wool Test: Fiber strand dissolves in chlorine bleach.
Cleaning Berber Carpet
Berber is a style, not a fiber type. Berber can be nylon, wool, or olefin, so the fiber type needs to be taken into consideration when cleaning. If it is a wool Berber, be sure to use a wool-safe product. Because Berber-style carpet has a very tight pattern, streaks can occur when cleaning. These streaks may be caused by wicking or from the wand “bouncing” across the carpet while cleaning.
- Clean the Berber with a PSI setting of 250 or less. Use single strokes, extracting only on the forward stroke. Apply slight pressure on the wand to prevent bouncing. If you anticipate wicking problems, follow up the extraction with a white cotton bonnet.
- Speed dry the carpet with air movers to try and prevent wicking.
Jute Rug Cleaning
Jute comes from an Asian plant that produces a strong, coarse fiber commonly used in making sacks and ropes. When water or moisture touches jute, it browns very badly and will lose its tenacity (strength). Jute is very fragile when wet. It will get back some of its strength when dried, but not all of it.
- Vacuum thoroughly.
- Sprinkle KleenRite Quik Dry onto the entire rug.
- Using a Grandi Groom, work the KleenRite Quik Dry into the rug.
- Let Quik Dry dry (about 30 minutes).
- Vacuum up the Quik Dry using care that you get as much vacuumed as possible.
Sisal is a natural product. It is comprised of woven grass, hemp, or reeds (even bamboo). It looks very similar to a welcome mat that might be at your front door. Unfortunately, sisal is very difficult to clean. It can shrink, discolor, attract insects, and give off odors when wet. Because sisal discolors and shrinks easily, the less moisture used to clean it, the better. A dry powder method is the preferable method of cleaning. If a customer insists upon a wet cleaning method, use a bonnet cleaning method with very little moisture. Be sure to notify the customer that bonnet cleaning may still cause shrinking and discoloration.
- Sprinkle Kleenrite Quik Dry onto the carpet.
- Using a Grandi-Groom, groom powder into the pile.
- Allow 30 minutes for powder to dry, then vacuum the floor.
Fluorescent Dye Carpet Cleaning
There are special fluorescent dyes used to produce the fluorescent effect in some carpets. This fluorescent effect has properties different from ordinary carpet dyes and some precautions must be followed in cleaning it. Typically, no warranty is extended to cover the colorfastness of this kind of colored carpet. Fluorescent dyes are less resistant to sunlight than ordinary carpet dyes, so they should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Fluorescent dyes are adversely affected by alkaline cleaning agents. Cleaning chemistry with pH levels above 8.0 will quickly degrade the fluorescent properties of the dyestuffs (it won’t glow any longer under UV light, but will look like it still holds its color). Optical brighteners should also not be used as they, too, glow under a black light. Water temperature in cleaning should be 120°F or less at the face of the carpet.
- Vacuum carpet thoroughly.
- Dilute Matrix New Decade TLC into a pump-up sprayer or inline sprayer and spray onto all traffic lane areas.
- Use a groomer to groom in the pre-spray and allow a 10-minute dwell time.
- Put diluted Matrix New Decade Detergent into carpet extractor and clean carpet.
- To neutralize carpet, dilute Matrix All Fiber Rinse into a pump-up sprayer, inline sprayer, or into extractor and apply to carpet.
- Set air movers in room to speed dry carpet.
Carpet Protector Overspray Cleanup
When applying protector to carpet and/or furniture, a cleaner must be sure to wipe up any overspray that lands on wood furniture or walls. It is much easier and much more effective to clean up the overspray while it is still fresh and wet.
If not removed right away, there is a chance that the protector may be there permanently and stripping and refinishing of wood furniture (very expensive) or repainting of walls (can be very expensive due to not being able to match up paint so a whole room will have to be painted) will have to be done. BE SURE TO TEST ANY SURFACE THAT THESE PROCEDURES ARE USED ON BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Directions – Overspray on Wood Furniture:
- Apply Linseed oil with a clean white towel to affected area.
Directions – Overspray on Walls:
- Spray a warm solution of 50% Windex and 50% water on the wall or surface.
- Use a soft cloth to remove the residue. Wipe gently and make sure you don’t remove the paint.
Warning: Always test materials for colorfastness, follow label directions, and never mix products unless specified in the label directions. Each situation reacts differently and results may vary.