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Carpet Cleaning - Restorative Hot Water Extraction

Carpet that has not been properly maintained may need a deep, restorative cleaning. This is performed through hot water extraction (sometimes called steam cleaning) and may include rotary shampoo cleaning or agitation of the preconditioner with a counter-rotating brush machine.


In order to perform the best job, a technician must follow the “cleaning pie” as taught in the IICRC CCT/CCMT classes. The cleaning pie consists of four parts: time, agitation, chemical, and temperature.


Basic Steps:

  1. Vacuum the floor thoroughly. It is easier to remove dry dirt than to clean mud.
  2. Pre-spray the carpet with a cleaning chemical designed for commercial carpet.
    • If the carpet is synthetic, such as nylon, the product should have a pH of 10 or less.
    • If it is olefin (polypropylene), use a product specific for olefin. 
  3. Agitate the pre-conditioner with a brushing system to penetrate the soils. Allow adequate dwell time (ideally 10–20 minutes). Remember, the longer the pre-conditioner is allowed to dwell, the greater the soil suspension. Be careful not to allow the product to dry on the carpet.
  4. Thoroughly extract the area using hot water and an alkaline detergent to suspend and rinse the soil from the carpet. 


Should You Use a Rinse Agent?

On carpet that has great amounts of residue, or if the carpet is a printed nylon, use an acid rinse, such as Matrix All Fiber Rinse, to neutralize the excess alkalinity left over from previous cleanings. The acid rinse prevents any type of potential bleeding and will brighten the color in a printed carpet.


For Best Results, Speed Dry

The use of air movers will greatly decrease the drying time and allow foot traffic on the carpet sooner. The use of a cotton bonnet will also decrease drying time as well as remove wicking soils.


Develop an Interim Maintenance Plan

Once the carpet has been restored by hot water extraction, an encapsulation system can be incorporated on a monthly basis. This interim cleaning can save the budget and keep the carpet in a continuous high state of appearance.


Develop a color-coded maintenance program incorporating vacuuming, spotting, interim maintenance, and hot water extraction to extend the life of the carpet.


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