Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I recently began a contract to clean carpet in a beautiful nursing home, and have just finished the first extraction. The waste solution was BLACK and thick. Although the carpet is only two years old, and doesn''t appear terribly soiled, it must be saturated with dirt. Do you have any suggestions for me? They want me to come every quarter and are pretty committed to keeping the carpet nice. When the waste solution is that dark, I am certain there must still be a large amount of dirt in the carpet. What would you suggest for removing the maximum amount of dirt each visit? In case, it would help you to know what I use, my equipment is portable extractors, 500 psi, heated.
The fact that you are seeing black waste water from your rinsing indicates that you have loosened the soil by the pre-spray or shampooing, and it is now free from the fibers and being flushed out by the hot rinse water. You are doing it right! However, one of the more common oversights in carpet cleaning is the failure to spend the necessary time rinsing the treated traffic areas. The goal is to get as much loosened soil and residual detergent out of the nap as possible. Several passes with the rinse wand moving in different directions across the nap should show up less and less darkened waste water as you work along. One possible reason for avoiding the extra rinse passes, beyond the obvious time factor, is the fear of ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor
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