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Wednesday's Ask the Experts: Dry carpet cleaning

June 03, 2009
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Wednesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: Is there any completely dry method (no water) of cleaning carpets? If using the HOST method should an annual hot water extraction still occur? Does Rotovac have a detrimental effect on carpets? What is the cleaning method recommended by most experts?
The answer:
1) The most common and effective dry carpet cleaning method is still machine vacuuming or power pile lifting. Dry powders, such as HOST and Capture, contain solvents other than water to loosen substances bonded to carpet fibers. This is not to say that they cannot be used with limited amounts of water, but their purpose is waterless cleaning.
2) Hot water extraction is designed to rinse the carpet fibers. Water-soluble materials will dissolve only in water and this includes detergent residues from previous cleaning attempts. Any carpet cleaning method will perform better over the long run if the rinsing action of hot water extraction is employed occasionally.
3) The Rotovac and other mechanical carpet fiber agitators can be safely and effectively used on carpet if they are properly adjusted and used with good judgment. They work more effectively on some types of carpet construction than on others. Even a drag wand can catch on a loose seam, so care must be exercised when using the heavier equipment.
4) Without a doubt, hot water extraction is viewed ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX associate editor,
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