This month, as we start our look at the cleaning process, I
want to first discuss the role of the technician and the various pieces of
equipment we use. What I will call “Man vs. Machine.”
One quick note: we often show the cleaning technician as a
man, but there are a significant number of women who are top-notch carpet and
upholstery cleaning technicians. And I am a big fan of women as cleaning
technicians. I’ve had a number of women in my CCT and UFT classes over the
years and I have found them to be very conscientious about the whole process.
In the residential cleaning segment, women have a clear advantage, as the vast
majority of clients are housewives. I would love to see more women in the
The point I want to make about Man vs. Machine is that I
think sometimes we lose sight of the true cleaning machine. We have looked at
some of the outstanding pieces of equipment in the industry and have confused
those pieces of equipment as the cleaning machine. In fact, the technician is
the cleaning machine.
If we consider the IICRC S100 Standard and Reference Guide
for Carpet Cleaning, the Principles of Cleaning involve dry soil removal, soil
suspension, soil removal, finishing, and drying. No single piece of equipment
can accomplish all those steps. Most achieve only one step. Only the machine
that is the technician can control all the steps.
Next month: a deeper look at the cleaner as machine.
Time Out: A Technical Discussion
In a recent conversation with colleague and fellow instructor
Jim Smith, the subject of “reappearing spots” and “wicking” came up. This
discussion has come up periodically over the years, but it still seems to cause
The set-up: A cleaner removes a spot or stain, for example,
coffee, and he gets a call a few days that the stain has come back. Without
analyzing the cause, the cleaner will often treat the stain the same way he did
previously, which is often with a heavy chemical treatment and a good rinsing.
The stain is gone, everyone is happy…and then a few days later he gets the call
and the process starts all over again.
The problem involves the law of physics. When a cup or
larger container of coffee (or any fluid) is spilled on carpet, the law of
gravity pulls it through all the multiple layers of face yarn, backings, latex,
pad, and sub-floor until it can’t flow anymore. The water component evaporates,
leaving the heavier components in place.
Next Month: The Next Law of Physics – how the stain
reappears and what to do about it.
“Take two and hit to right.”
Translation: just do it.
Bulletin Board Material
“Old coaches never die, they just don’t score
Got a technical question? Send your question to me, and, if
chosen for the column, you will receive a $100 gift certificate to put toward
the purchase of Chemspec products. All other questions will be answered