In previous issues I wanted to emphasize the technician as
the actual “cleaning machine.” I think I’ve made that point. Each of us needs
to look at ourselves as the actual cleaning machine. Now I want to move on to
the soil removal process itself.
The Clean Trust’s (formerly the IICRC) S100 Standard and
Reference Guide For Carpet Cleaning will be the baseline. Incidentally, the
Fifth Edition of S100 is now available. It is a compilation of the efforts of
many people over many years, and represents the accumulation of “best
practices.” S100 refers to the first principle of cleaning as that involving
the removal of “dry soil.” Now I want to discuss the concept of dry soil
removal, also called insoluble soil.
We need to appreciate that this type of soil does not
dissolve in cleaning solutions, thus the designation as “insoluble.” The
majority of this soil is tracked into the house or carpeted facility from
outside and deposited on the carpet with several strides across the carpet. Animal
fibers and natural fibers are also included as dry soil. Basically, dry soil
needs to be removed dry. This involves using a dry vacuum system. No big
problem: vacuum the carpet.
Here’s the real issue with dry soil removal: it often does
not get done. Twenty years ago when I
started teaching CCT courses, I would ask how many students vacuumed the carpet
as the first step. I was somewhat shocked to discover that less than half did
so. When I bought a carpet cleaning and dyeing franchise in 1975, the first
step was to vacuum every square inch of every carpet with a certified pile
lifter. That’s the way I was taught, and when we started selling franchises
ourselves, that’s the way I trained hundreds of new cleaners.
Vacuuming with a pile lifter may be a bit of overkill, but
it’s a great dry soil removal process and sets up the fluid soil removal
process tremendously. Many times the homeowner would get out her checkbook to
pay us, only to learn that we had just done the first step, vacuuming the
Next Month: Why should we vacuum the carpet?
Time Out: Tech Issue
Previously, we were discussing reappearing spots. We know
that capillary action brings the soil from deep in the carpet layers back to
the surface as water wicks up and is evaporated off the surface. The soil
Typically, the soil is on the tips of the carpet yarn. There
are several methods that can be use to remove the soil. Keeping in mind that
the soil is usually only on the surface (evidenced by separating the yarn), one
very good removal method is to use one of the available encapsulating products.
Encaps capture the soil and don’t allow the soil to
redeposit. An encap can be sprayed lightly onto the surface soil, worked in
with any agitation process, including a towel if the area is small. The encap,
with the captured soil, is allowed to dry and is then vacuumed from the carpet.
Next Month: more methods for removing reappearing soil.
“The worst direct marketing method is better than the best
indirect marketing.” In other words, get face-to-face with your clients.
Bulletin Board Material
“The passion for truth is silenced by the answers
which have the weight of undisputed authority”
– Paul Tillich
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing;
Motivation determines what you do; Attitude determines how well you do it.”