The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification's current S100 Carpet Cleaning Standard defines five methods of cleaning carpets:
As you can see, there are four methods besides HWE that the IICRC identifies for cleaning carpets. These four operate in a manner commonly referred to as low-moisture cleaning. What constitutes low-moisture cleaning? While there is some debate, for the sake of this article we will define low-moisture cleaning by the amount of moisture used in the cleaning process, not by the amount removed.
This method is excellent for applications where minimal facility down time is allowed. Its quick-drying qualities also make it an excellent choice for areas that have poor ventilation. The process also minimizes the chances of drink-spill wicking. Absorbent compound can be used in both residential and commercial applications.
High-speed bonnet cleaning is achieved with a 300-rpm machine. The carpet is sprayed with a detergent, and extraction occurs via a bonnet that is attached to a drive block on the machine. The process is the same as bonnet cleaning, but occurs at a higher speed.
In normal bonnet cleaning, the carpet is sprayed with a detergent. Extraction then occurs via a bonnet that is attached to a drive block on a 175-rpm rotary machine.
"I say bonnet cleaning, when done properly, can be as effective as any cleaning system," Gary Heacock of Heacock's Custom Cleaning Service said. "It is not limited to commercial, or limited to residential or any specific carpet type, weave or texture. The system can be used on every carpet type, if done correctly.
"Correctly, as I see it, is not just side to side, or forwards and back, but a combination of motions. Side to side and then go back over that area making ovals, overlapping each oval by half the bonnet's width, or forwards and back, then going over the same area making ovals, overlapping each oval by half the bonnet's width. Another way is to just do ovals, left to right, then back over that same area, making ovals in the opposite direction.
"The oval is what makes the total job as clean as possible, cleaning each individual tuft from all sides. This also gets the soils on each tuft from the top to the bottom. That's what I call deep cleaning.
"The finished results equal any other cleaning system when done this way. The proof is in the soils contained in the bonnets. When laundered, the dirty water coming from the washing machine is equal to the dirty water coming from any HWE cleaning machine," Heacock said.
With an oscillating pad, the carpet is also sprayed with a detergent, and extraction also occurs via a pad, but one that is thinner than a bonnet. The machine looks similar to a floor machine, but it normally rotates once per minute and oscillates, or tamps, 1,700 times per minute. This tamping is similar to the tamping taught with spot-cleaning techniques.
Gliders are set between the carpet and the pad. These gliders adjust the depth and aggressiveness of the cleaning. This is very effective method of cleaning and removing spots that normally wick back.
Rick Gelinas, president of Excellent Supply, describes encapsulation this way: "With crystallizing polymer technology, non-sticky residue can't attract other soil and can be extracted with post-vacuuming. It eliminates wicking and recurring spills, and carpets stay cleaner longer."
With shampoo, the cleaner is distributed via a floor machine with a solution tank. The shampoo is fed to a brush that scrubs the shampoo into the carpet. The soil-laden shampoo is then extracted usually using a wet/dry vacuum or a dry vacuuming process. This is very aggressive process and can solve deeply imbedded soiling conditions. It is the wettest of all low
moisture processes and has the longest