ICS Magazine

Technology in Cleaning

December 9, 2004

Technology, when put to good use, improves the working environment. Professional cleaning and restoration technicians are always searching for equipment and technology to help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. ICS Cleaning Specialist looks at some of the innovative machines and technologies making their way into the industry.

To try and include every single process, development and piece of equipment that has affected the industry in a single feature would be ridiculous if not impossible. This is not a "Best of the Best" list; it is a chance to see and hear about some of the equipment making its way to the marketplace.

Principles and long-accepted methodologies need not be shattered in order for something to be innovative. Some of you may have already seen some of this technology at various trade shows and exhibitions, while others are getting their first look at what the cleaning and restoration industries have to offer as we head into 2004.

Rotary Cleaning

The Rotary DriMaster from HydraMaster combines the company's rotary extraction systems with the new, patented DriMaster high-flow/high-recovery cleaning design. The tool maximizes the heat and vacuum of both truck-mounted and portable carpet cleaning equipment, the company said.

The principle behind the DriMaster technology is a unique vacuum and solution injection system. Solution is first injected into the carpet through a precision slot that is angled toward a vacuum recovery port. The solution is applied as a sheet rather than a jet spray, allowing precise control of the penetration necessary to thoroughly clean the carpet fiber without wetting the carpet backing.

HydraMaster carefully optimized the design of the Rotary DriMaster for home cleaning. The 46-pound RDM is easy to transport, and maneuvers easily around obstacles while the low-profile head cleans beneath furniture where other tools can't reach. The RDM's three cleaning heads create 360 passes per minute.

Carpet Protection

DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprises has introduced its latest carpet protection formulation with Improved Teflon Advanced Carpet Protector. The enhanced product features superior oil repellency and soil resistance, as well as freeze/thaw stability.

"DuPont Teflon Advanced Carpet Protector has always provided outstanding peformance," Rick Raessler, carpet aftercare manager, said. "However, we're continually looking for ways to enhance the value of our products. Improved Teflon Advanced Carpet Protector provides the strongest value yet to consumers as they put more importance on keeping their carpets and rugs looking clean and bright, day in and day out, all year long."

Upgrades found in Improved Teflon Advanced Carpet Protector include suitability for use on water-safe upholstery fabrics and freeze/thaw stability, providing for even easier cleanup and removal of most spills before staining and wicking can occur. Applied by spraying, it leaves no odor and keeps carpets and rugs cleaner, longer, the company said.

Mopping Systems

The MopKing from Am King Technologies is a unique, on-demand mop dispensing system for dry or chemically treated mops. Constructed of stainless steel, the MopKing can store 40 clean, flat mops which can then be dispensed on demand from a locked compartment within the unit one at a time.

For a chemically treated mop, switch the control lever to "Treated/Wet Mop" and push the handle. The first part of the stroke will drop the mop onto the wetting tray; the second part dispenses the solution onto the mop. The downward stroke must be completed before another mop may be dispensed, preventing the mistake of wetting more than one mop at a time, over-treating a mop or flooding the wet tray. The specially designed wet tray evenly distributes the precise amount of solution across the flat mop surface.

When a dry mop is required, switch the control lever to "Load/Dry Mop" and push the handle. The function is the same for both models.

Vacuum Portability

The Hip Vac from Kent/Euroclean is designed for operator comfort while delivering superb productivity. Its ergonomic, 6.4-pound design allows any user to operate the vacuum quickly and efficiently. No dragging, no pushing and no fighting around obstacles means the job can be performed in a more expedient manner.

The vacuum draws 75 inches of water lift and 55 CFM. The 4-foot hose features swivels on both sides, and the attachments (combo dusting brush/furniture nozzle and crevice tool) fit on the belt of the vacuum. The disposable bag has a 0.8-gallon capacity, and the vacuum features a 50-foot power cord.

Heat Exchanger

Prochem has introduced a new heat-exchange system. In the PEAK, heat is captured from 2 different areas. Just like the Everest, the PEAK mixes the engine and blower exhaust and sends it over a series of serpentine heat exchangers. The second area in which heat is captured is through the heli-coil engine coolant HE.

Water comes into the water box through the pump and into a manifold that contains the pulsation dampener and pressure regulator. From the manifold the water flows through the first serpentine heat exchanger and back into the water box. When the solution is needed, the flow goes through the heli-coil HE and remaining serpentine HE, is mixed with chemical in the last-step injection system, and then out to the wand.

The patented heat-exchange system is a similar heat exchange system to the one found on the Everest. Just like the Everest, the patented system eliminates the need to by-pass water to the waste tank.

Multi-Tasking Floor Machine

Designed with soft floors in mind, the AquaRide SE from the Advance Advenger line is the first-ever multi-tasking rider carpet sweeper/extractor, the company said, allowing the operator to replace two tasks with one and increase productivity.

For hard floors, the Advance Advenger line offers the first 24-inch rider scrubber and sweeper/scrubber. The Advenger features interchangeable 26-, 28- and 32-inch disk or cylindrical decks - it can be modified as the operator's needs grow.

Tile and Grout Scrubbing

The Tornado BR Vario utilizes cutting-edge brush technology to tackle floor surfaces from tile and cement to paver bricks, raised rubber disc, quarry tile and other challenging applications. With a solution tank, collapsible handle and contact pressure six times greater than that of a single-disc machine, the BR Vario provides unmatched speed and efficiency for large areas while allowing close edge cleaning along walls and other obstacles, the company said.

Two-dimensional cleaning allows the unit to essentially perform in all directions - left, right, forwards and backwards. The is possible because the Vario's handle turns 90 degrees to allow the operator to work in any direction.

Wand Attachments

The Hydro-Glide from Hydro-Force is a snap/slide-on attachment to the Hydro-Force stainless steel wand. Formed from a durable high-strength copolymer material, the patent-pending Hydro-Glide will reduce the force needed to move the wand on the carpet at least 50 percent, the company says.

The Hydro-Glide's rounded shape helps the wand to glide easily over carpet, and puts the uniquely shaped vacuum lip into the carpet pile where it can do extra extraction. Water removal is accomplished at the edge of the tool where it meets the carpet. The notched design gives many more edges against the carpet, producing more usable cfms and, thus, more water removal.

The Hydro-Glide has proven to be effective on both residential and commercial carpets. The wand "chatter" that is often produced when moving the wand over commercial carpet is now a thing of the past. Professionals will finally be able to extract a wool carpet or Oriental rug without Herculean effort.

Heating Technology

Vortex Cleaning Systems, LLC has been awarded a U.S. Patent for the company's unique heating technology.

"The Vortex machine is the only direct-drive machine manufactured that utilizes both the radiator fluid and the exhaust system of the vehicle to heat the water," explains Shawn L. York, founder and inventor of the Vortex technology. "There are no open flames or additional fuel requirements such as propane or kerosene.

"The Vortex system integrates and captures heat at three different stages. The first two stages are accomplished through radiator fluid heat exchangers. The final stage involves a third heat exchanger that comes directly off the exhaust manifold of the diesel engine, but does not directly heat water. Instead, it heats Xentherm, an intermediate thermal transfer liquid used to heat the water to temperatures higher than any mass-produced heat exchange machine on the market.

"No other heat exchange machine can produce the temperatures of a Vortex," York said. "And now, thanks to this patent, it's going to stay that way."

Drying Technology

Water Out Drying Equipment uses new drying technologies to drastically reduce drying times. Water Out Drying Equipment is a lightweight, trailer-mount, structural drying system that uses 100 percent outside air. The fresh air is conditioned to less than 2 percent relative humidity, and then introduced to the wet structure. Water immediately begins to evaporate and then is quickly removed from the wet building, reducing the humidity levels almost instantly

Water Out Drying Equipment can be used in any weather conditions, runs on 115 volts and will remove 2,000 pints of water per day, the company says. On residential and commercial properties as well as large industrial properties, Water Out Drying Equipment is the proper choice whenever drying time is an issue.

Water Out's patented technology has been tested at the Hydro Lab in Noblesville, Ind. and at The National Flood School in England, and has set drying records at both locations.