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Cleaner CartProper commercial carpet cleaning prolongs the life of your carpets, and is critical for the carpet’s appearance and to eliminate bacteria and/or other contaminants that get embedded in the carpet.

Therefore, the choice of commercial carpet cleaning methods is extremely important.

There are four basic methods for cleaning carpets, and each is appropriate for different conditions. Sunshine Building Maintenance can assist in determining which approach is best suited for your particular situation.

This post will review the first two methods:

•Carpet Shampooing

•Encapsulate Method

Carpet Shampooing

This method works by exposing the carpet to foam, allowing the foam to dry and attract the soil, and vacuuming the carpet the next day to remove the shampoo residue and soil.

Carpet shampoo must contain a foaming chemical. However, this chemical dries to a soft, sticky residue which will cause re-soiling.

As a result, carpet shampoos will frequently contain an anti-resoiling additive, such as a resin, to reduce this re-soiling tendency.

Because shampoos are actually poor detergents and work by burying dirt, they normally also contain high levels of optical brighteners which take invisible ultraviolet light and convert it to visible light, thus making the carpet appear cleaner and brighter. This will eventually give the carpet a yellow cast which cannot be removed.

Shampoo methods are inferior because of their poor cleaning properties and the re-soiling problems. The machines used with this method can also damage carpeting, especially cut pile.

Encapsulate Method

This method is often called “dry cleaning” since very little water is used.

In this method, dry absorbent compound (containing small amounts of water, detergent, and solvent,) is sprinkled over carpet or worked into the carpet with a machine. The purpose of this cleaner is to attract and absorb soil. Mechanical agitation from a brush works the cleaner through the carpet.

These products usually contain an absorbent carrier, water, detergent, and solvent. The liquids dissolve the soil and this soil/detergent/solvent mixture is absorbed into the carrier and then vacuumed. They are often used with a detergent pre-spray in heavily soiled areas.

The compound absorbs the dislodged soil and is then vacuumed. Carpet must be thoroughly vacuumed both before and after cleaning.

If the carpet is not thoroughly vacuumed, indoor air quality can be compromised. If white powder appears on shoes and pant cuffs, too much compound was used or it wasn’t thoroughly vacuumed. The white powder will often reappear after wet extraction cleaning has been performed.

The advantage of this method is that there is no drying time since little water is used.

Please watch for our next post covering the third and fourth commercial carpet cleaning methods.

Our Commercial Carpet Cleaning Programs are designed to maintain the appearance and extend the life of flooring surfaces. If you would like additional information about these programs, please contact us at 905-335-2020 or email

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