According to a recent survey published in Cleanfax Magazine, 4% of the respondents identified low moisture encapsulation cleaning as their primary carpet cleaning method. 54% said that they offer encapsulation as part of their carpet cleaning offerings, with truckmounted or portable hot water extraction cleaning usually being their primary method. There is no doubt that in a relatively short amount of time, encapsulation cleaning has gained tremendous market share. While the appearance improvement attributes of encapsulation cleaning are important, there are still huge opportunities for those 58% who offer the service, and the 42% who do not, to expand their reach in the commercial carpet cleaning world.
In order to accomplish that goal, we need to start with a great understanding of exactly what the cleaning method is all about.
Encapsulation carpet cleaning summary
A non-resoiling shampoo (crystallizer dry down)or an encapsulating cleaning surfactant (brittle dry down) is fortified with non-resoiling polymers to create a low moisture carpet cleaning solution. Some solutions contain additional ingredients for improved cleaning power. The encapsulating surfactant encapsulates and surrounds soils that have been dislodged from the carpet surface and holds them in suspension for removal by subsequent vacuuming.
The cleaning and soil removing power of the encapsulation cleaner is intensified by very aggressive agitation – counter rotating cylindrical brush machine (e.g; Host Liberator®, Whittaker®, Windsor Procaps/ICapsul®, Hydro-Force Brush Pro®, EnviroDri®, Duplex®); or an orbital oscillating agitator with pad (e.g., Trinity®, Hruby®, SquareScrub®), triple planetary rotary brush (Cimex®); rotary shampoo brush, or bonnet pad. Most encapsulation cleaning is done by cylindrical brush or Cimex. An obvious oversimplification of your encapsulation equipment choices – do you brush, jiggle, or twirl? As you might guess, each machine has “encappers” who think it is the best mechanism to do the job. Whatever your favorite agitation method, it is the cleaning solution that is the key to successful encapsulation cleaning. The “magic” of this appearance improvement method is in the cleaning solution.
This agitation helps separate ground in soils from the carpet and makes the carpet look much better. Encapsulation is generally seen by carpet mills and many carpet cleaners as the best way to clean as fast as bonnet cleaning and most believe it provides superior appearance improvement results without the residue issues with many bonnet cleaners that lead to rapid resoiling. Shaw Contract Flooring® was one of the first commercial carpet manufacturers to recognize encapsulation cleaning as the best interim/appearance maintenance cleaning method for commercial carpet. Tandus® was also an early “adopter” to the value of encapsulation.
It is relatively easy to do and easy to train. You spray down your encapsulation cleaner on the carpet (through usually a battery or electric sprayer, pump up sprayer, or autospray mechanism on the machine) and moisten the pad (if applicable). You then agitate it in with the machine and then allow the carpet to dry. This should be followed by vacuuming at the next scheduled interval. Cleaning rates for encapsulation are generally in the 1500 – 3000 square feet per hour range, but can reach as high as 5000 square feet per hour for one technician with the right equipment and set-up. The carpet is dry to the touch often within minutes and “usable” usually within the hour.
The polymers left behind by the cleaning process do not allow the carpet to re-soil faster (a common problem with bonnet cleaning), and actually help the carpet’s appearance by keeping soils from becoming deeply imbedded into the carpet pile. They also prevent or reduce the occurrence of spills or soiling wicking to the surface following cleaning. A good rule of thumb in a commercial carpet appearance maintenance program is 3 encapsulation cleanings followed by 1 hot water extraction cleaning with the intervals to be influenced by the type of carpet and soiling conditions is it exposed to. There are many carpets that actually look better following encapsulation cleaning than after cleaning with a truckmount, especially neglected commercial low level loop glue down carpets.
Summary of the summary – encapsulation cleaning –
- eliminates wicking and reoccurring spills;
- triples cleaning productivity rates;
- extends the carpet life-cycle,
- greatly reduces area downtime;
- positive appearance management;
- and keeps carpet looking its very best with less effort.
ZipDri Encap TS is the most ultra-concentrated encapsulation cleaner on the market, utilizing only 2 to 4 ounces of solution per gallon of water. It is the only encapsulation cleaner with Tritanol™ – you will experience faster, deep restorative cleaning in high definition, and the carpet will stay cleaner longer. Perhaps the most important attribute of ZipDri Encap TS, is that it is formulated so that it can be effectively used with virtually any low moisture agitation system – CRCB (Counter-rotating cylindrical brush); triple planetary rotary brush; oscillating or orbital brush or pad; and with absorbent bonnet pads. In other words, whatever your favorite agitation method, ZipDri Encap TS is the right encapsulation solution for you. ZipDri Encap TS will work wonders on commercial glue down carpets, but can be safely and effectively used on synthetic and wool commercial and residential carpet. Best of all, ZipDri Encap TS leaves the room smelling clean and refreshed, and qualifies as a SafeClean formula.
CleanMaster makes another versatile cleaning solution that you can use effectively for encapsulation cleaning. Especially if you are cleaning a lot of dull looking commercial carpets, or cleaning commercial carpets that have been exposed to a large amount of coffee spills. Release with OxyBreak™ also works extremely effectively as a low moisture encapsulation or bonnet carpet cleaning solution when used as directed. The encapsulating polymers surround, bond to, and encapsulate soil allowing it to be removed from the carpet in subsequent vacuuming. The OxyBreak™ additive makes it an extremely effective encapsulation cleaner on carpets subjected to a high amount of coffee and beverage spills. Release is effective to use and meets the standards of cleaning and care for all synthetic carpet, including warranted stain resistant carpet. Release with OxyBreak™ can also be used as a spotting solution to effectively remove many beverage spills and stains, including coffee and tea.