What kinds of odors do professional carpet cleaners encounter in their daily cleaning operations?

OdorsDuring a typical day, professional carpet cleaners may encounter a wide variety of odor problems that their customer needs assistance dealing with – pet urine, body odors, Cooking odors, tobacco odors, general odors, water intrusion and water damage, bacterial based odors, moisture based odors, and mold, mildew and mustiness.  CleanMaster, the chemical division of HydraMaster, is pleased to provide three deodorization and remediation chemical solutions which effectively eliminate these and many other odors, and turn your customers into raving fans!

BotaniPhase – for water intrusion and water damage related odors, bacterial and moisture based odors, and mold, mildew, and mustiness

CleanMaster BotaniPhase  from HydraMaster represents the newest renewable and sustainable natural deodorizing Botani_Phase Hi Restechnology as it derives its odor eliminating and decontamination capabilities directly from plant extracts. Whenever you have a carpet, textile or hard surface that has been impacted by water intrusion or moisture exposure to the point it has developed odors related to mold, mildew, and mustiness, BotaniPhase works to effectively clean and deodorize that surface. BotaniPhase also works effectively to counteract and eliminate odors resulting from bacterial based sources. Botani-Phase is the ideal deodorizer for restoration and remediation sites, contents cleaning and deodorization, carpet and upholstery cleaning, decontamination and odor control jobs, and more . BotaniPhase is mixed from 1:4 to straight depending upon the severity and intensity of the contamination and odor.

MultiPhase – for pet urine and tobacco odors

Professional Cleaners and Restorers worldwide sign the praises of MultiPhase for two reasons: 1) It is highly effective in less multiphasetime; and 2) Customers love the scent. It is a bonding, encapsulating, pairing, and absorbing deodorizer that will safely and effectively eliminate odors most commonly encountered by the professional carpet cleaner, including pet urine, tobacco smoke, and vomit. It grabs onto the odor producing cell and bonds with it. Because MultiPhase is a contact deodorizer,  it needs to come in contact with all odor molecules – so it is perfect for saturation spraying and injecting. It does all this with without using harsh metallic salts or zincs like some products use. MultiPhase can be used straight or diluted up to 8:1 and can be fogged, sprayed, injected or used as an additive to your cleaning solution. Best of all, it is 1/3 the price of the “cide” based deodorizers in our industry with superior effectiveness

OdorMate Tropical Breeze – general odors, cooking odors, body odors, and general environment refreshing

 OdorMate Tropical Breeze is a general purpose odor eliminator, deodorizer, and cleaning additive designed for use on odormate-web-largecarpet, upholstery, laundry. It also works extremely well in general space deodorizing. The versatility of  OdorMate Tropical Breeze allows it to be effectively used as a direct spray pairing agent heavy duty deodorizer;  it can be added to most any cleaning solution; and can be applied through a wet fogging machine  Don’t let the light tropical breeze fragrance trick you. Utilizing OdorMate Tropical Breeze will leave any carpet or room smelling clean and refreshed, but it is also a pairing deodorant powerful enough to counteract severe malodors such as cooking odor and body odors. We know these malodor counteractants work by binding to the same odor receptors in the nose as malodors, thereby counteracting the perception of malodors by making those receptors unavailable.

Consumer Series #1 – How to Care for Your Carpet

Soil Tracking Control

Place walk-off mats or grids at the entry points to your home or business. This will help prevent soil from being tracked from the outside onto the inside carpeting. Vacuum and/or clean these mats frequently. Once they become loaded with soil, their effectiveness is greatly reduced.

Vacuuming

Vacuum your carpet frequently using a vacuum with a high efficiency collection bag or system. In high traffic areas, carpet manufacturers recommend you vacuum at least once or twice a week.  Vacuuming removes the sharp and abrasive soil that can cut, scratch, and abrade the fiber causing premature wear. Particulate soiling left in your carpet has sandpaper like effect on the carpet. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Vacuum before the carpet looks soiled. Keep your vacuum in good working condition – check the belts and change the collection bag frequently. Confused about which vacuum to buy? One good source of information is the Carpet and Rug Institute. Click here for more information about the Carpet & Rug Institute’s testing program for commercial and residential vacuums. Another great resource is your local trained and certified carpet cleaning professional. They can provide you with clear recommendations based upon the carpet installed in your home or business the next time they clean your carpet.

Spot and Spill Treatments

Immediate spot removal is the key to a clean carpet. Great care also must be taken in how spot cleaning is performed. When a carpet is new, or has sufficient protector on it, plain tap water will remove many spots. However for those spots that will not move easily with water, you should use a spotting solution specifically designed for carpeting. We recommend getting your carpet spotting solution from your local cleaning professional. They have access to spotting solutions which have been formulated by the same companies who make their professional cleaning solutions. These types of spotters have been demonstrated to be more effective, as well as not to leave sticky residue which can cause your carpet to re-soil rapidly.

Most spot removers that are purchased over the counter at your grocery store or home improvement center leave too much sticky residue and can cause rapid re-soiling or yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product that is not made specifically made for carpet. The longer the spot is allowed to dwell on the carpet, the more chance there is of permanent discoloration.

Blot up any excess spill. Apply spot cleaner sparingly to white cotton towel and gently massage spot causing it to transfer into the cloth. Never pour spot cleaner directly on carpet. Blot area with water. If the spot persists, consult your professional carpet cleaner. Some spots and spills require the professional equipment, cleaning solutions, and skills of a professional. Repeated attempts to remove the spot may set the stain or cause permanent damage.

Professional Cleaning

As a general rule for residential carpeting, cleaning by a professional, trained, certified firm should take place about once per year. For extremely heavy traffic areas, homes with pets, and homes with people with allergic sensitivities and immune-compromised individuals, more frequent cleaning is often required. Proper professional cleaning will not leave a sticky residue behind and can be done as many times per year as needed. Professional cleaning with truckmounted or high performance portable hot water extraction cleaning is the method most often recommended by cleaning industry experts and carpet manufacturers. Professional cleaning removes the damaging abrasive soil, along with sticky and oil based soil that vacuuming can not remove.

For commercial carpeting, periodic professional cleaning with hot water extraction may need to be combined with interim encapsulation low moisture encapsulation cleaning for maximum carpet appearance and performance. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the amount and types of soiling, the traffic load on the carpeting, carpet owner considerations, budget considerations and other indoor and outdoor environmental conditions.

Protective Treatments                                                      

 Residential carpets are treated with stain and soil resistant treatments when they are manufactured.  These protective treatments will wear and traffic off over a period of time. After a period of 1 to 3 years, carpet manufacturers recommend the re-application of a protective treatment such as HydraMaster Complete Guard Carpet Protector to enhance the performance of your carpet. Your carpet protector should provide your carpet with additional soil resistance for water and oil based spills and soiling, as well as protective barriers which prevent spilled liquids from staining your carpet. The soil resistance will help the soil slide off the carpet easier when vacuuming, spots will be easier to remove, and professional cleaning will be more effective.

Warranties

Copies of specific warranties on your carpet purchase may be available from your carpet retailer. Your carpet’s stain and soil resistant warranty, wear warranty, and texture retention warranty most likely requires periodic (at least every 12-18 months) professional hot water extraction cleaning by a trained, certified professional cleaner. Many warranties on your carpet provide coverage for five years or longer if your carpet is maintained according to the manufacturer’s directions.

 

 

 

 

How much should I charge?

By Doyle Bloss    Marketing and Brand Manager

HydraMaster/US Products Pro

Probably the most commonly asked question we hear from professional cleaners is “how much should I charge?” While the often quoted answer is “whatever the market will bear” may sound cute, it does not really answer the question. Why? Because within every market; within every service offering; there are several different “markets.” A lot of what your price should be is determined by the type of market you are going after. The biggest mistake that many new professional cleaners make is using the local competition to set up their price – either being slightly cheaper or slightly more expensive. So what are the most important factors that determine what to charge?

Your cost of doing business

The most important consideration is your cost of doing the service. You may be saying “duh” right now, but it continues to amaze me how many professional cleaners have no clue what their actual costs are. Charging 28 cents a square foot can launch one guy into retirement and send another to the unemployment line! – Everyone’s costs are different. Home based vs. facility, single vs. multi-truck, regional costs, etc.

A reasonable profit margin

If you can not make enough money to stay in business, you are doing your customers a big disservice. You have to be able to make money in order to provide the service that your customer wants and needs. If your customers are not willing to pay a price that allows you to make a reasonable profit, you have one of two choices – get new customers or get a new business.

Your competition

There is something to be said for what your competition is priced at – but not much. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Do they offer the same services you do? Really? Are you sure? What is your service level and how does it differentiate you from other cleaners? The value of your service as determined by your customers is more important than what the competition is charging. Why? Because there are different markets

Determining your market

Your market and the clientele you are directing your service at will greatly influence your price. There are at least three distinctive categories of residential customers who have their carpets professionally cleaned. Howard Partridge calls them KIA customers, Chevy customers, and Mercedes customers. The Mercedes Client (high end) is primarily concerned with your reputation and experience, and is looking for a client experience that goes well beyond having a clean carpet. The Chevy customer is concerned with the value they will get for their investment. The KIA customer is looking for the lowest price .In our industry they have also been defined as “bait and switch” customers, value customers, and high end customers. The wants, needs, and motivations of these three markets are decidedly different.

Reinvesting Strategies

Most people would say that reinvesting strategies would be the same as a “reasonable profit margin,” but not necessarily. This really relates to what type of business you are desiring to build long term. Are you looking to stay an owner operator or become multi-truck? Are you going to expand into restoration? Do you want to have a building dedicated to your business or are you happy with operating out of your home. Wanting your business to become something is not good enough. Planning for it to be something requires that you build in a profit margin to allow you to reinvest in the company toward that goal from day one. This does not preclude you from taking whatever job you can get when you are new or cash-starved. There are plenty of pricing and marketing strategies available to you that can be designed to build your price toward a stronger future and still get the business you need now to make the lease payment or put food on the table.

Your degree of professionalism

In order to reach high end clients, you have to be willing to “play the part.” This does not necessarily mean you have to wear a tuxedo as your company uniform. It does mean you have to make your client comfortable with how you dress, talk, walk, and even letter your van. Have you every heard the term “birds of a feather flock together?” People associate with people who are like them and make them comfortable. It comes down to conformity. If you pride yourself on being a “non-conformist,” that may limit what kind of clientele you seek and what kind of “mark-up” you can put on your services.

Business author Lawrence Steinmetz has defined nine reasons you do not want to deal with a customer who only buys on price. You will have to decide whether you are willing to make the steps in your business that allow you to move your price beyond the latest set of coupons in the local “Val-Pak.”

  • They take all of your time
  • They do all the complaining
  • They forget to pay you
  • They tell other customers how little they paid
  • They drive off good customers
  • They’re not going to buy from you again
  • They’ll require you to “invest up” to supply their needs – and then they’ll blackmail you for yet a lower price.\
  • They destroy the credibility of your price and your product (service) in the eyes of your consumers
  • They will steal any knowledge they can get their hands on so they can do the work themselves

Getting the right kind of advice

If you are relatively new to the cleaning business, you won’t find a shortage of strong opinions about how much to charge and the way to do it. You will find a whole slew of folks talking about how high a price they can get for their cleaning services and a whole other set complaining no one will pay those prices in “their town.” Just be careful about whose advice you listen to. If you determine your price by an unemotional, strategic evaluation like the one above, that needs to be your price. Spend less time asking how much to charge and more time getting advice on how to market your business to get the price you determined you must have to accomplish your personal and business goals.

A Few Questions Answered about the Hydramaster CDS (From Mikeysboard.com)

First off, when was the first unit sold? 39

The HydraMaster CDS Direct Drive Truckmount was introduced around 1985. HydraMaster manufactured a couple of different power take off truckmounts prior to that. I will be glad to send a free insulated six pack cooler (of course propagandized with the HydraMaster logo) to the first two Mikeysboard members who can provide the names of a Direct Drive or Power take off unit produced by HydraMaster before the CDS and post them on this thread. (Hint – check out the “History of HydraMaster Truckmounts video at our youtube library – www.youtube.com/hydramastertv.)

Just how different is that unit from one sold today?

That unit was “powered” by the second drive shaft being driven from the van engine, and the profile of space taken up in the 37-2van and operations panel were very similar. Everything else – vacuum blower, solution flow, waste tank, heat exchangers have all had several revisions – most were tweaks but some were major enhancements.

Is it the best selling CDS/PTO unit of all time?

Without a doubt. The CDS remains the number one choice of both fleet and independent operators for direct drive and power take off truckmounts. All three of our major competitors in this area make formidable machines, but the CDS continues to stack up against them very well. Local distributors for installation and service remain a very important factor to most purchasers of direct-drive units.

What is your guess (or maybe you know and are willing to share) on how much longer the public will be able to buy a HM CDS in a Econoline or GMC Savanna/Chevy Express?

The Chevy Cargo van is scheduled at the present time to be manufactured through at least the model year 2018.We look at the new models every year well in advance of their “release” to the public. Generally, a tweak or two in installation is required with each new van year. We expect that would remain the same with these vans and vans into the future.

We are aware there is a lot of information flowing around the industry about vans and how they may change truckmounts in the future. Much of it is based in more here say than fact.  Slide-ins and direct drives will both be affected by these changes. For instance, safety demands already require the installation of a deckplate onto the floor of all unibody vans before a slide-in truckmount can be safely installed (bolted down). A lot of cleaners miss this detail when deciding to purchase a unibody van such as a Ford Transit. No matter who’s truckmount you buy, plan on spending extra dollars for this deckplate with any truckmount installed in a unibody van. Our distributors have already done many HydraMaster slide-in installs into unibody vans, but there is an extra expense versus a standard cargo van (Ford, Chevy, GMC, Nissan, Dodge ProMaster) or box truck,.

The future of power take off and/or direct drive units installed in some of the new vehicle designs may take on a number of forms. Tailshaft power take offs; transmission power take offs,; water and oil hydraulics, pneumatic power, direct driving the blower from the engine within the engine compartment; and alternative fuels are all ideas that have been visited or tried, and may be revisited and evaluated in the future. Some do not have the best track record in our industry, but major improvements in technology can open up or re-open up some or all of these as potential power sources. Our crack staff of Engineers is presently working on the long awaited Flux capacitor powered by Mr. Fusion for the next generation of Direct Drive units.

Rest assured, direct drive and/or power take off units have a long and fruitful life ahead of them in the industry, especially with emission restrictions continuing to reduce so many of the water cooled or air cooled engine alternatives available. California may eventually require high powered squirrels running on hamster wheels to power green reduced-emission truckmounts.

Are all units sold today incorporating the Salsa heat or is that still an option?

The Salsa is an option.

Do you have design patents in place or has it just been luck that no other company has made their interpretation of the design?DSCF0098

Both. Plus, we have never rested on our laurels. As we discuss in the next question, we are working right now on several improvements and enhancements to keep the CDS as the number one selling direct drive unit.

Are there any big or small changes to the design to look forward too?

We are presently testing a number of small changes on the current generation of CDS to improve the customer’s & installer’s experience with the machine. Expect a few things like ease of access for maintenance, improved part life, heat exchanger enhancements and simplification which increase performance, some component protection, as well as some changes to make the installation quicker and easier.

A current unit burns how much fuel per cleaning hour at Full Speed Ahead?

1.6 – 1.8gph, approximately the same fuel consumption as a mid-range slide in unit.

What is the current cost for a fully decked out unit in a GM van? (shelves, waterpond, softener etc) Advantage CDS install 5

$22,116 to around $31,000 depending upon the accessories and type of tank, and options for Salsa and APO. I am sure our friends at Sapphire Scientific appreciate you mentioning the Water Pond, which has been installed with a few HydraMaster truckmounts. For some reason we are biased toward the HydraMaster HydraCradle or one of our other four fresh water tank options. J

On average, how long does it take before major issues start happening with the van assuming the unit is used full time?

We have many units with over 10,000 hours that have yet to have a major issue. However, it is a reasonable expectation that the CDS runs for three years or more (with proper preventative maintenance) without major issues.

What is involved time and cost wise in switching a used unit to to a new van?

It depends upon the unit set up and the van and that cost is determined by the distributor who is doing the switch. We do not do “van switches” at the factory but do provide technical support to distributors who do.

What are the most important aspects of weekly or monthly maintenance to preserve the CDS system and it’s components?

Daily servicing of the recovery tank filters, rinsing out the recovery tank, and blower lubrication; weekly check for loose bolts and inspect hoses; monthly check drive belts; and every 500 hours lubricate driveshaft and change pump and blower oil. For more information, you can access and download all of our machine manuals on our website- http://www.hydramaster.com/Portals/0/Manuals/CDS_46_48/Maint_Schedule_CDS.pdf.

Does the new natural gas option add any life to the van’s engine?

Running any engine on CNG may improve the life of the engine oil (less carbon in the oil), which has a direct effect on engine life (less bearing wear over time resulting in a generally smoother running engine at high mileage). One could expect some overall life increase of the CNG-powered van, but we have many cases of properly-maintained vans running for over 10 to 15yrs+. Of course, the CNG will have a higher resale value, and certainly the CNG conversion will have paid for itself many times over by that point. Since the CDS installation in a CNG-powered van has only been in the field for 18 months, we don’t have any quantifiable numbers available yet on this. The main benefits of the conversion are fuel costs savings, some potential tax benefits, and marketability.

Should an owner use cleaning hours to factor in transmission servicing?

As a general rule,  each hour of machine run time is the equivalent of 30 miles, so yes.

Is there anything special to look forward to at the HydraMaster booth’s at The Experience this September?

You mean besides participating in the big Mikeyfest demonstration event outside in the demo truck area? What could possibly measure up to that? We will be there with all guns blazing. If I told you anything else , you would have to enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.

http://www.hydramaster.com/Portals/0/Products/CDS%20booklet%20web.pdf

Developing a Planned Commercial Carpet Maintenance Program

 

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Analyzing Building Use and Floor Plan

To set up a Planned Commercial Maintenance Program several aspects need to be taken into Blueprint 3consideration.

1. The type of building involved, single or multistory, size of building. This will determine to a large extent the type of carpet cleaning equipment that will be used.

2. The type of commercial activity involved needs to be considered. This will determine the length of time between cleanings, how much time is allowed to complete the cleaning,  and whether or not the building or area can be shut down during the cleaning process.  The type and amount of traffic has a bearing on the cleaning schedule.

3. The exterior of the building is an important area for planned maintenance. A lot of soils are tracked in or carried in with air currents. Proper cleaning of parking lots and entrance aprons to buildings, entrance mats both exterior and interior should be planned.

4. A floor plan of each level of the building needs to be considered and areas assigned a category for proper cleaning schedules to be determined. Potential sources for a copy of the floor plan include an evacuation plan and blueprints.

Note on a facility map the primary areas of concern:

–     Track-off areasBlueprint

–     Funnel areas

–     Main traffic areas

–     Spot prone areas

5. The next step in the analysis is that the type of floor covering in each area needs to be determined. Where they are located in relation to each other and in the building should be taken into consideration.  A hard surface floor preceding carpet will require the carpet to be vacuumed and cleaned more frequently, due to soils being tracked off of the tile floors.  As you proceed further into the building, or in the case of a high rise, up the floors in a building, it is especially important to note the type of floor covering. The first are where carpet is the dominant floor covering reallyHard Surface Floors 12.13 serves as a giant “walk-off mat” for the rest of the building and will need to have more frequent deep, restorative cleanings. The square footage of each area needs to be known.

A. Hard surface:

Concrete:  Sealed, unsealed, polished, stamped. Painted, type of paint, waxed, condition, grade level.

Vinyl: Type, Manufacture, Condition, Previous maintenance, Manufacturer’s recommended maintenance

VCT or Resilient tile: Type, Condition, Age, Asbestos content, intended use, types of floor finish needed, types of floor machines that can be used in that location.

Wood: Type – solid, engineered, laminate. Type of finish, condition

Ceramic tile, Saltillo

Terrazzo – polishing techniques

Stone – geology, construction, polishing techniques

B. Carpet:commercial-carpet-tile

  • Type of carpet,  type of construction, type of fibers, style, dye methods, manufacturer’s  cleaning recommendations, type of installation.

Components of a Planned Maintenance Program

1. Soil Prevention: Attention should be given to the exterior of the building to see that the parking lots are being properly maintained and cleaned. The entrance of the building needs to be power-washed to prevent dirt from being tracked in. Proper mats should be utilized outside the entrancewalkoffMatsImage and inside the entrance of the building and properly maintained. One way to properly maintain these mats is to use a professional cleaning service for mats. These mats need to be large enough to allow people to make about three to four footsteps across the mat to properly clean shoes. All potted plants need to have plastic protectors placed under them to prevent stains on the carpet.

2. Daily Maintenance: Most areas need to be vacuumed daily and check for spots.

3. Interim Maintenance Cleaning: This is the carpet cleaning that is done in between corrective or restorative cleaning. This is accomplished by low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning or surface hot water extraction cleaning. Other methods employed may be absorbent pad, absorbent compound, or dry foam shampoo carpet cleaning. This is done on an as needed basis.

4. Restorative or Corrective Cleaning: This is accomplished using a truck-mounted or high performance portable hot water extraction machine. In some severe cases the carpet can be cleaned with a shampoo system first which gives superior agitation and then followed with a HWE to insure complete removal of the detergents.

Recommended Cleaning Frequencies

Soil and Traffic Level Vacuum Spot Removal Appearance Maintenance

Cleaning

Restorative Cleaning
Light

Private offices, cubicles

 

2+ times

per week

As needed 2-4 times

per year

1 times

per year

Medium

Interior hallways, shared offices, conference rooms

 

3+ times

per week

As needed 4 times

per year

2 times

per year

Heavy

General entrances, lobbies, main hallways

 

1+ times

per day

As needed 4-6 times

per year

2-4 times

per year

Severe

Severe climate general entrances, food service

1+ times

per day

As needed N.A. 12+ times

per year

 

Assign Area Designations

Each area of the building needs to be assigned a category based upon the amount of traffic it receives or type of area it is. Then a maintenance program can be established based upon each area. Always consider the profile (high-medium-low) of the area by understanding the usage and importance of an area: areas that customers go; VIP offices, conference rooms, etc…

Note that in your cleaning schedule, all procedures that are in red and underlined are the variables in method and frequency which may be employed. This also can be used to customize to the specific equipment and brand being employed.Blue  print 2

Putting the Plan on Paper

  • Prepare and use drawings. Color code each room of carpet to the category it fits best.
  • You can use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word® to customize procedures
  • You can use a graphics program (Microsoft Publisher®, Adobe InDesign) or even a painting program to make the color coded map.
  • You will note in each section below that the terms and words that are italicized are those that are variable to your specific client and to your company. These are the areas where you customize the quote to fit your company and the facility you are bidding on.

Category 1:  Severe Traffic Areas:

Examples: Airports, Entries to Hospitals, Malls & Theaters

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider use of a pile lifter monthly. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a monthly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

 

Category 2:  Heavy Traffic Areas:

Examples: entrances, showrooms, lobbies, corridors, stairs, hallways, retail sales floors, executive offices, clerical office areas, food service areas, elevators, channeled traffic flow areas, break rooms, mail rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a monthly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a quarterly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 3:  Medium Traffic Areas:

Examples: some hallways, shared offices, conference rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a quarterly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a monthly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air 1uality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 4:  Light Traffic Areas:

Examples: Private Offices & Cubicles

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a weekly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on an as needed basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Each Customized Program Should Include:

  • Color Coded Map
  • Written Procedures Plan
  • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annual Procedures
  • Follow-Up On Every Job
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Water Damage and Intrusion Plan

 

 

Cleaning the “New” Softer Carpets

By:          Doyle Bloss, Marketing and Brand Manager, HydraMaster   Rick Evans, West Coast Regional Manager, HydraMaster

With the assistance of Charles Rollins and Darrell Hagan, Shaw Industries – Product Care and Maintenance

What are these “softer” carpets?

They are incredibly thin denier (thickness) cut-pile and loop carpets presented in a plush, high pile density format. They range in ounce size from 50-100 ounce (apartment grade carpet is generally 20-28 ounce). They are typically designed for high-end residential settings. However, some hospitality companies are considering for using in high end hotel rooms.

The formats for the carpets differ from carpet mill to carpet mill. Shaw Industries product is identified as Caress®, made of type 6 nylon. Invista manufactures StainMaster® Trusoft® which is made of type 6,6 nylon. Mohawk’s Smartstrand® is made of PTT polyester fiber. Beaulieu sells Bliss SoftSense® which is also made from Polyester.

They are relatively new product offering with Shaw introducing Caress in January of 2013. However, they are gaining market share in the carpet market rapidly. Many old-time carpet cleaners believe this is because they have finally identified and marketed one of the main reasons why people buy carpet – softness. The ads for these carpets reflect this, showing happy families with their pets playing, laying, rolling, and jumping on their new soft carpet. When you get a chance to visit a retail showroom and feel this carpet for the first time, the softness of the fiber strikes you instantly. With many of these carpets now being installed for over a year, your chances of having to clean one increase daily.

Difficulty in Vacuuming

This softer carpet provides obvious benefits to the homeowner, particularly one who enjoys the floor(s) of the room it is installed in. However, just as your hands and toes sink into the thick soft pile, so does the cleaning head of your typical vacuum cleaner. More power just means more fiber getting sucked into the head reducing or stopping airflow through the vacuum. This makes vacuuming more difficult to do.

The carpet manufacturers themselves have even a bigger concern than vacuuming taking longer. They are even concerned about texture damage to the ends of the thin carpet fibers themselves. In fact many of the same vacuums they have recommended in the past (such as those that have passed the CRI Seal of Approval Program for Vacuums – http://www.carpet-rug.org/CRI-Testing-Programs/CRI-Seal-of-Approval-Program/Vacuums/Certified-Vacuums.aspx ) they do not recommend for these softer carpets. For example, Shaw Industries now does specific testing of vacuums for use on Caress carpet, and they approve and recommend a specific group of vacuums  – http://shawfloors.com/tips-trends/luxurious-carpet/carpet-care/vacuuming/which-vacuum-models-are-recommended-by-shaw.

Here is an update on Shaw Industries research on vacuums from Darrell Hagan – the Manager of Product Care and Maintenance:

 “Vacuums work best when the brush roll is turned on vacuuming this soft carpet.  I believe the key is airflow, as you mentioned.  One thing in common with some of the vacuums is the plate underneath the vacuum head has slots which allow air to flow underneath the vacuum to keep it from sealing off on the carpet.  Also, vacuums are being modified to have pressure relief valves to reduce suction which allows the vacuum to move across the carpet.  The difference in the soft carpet vs. traditional carpet is that suction isn’t the key, we believe it is the agitation of the brush roll that is key to cleaning the soft yarn carpets.”

Potential Issues Related to Professional Carpet Cleaning

While the evaluation of issues that vacuums might have with this softer carpet pile can teach us some things related to how various carpet cleaning wands and agitation methods might work or not work on this type of carpet; this conjecture was not enough to satisfy the Product Care and Maintenance folks at Shaw Industries. Recently, Charlie Rollins and Darrell Hagan for Shaw Product Care and Maintenance flew to HydraMaster headquarters in Mukilteo, Washington to do some testing on the interaction of various cleaning tools (specifically hot water extraction wands and power wands) with this softer carpet. I had been in contact with Charlie and Darrell asking them questions about this, and with HydraMaster being one of the leading innovators and developers in carpet cleaning wand technology; it only made sense to start their testing here. Specifically, Shaw and HydraMaster wanted to look at three areas for evaluation:

  1. The use of Rotary Jet Extraction on these types of carpets with the RX-20.
  2. The Evolution Wand – how did the built in molded glides assist or restrict cleaning of these carpet fibers and what were the differences between a 1.5” wand and a 2” wand.
  3. Was there chemistry which stood out in performance to assist cleaning these carpets, specifically in the area of presprays used as a lubricating application to make the wand easier to move across the carpet?

Specifically, the testing team was looking to see the effects that cleaning these types of carpets with existing technology in truckmounted equipment and cleaning wands might result in changes in:

  • Productivity
  • Texture Change/Damage
  • Drying Time
  • Spots and Stains
  • Any Specific Tool Related Issues

 The Testing

  • 60, 70 and 100 ounce cut pile Shaw Caress carpets were used in the testing.

Picture of carpets

  • A HydraMaster Boxxer XL Truckmount was used. We were cleaning 150 feet from the truck, with the solution temperature at the wand constantly being monitored with an in-line pressure and temperature measuring device. Temperature settings on the machine were purposely varied from 180-245°F.

Boxxer xl

  • The first thing we tested were HydraMaster’s sister company, Advance Commercial Vacuums, leading models and how they performed on vacuuming the carpets.

Advance vacuum

  • We tested with various types of conventional scrub wands

Conventional scrub wand

  • We tested cleaning with both 1.5” and 2” versions of the Evolution Wand with molded glides

Evolution wand

  • Finally, we tested with the RX-20 Rotary Jet Extractor

RX20

Results and Findings

Overall, the results of our testing alleviated or reduced any fears or misgivings about the “cleanability” of these carpets. We found the carpets overall to be very responsive to vacuuming, cleaning, and spot and stain removal. Certainly one of the reasons for this is the high quality of the carpets themselves. A 60, 70, or 100 ounce carpet does not come inexpensively. I will tell you after completing the tests, everyone at HydraMaster involved in the testing were ready to go home and put this carpet down in their living rooms. The luxurious feel of these carpets can simply not be denied. We can see why these carpets are gaining market share fast.

Results

We did find that one of the things we anticipated held true. Certified and trained professional carpet cleaners have long known that plush cut pile carpets virtually always requires some specific care considerations. As with all plush, cut pile style carpeting, special attention must be given to monitoring the potential for scrub wand jet streaking.

Wand marks 2Wand marks 1

Variables include

  • Type and number of jets on the wand
  • Proximity of the jets to the carpet pile
  • Angle of jets to the carpet pile
  • Wear on the orifices of the jets themselves – make sure you replace your jets at regular intervals recommended by your wand manufacturer. If the orifice becomes too large, this can contribute to jet streaking.
  • Temperature of solution being produced at the wand jet tip
  • Taking a dry stroke or pass only
  • Post cleaning grooming

 

Productivity Best Practices

General cleaning considerations

These practices were developed after repeated tests to see how to increase cleaning speed, avoid any agitation/texture change related issues, and a very important item considering the plushness of these carpets – reducing drying times. Can you clean these carpets safely and effectively with “normal” cleaning procedures? The answer is yes. These procedures are designed to speed up the process without compromising quality cleaning.

  • Carpet grooming with Grandi-Groomer is highly recommended after cleaning (faster and more effective than grooming brush)
  • Carpet density mandates using airmovers post cleaning to reduce drying times

Using Cleaning Wands

  • 2” scrub wands are very difficult to move across a 100 ounce carpet connected to a truckmount.
  • Dry strokes (vacuum only wand passes) are absolutely necessary
  • Use of the Evolution wand reduced drying times in comparison to conventional wands.
  • Glided wands will be an absolute must! Slotting in the glide is important too.
  • A Continuous overlapping wet pass, followed by continuous overlapping dry pass cleaned the fastest, worked best, and dried the fastest

Using Rotary Extraction Tools Such As the RX-20 Rotary Jet Extraction® Tool

  • The RX20 worked extremely well on 60 and 70 ounce carpets. Use on a 100 ounce carpet required a great deal of strength and stamina. See chemical prespray directions below, as the use of a lubricating prespray helped considerably.
  • Swirl “marks” groomed out right away and are not a concern
  • There was no visible physical texture change from rotary action. Even at abuse level (no water lubrication) there was no pile texture damage visible. (Of course, we did this to measure “worse case scenario,” you should never operate any rotary extraction tool without water or prespray).
  • The use of a rotary extraction tool is highly recommended for productivity and reduced drying times on 60 and 70 ounce carpets.

Cleaning Solution Consideration

The use of a high quality carpet prespray is a must when cleaning these types of carpets. The prespray helps to lubricate the carpet so that the scrub wand or rotary extraction wand flows more smoothly across the carpet. As a general rule, detergent free or soap free formulas such as CleanMaster HydraFREE DFC will not provide the level of lubrication you want on these soft carpets. Since these carpets are made of either nylon or polyester, you can use most of your favorite carpet presprays. However, we had great results cleaning our test samples after soiling built up with CleanMaster Fast Break HD and CleanMaster PolyBreak as presprays. We also found that if you wanted to use an alkaline extraction rinse, HydraClean worked extremely well. If you prefer an acid neutralizing rinse, our studies showed that a solution which does have detergency in it, like CleanMaster ClearWater Rinse worked extremely well.

From a spot and stain removal point of view, the high quality of these carpets means that they are more likely to resist staining from common spills than an apartment grade nylon or polyester carpet. When a staining material such as children’s fruit drinks was applied, it usually extracted out during cleaning. When we purposefully tried to stain the carpet, and agitated the spilled material down into the carpet and waited 48 hours before treatment began, we had excellent results removing stains with CleanMaster RedBreak 1 or CleanMaster KnockOut 1, depending upon the composition of the staining material. At no time, other than with mustard was acceleration with heat from a steam iron or wallpaper steamer necessary. That certainly does not mean these carpets are “stain-proof,” and we know your customer’s children will answer the call to eventually provide a more difficult stain, but based upon the limited testing we did on these types of carpets, they certainly responded well to spot and stain removal treatments. We also found that using a sub-surface spotting extraction tool, such as a Water Claw® or FlashXtractor®, on larger liquid spills helped reduce any chances of spilled materials wicking to the surface of the carpet pile later.

One final thought and finding related to spot and stain removal – due to the plush nature of the carpet pile, if grease and oil spilled contaminants were rubbed into the carpet, or “ground-in” with foot traffic, it was important to agitate solvent spotters and gels into the affected area to increase speed and efficiency at removal. We believe this same principle would hold true if these carpets are subjected to long term high levels of oil based soiling and traffic; i.e., that using the right prespray, and mechanical agitation such as using a Counter Rotating Brush (CRB) will be necessary to increase cleaning speed and effectiveness, especially with those made of polyester carpet fiber.

So what is A Professional Carpet Cleaner to Do?

The good news is you are already likely equipped with all of the tools and chemistry needed to effectively clean this carpet. More importantly though, you may need to slow down and approach these carpets with a kinder, gentler set of procedures. You may have to clean them with a little more thought and observation as to how the cleaning tools are going across the carpet and what kind of texture change is occurring from your cleaning tools. Without a doubt, drying time is going to be extended if these carpets are allowed to reach an unacceptable soiling level. You can get them clean, but it will take more wet passes. The manufacturers of these carpets recommend cleaning every 12-24 month basis with hot water extraction cleaning. Some require this as a provision of their texture retention or stain resistant warranty. Educate your customers to this fact so that their cleaning frequency does not allow the carpet to become extremely soiled. This will allow them to get the full benefit of these soft, plush, and luxurious carpets. Then everyone is happy.

Asphalt Oil Tracking and Carpet Cleaning

Brand New Commercial Carpet + Freshly Treated Asphalt Parking Lot Outside = Bad Combination.

HydraMaster Quake HD + HydraMaster HydraBoost CT= Good combination

 asphalt parking lot

 

You have probably seen it without even realizing what the problem was. Yellow or dingy traffic lanes on glue down commercial carpet that has not been installed that long. One of the most common problems facing commercial buildings that adjoin asphalt parking lots when it comes to commercial carpet maintenance is asphalt oil tracking. The worst tracking occurs when the parking lot has a special coating of oil applied. Before it completely dries, people are walking across the parking lot picking up oil and soil and pebbles on the bottom of their shoes. Even if walk-off mats are installed, some of the soiling eventually gets walked on or tracked on to the carpet. Even if the parking lot is not coated, in especially hot weather, oils usually weep out of the asphalt, causing the same problem. These oils that get tracked onto the carpet become oxidized and turn the carpet yellow or dingy.

 

The professional cleaner often comes up with his super powered truckmount, expecting that they can clean anything. They throw their favorite prespray at it, and still the yellow or dingy look is obvious even after cleaning.

 

The answer lies in the right combination of cleaning chemistry, aggressive agitation, and hot cleaning solution temperature. Even the most powerful grease and oil cutting prespray like HydraMaster Quake HD needs help with oxidized oil build-up on carpeting. To remove the oxidized oils, simply mix up HydraMaster Quake HD according to directions, and add two ounces of HydraBoost CT to each gallon of mixed traffic lane cleaner. Apply the prespray/booster combo as hot as you can, preferably though an in-line injection sprayer. Agitate it in, preferably with a counter-rotating cylindrical brush machine. If you do not have a machine like that, use your carpet groomer or brush to agitate the mixture in. Allow 3 to 5 minutes of dwell time. For best results, extract with a HydraMaster truckmount with 220 degree water solution temperature utilizing an HydraMaster RX-20 Rotary Jet Extractor. If you don’t have an RX-20, then take an extra wet and extra dry stroke across the carpet.

 

The ingredients in HydraBoost CT will almost work like magic in combination with your prespray to break down and strip off of the carpet the oxidized oil build-up from the asphalt oils.