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Friday, October 09, 2015


I am currently carpet cleaning 18 retail stores with heavily used traffic lanes. I have tried bonnet and extraction cleaning with a portable extractor. I am still seeing large areas of wicking. I am trying to decide which is the best type of cleaning method, bonnet, extraction, or encapsulation. Any suggestions? Thank you.


Answer # 1.
For best results you will need to use more than one method. I suggest the following: For interim cleanings and in those areas that do not receive a lot of tracked-in particulate soil: Encapsulation cleaning. For periodic restoration cleanings and regularly in those areas that receive the most traffic and particulate soil: Extraction cleaning using an extraction system capable of three-dimensional cleaning. The systems capable of this include truckmounts, high-performance wand-style portables as these machines typically have heaters, multiple vacuum motors, and solution pumps capable of at least 200 p.s.i. and high-flow extractors. I hope this helps.
John Downey,

Answer # 2.
Wicking is the movement of moisture in the carpet to the air above it. This is the natural means by which carpet fibers dry after wet cleaning. When various soils and detergent residues are contained in the water, as it dries into the air the contaminants will concentrate at or near the tips of the yarn filaments and become visible.
To eliminate this, the loosened, dissolved soil carried in the water must be fully removed by through rinsing and careful extraction vacuuming. The more quickly the carpet dries, the less chance there is of soil wicking to the tips fiber filaments. In some cases, wicking residue can be prevented or removed by bonneting cleaning the surface yarns either before or after drying. This works well because little or no moisture is introduced to the fibers when the light surface soil is absorbed onto bonnet. However, if you soak the pads or over wet the yarns when applying the cleaning solution, you may experience wicking. Bonnet cleaning is best done by spraying a light mist of cleaning solution onto a limited area and, after a few minutes “dwell time”, removing the loosened soil with a damp absorbent pad. It is critical to not overlook the importance of a thorough dry pre-vacuuming before cleaning. This is done to remove as much of the dry unbonded soils from the yarns and on the surface of the carpet prior to bonnet, wet or any other method of carpet cleaning. Poor vacuuming between interim cleanings may result in an abundance of fine soils deep within the carpet pile, which will be drawn to yarn tips when the moisture wicks to the surface of the carpet.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN-ATEX associate editor