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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Question

My client rents square "carpet tiles" (450mm x 450mm) to the exhibition industry. Between every exhibition these tiles have to be cleaned - 10% of which will have marks on them. Any suggestions on the most efficient way to do this?


Answer

Answer: # 1.
Set up a worktable at the job site or in your shop where you can use commerical-spotting agents in conjunction with a small vapor cleaning machine (some have vacuum ability) and or a small carpet spotting extractor with a hand extraction tool(some heat the water). I have also seen a couple of pieces of equipment that are made for cleaning large numbers of individual carpet tile that are not attached to the floor.
Bill Griffin,
Cleaning Consultant Services, Inc.
wgriffin@cleaningConsultants.com
P-206-682-9748

Answer # 2.
The most labor efficient way to clean all the tiles would be in-place. If you have large areas as indicated, you will want to eliminate double handling.
ISSA 447 Cleaning Times lists two methods over 5,000 square feet per man-hour. First, is the interim low moisture method using a 30” dual counter-rotating brush machine. Along with a dry foam shampoo, you will need a solvent spotter for grease, paint, chewing gum, and oil and also a coffee stain remover. Generally, these three products will be effective on 99% of what you will run into.
The other method is hot water extraction with a 28” self-contained self-propelled battery operated unit. This restorative method is best performed with a pre-spray of heavy spots. Then add ¼ oz. per gal of a professional extraction cleaner to the 25 gal. solution tank (to soften hard water and help in soil suspension). I would not recommend a riding extractor, as the tiles can peel up and suffer damage from the machine. As with all cleaning methods, check out the carpet mfgr. cleaning instructions first.
During the extraction process, you will need the two spot removers. When you spray out the spots with the pre-spray solution, add a tennis shoe agitation to difficult spills. If the first pass fails to remove all the spots, apply the solvent and extract (best to apply solvent with a trigger sprayer and agitate with tennis shoe). If the spot still remains, apply acidic spotter (coffee stain remover, rinse agent diluted 1:5, or browning spotter) and extract (agitation is not required).
By the time you empty and refill the machine, pre-spary and perform spotting - don’t expect to exceed 3,500 square feet per hour per 2-man crew.
You will want additional spotters on hand along with specific instructions. If the tiles are light in color and the carpet warranty allows, machine streaks can be removed and drying time reduced 40% by running a dry bonnet immediately following extraction (a 20” 350 rpm is best).
An alternate method is to sort tiles when packing out and only clean the 10% that are visibly soiled. If tiles are soil damaged, a rotary bonnet/brush pre-scrub with a shower feed tank may be required. If the tiles are unstable, you may need to clean them with a wand.
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com