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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Question

I do cleaning for a Headstart school, and now that school is out for the summer, all the furniture is moved, the VCT could use some scrubbing, the carpet is very badly stained with food and drinks. What is the best method to use to clean the carpet? Hot water extraction did not work because some of the spots resurfaced.


Answer

What is required is a deep restorative process. A child care facility encounters heavy spills and rapid growth of micro-organisms. Hot water extraction works best to destroy dust mites and bacteria, and flush all the critters from the carpet.
First, check the carpet manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures. If bonnet cleaning is prohibited, then your options are limited. If you can use a bonnet, and assuming the carpet is heavily soiled, here is the best approach:

1. Pre-spray the carpet with a professional strength pre-conditioner or traffic lane cleaner. Dampen a cotton bonnet and pre-scrub the carpet. Use a solvent spotter for chewing gum, tar, crayons, grease, etc. and an acidic spotter for soft drinks and colored stains.
2. Using extremely hot water, extract the area until it is visibly clean.
3. Mist an acidic rinse agent diluted 1:5 with water on the carpet, and bonnet buff with a dry bonnet. Make sure you only buff an area that is still damp from extraction. If possible, place an air handler to speed the drying process.
4. If spots return in 24-48 hours, mist the area with an encapsulation cleaner and buff one more time.
What you have experienced is wicking (capillary action) resulting from heavy liquid spills working back to the surface from deep in the pile as the fibers dry. Go ahead and allow this to happen and then return to bonnet clean those spots. Once you provide this deep restorative process, subsequent cleanings should be much easier. If the carpet is only mildly soiled, you could pre-spray, extract, and then bonnet. And, for interim touch up, encapsulation is a great way to go.
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com