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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Question

1) Do acid and alkaline agents have effects on carpets when being used? (2) Is only carpet shampoo to be used on carpet? (3) Is it appropriate to use hot water on carpet, too?


Answer

John Downey sent in an answer, but I accidently deleted it, so I'll try to cover the questions.
(1) In general, carpets are acid dyed. Soils tend to be acid, so we use detergents that are alkaline to release them from the fibers. Often, an acidic rinse agent will be used to restore the mildly acidic state that is natural. Very strong acids and alkalines are damaging to most fibers and must be avoided.
(2) Carpet shampoo or other carpet detergent solutions are formulated for soil release from fibers. Some are fiber specific. It would be just good judgment to stay with something developed for a specific purpose. Home chemistry can be risky.
(3) Hot water aids in soil release, especially grease-based soils. Rinsing can be done with either hot or cold water, but many prefer hot to save on chemical residue and to help restore the pile. If the carpet has a lot of detergent residue in it, hot water will activate the suds more readily than cold.
Any water used on carpet should be extracted as completely as possible to reduce drying times.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com