How clean is clean? (Part 2)

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Let’s look at the Dry Powder Method of cleaning carpets next.

Dry Powder Method

This method is often called “dry cleaning” and it really means LOW MOISTURE carpet cleaning systems that remove soil by absorption or transference.

In this method, dry absorbent compound (containing small amounts of water, detergent, and solvent,) is sprinkled over carpet or worked into the carpet with a machine. The purpose of this cleaner is to attract and absorb soil. Mechanical agitation from a brush works the cleaner through the carpet.

These products usually contain an absorbent carrier, water, detergent, and solvent. The theory is that the liquids dissolve the soil and this soil/detergent/solvent mixture is absorbed into the carrier and is then vacuumed up. They are often used with a detergent pre-spray in heavily soiled areas.

Most commonly the absorbent cleaner is organic, but may also be polymers. The compound is supposed to absorb the dislodged soil and is then vacuumed away. Carpets must be thoroughly vacuumed before and after cleaning because it is important that most of the carrier comes out of the carpet. If not, with the extremely fine powder types, indoor air quality can be reduced. If a white powder starts appearing on shoes and cuffs of pants, too much was used and it was not thoroughly vacuumed up. A common problem is for this white powder to reappear after wet extraction cleaning.

The benefits of low moisture cleaning include fast production, fast dry times, and low cost. Not surprisingly, this makes it a common maintenance cleaner.

The downside is that this method leaves dry sponge particles at the base of the carpet yarn, and because the carpet is not rinsed, this is also not a restorative method.

Part 1 | Part 3