Successful Carpet Cleaners Guide

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Tom: With all the hoses and the accessories, it looks all quite confusing. What do you actually have? I mean you’ve got this machine, this portable machine. Obviously, it does something. Can you explain to them what it actually does?

Col: Yes.

Tom: … and what we connect up to it, and how it all works? Can you just give them an overview?

Col: Okay.

Tom: Just kind of lead us into the different types of carpet cleaning equipment that are out there.

Col: Yeah, okay. We mentioned earlier on about having a portable machine. Now, what is a portable machine? Well, it’s basically a big container that holds clean water in one side, collects dirty water in the other side. It’s got a pressure pump to squirt the water out and it’s got a vacuum to pull it back in.

Tom: It’s pushing water out and sucking the water back again out of the carpet?

Col: Yeah. You’ve got our big vacuum hose that the air flow and the water, dirty water comes back in but you’ve got a smaller hose which is under higher pressure that squirts out to the wand, that squirts down into the carpet and picks up the detergent and the soil in the carpet, pulls it back in, clicks it in the machine.

Tom: That’s interesting, so you’re pushing water in but at the same time, you’re sucking it back out again with it some water and detergent in and then you suck it back through the carpet.

Col: No. We’d put the detergent down as a pre-spray.

Tom: I got you, okay.

Col: Yeah. That gives the detergent time to work and of course, it means then that all we put in the machine is plain ordinary water so we’ve actually incorporated a rinse into the process.

Tom: That’s interesting.

Col: Now, that water goes down into the carpet, does a U-turn, picks up the detergent and the soil that’s already softened up and ready to go and pulls it back to the machine.

Tom: You’ve got your two hoses connected to the machine and then you’ve got a … Did you say it’s a wand? Is that correct?

Col: Yeah, we call it a wand.

Tom: Why do you call it a wand? Does it do magic or something?

Col: It performs magic on the carpet, yes.

Tom: Who came up with that name?

Col: I don’t know.

Tom: Has it always been called a wand? Is it a carpet cleaning term?

Col: Yeah. As far as I know, yes.

Tom: That’s the actual hose that actually does the water delivery and the suction bag. That’s what you mean by the wand.

Col: Yeah.

Tom: Is there any other accessories or bits and pieces you need for cleaning carpet? Do you just need that portable machine or do you need like a …

Col: You need a scrubbing machine.

Tom: What’s the scrubbing machine?

Col: Okay. It’s like a modified floor polishing machine. Rather than scratching up the floor, you put a soft bristle brush under it or there’s certain types of pads you can use.

Tom: What machines do you need to actually clean your carpet effectively?

Col: Right. Well, for start, you need a vacuum cleaner. Yep, get rid of all the dry soils or as much of the dry soils as you can by just simply vacuuming the carpet. You need a good vacuum cleaner to start with. You need a better vacuum cleaner than what your customers got. No point turning up with a balmy old little suction type cleaner. No, you’ve got to have the right professional-looking gear.

Tom: You vacuum first.

Col: Vacuum first. Yep.

Tom: Then, what do you do?

Col: Then, we’re going to maybe do some spot cleaning on some really difficult spots. Then, we’re going to apply the detergent. We spray the detergent onto the carpet. We might then agitate that detergent. Particularly if we’ve got a heavy soiling situation, we’ll give the detergent a bit of assistance by just giving that some agitation.

Tom: I understand. You’re talking about agitating the … spraying the detergent and then agitating the carpet?

Col: Yeah. That’s essential to do, is provide some form of agitation and that gets the soil out of the fibres into the solution and now, we pick that up with the hot water extraction rinse.

Tom: Right, okay and that’s it? Then, you’re done pretty much?

Col: No. You’ve still got to groom the carpet afterwards.

Tom: What does that mean?

Col: That means raking the pile so it all sits nice and evenly. Too often, I see carpet cleaners leaving these big zigzag marks or whatever that happened.

Tom: Yeah, I’ve seen that actually.

Col: Some real estate agents think, “Oh, the carpet hasn’t been cleaned unless it’s got these big zigzag marks all over the carpet.” No, that actually indicates very poor operator usage of the wand. Only half the carpet is actually getting that second dry vac pass.

Tom: Right. It’s getting technical now.

Col: Okay. Sorry.

Tom: Just to summarise, it sounded like you need three bits of equipment. You need a vacuum cleaner.

Col: Yes.

Tom: A floor scrubber, is that right?

Col: Yes.

Tom: … to actually get the detergent to sort of get …

Tom: … work into the actual carpet and then you do your hot water extraction.

Col: Yes.

Tom: Are the other types of carpeting machine? I’ve heard of dry cleaning or dry …

Col: Dry cleaning, yeah, okay. A lot of the franchises around sell dry cleaning as a method. It’s actually what we call rotary bonnet cleaning. It uses an absorbent bonnet placed under a simple floor polishing machine. They apply a water-based detergent to the carpet, rub the pad over the carpet and some of the soil absorbs into the pad. You lift up the pad and say, “Look how much dirt are getting out of the carpet.” Trouble is a lot of the dirt’s sort of still in there.

Tom: Got you. It actually, it does clean it but does it clean as deeply as the …

Col: No.

Tom: … as the hot water extraction or just water extract … because you have hot water extraction and just water extraction. Is that correct?

Col: You can do cold water extraction but hot water will always give you a much better clean.

Tom: Okay. The dry cleaning, it’s different. You’re not pumping water in. You’re just spraying chemicals on and then you’re rubbing it with a pad basically. Is that correct?

Col: Yep. It absorbs a bit of the soil into the pad and makes the carpet look better than it did before. Now, if your carpet has only sort of recently been cleaned and it’s not heavily soiled, that’s actually a very good system. It’s dry very quickly, so it’s not dry cleaning as you’d take your suit to the dry cleaners.

Tom: It actually does get-

Col: It’s a low-moisture cleaning system.

Tom: Once you’ve done that, it’s done or do you need to …

Col: No. That’s it. They spray the detergent on, rub over it with the pad. The pad absorbs the soils and of course, you take them home and launder them in the washing machine.

Tom: Got you. Are there any benefits of dry cleaning over a hot water extraction?

Col: Yeah, it’s faster drying.

Tom: It’s faster drying.

Col: It’s faster drying. It’s easier to do and yeah, it can produce very good-looking result.

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Rating and Reviews

Reviewed by Mark Symons on

Steamaster is fantastic. Bought a big kit from them as a small business, works great. They are very knowledgeable, quick to fix any problems and have solution. Special thanks to Duy, quick replys and answers about products and equipments.
5 Star Rating
Rating: 5