Encapsulation

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Encapsulation carpet cleaning method

What is encapsulation carpet cleaning?  It is a dry method, or a carpet cleaning method that uses low levels of moisture, applied for the interim scheduled maintenance of carpets in commercial premises. Now, the important question here is, does it really work?

When cleaning carpets using the traditional methods, the chemicals involved in the process can make the carpets take longer to dry. Another effect is that these residues attract dirt, so the carpets re-soil easily and within a short period of time, which in the long term increases the costs of the maintenance of the carpets. The most common method used for carpet cleaning is emulsification, a process in which the chemicals used help to suspend the soils by working through surfactant molecules. These molecules attach to the dirt particles, making them easy to rinse away. Although it sounds as an effective way of cleaning carpets, the problem arises when the rinsing is not done properly and residues remain in the carpet.

The carpet encapsulation method uses chemicals that will not leave any residues in the carpet. Although there are detergents, solvents and surfactants included in most of the chemical products used for encapsulation carpet cleaning, there are also two main components that make all the difference between these products and the ones used on the traditional carpet cleaning methods. They are:

  1. Fluorochemical Protection – only found in some encapsulating chemicals
    Fluorochemical protection is a fibre protector against stains. It works by coating the clean fibres, preventing the soiling or staining and making the fibres stay cleaner for longer periods of time. Another advantage is that the regular carpet cleaning process becomes much easier, taking much less time to complete.
  2. Encapsulating or Crystallising Polymers
    Once the encapsulation carpet cleaning is completed, as it dries the encapsulating polymers surround any remaining detergent molecules that could have been left behind during the process, encapsulating them into a brittle, non-sticky crystals. These crystals are similar to powder and can be easily removed by vacuuming. This chemical process is known as “brittle dry down”.

All products are not the same and the quality of the chemicals used in the manufacturing of encapsulating cleaning products can vary greatly. Therefore, it is crucial to do good research and be careful when buying these products in order take advantage of all the properties and benefits these kinds of chemicals offer.

The encapsulation cleaning process can’t be carried out without a suitable machine. This will have brushes that can be planetary, rotary, cylindrical or orbital and their main function will be to scrub the carpet with the encap solution. There are some machines that include pad holders as well, so bonnets or pads can be used if necessary.

The encapsulation carpet cleaning method is the perfect way of cleaning carpets that are not too dirty or soiled, so it is ideal to apply in between deep cleaning processes such as hot water extraction. This way it will not be required to apply deep cleaning processes too frequently.

What are the benefits that the carpet encapsulation cleaning method brings?

  • The drying time of the carpets is very short, taking between 20 to 30 minutes
  • Discolouration from stains is eliminated
  • The machines are quiet
  • Carpets remain cleaner for longer periods of time
  • The air quality indoors is improved
  • There is no need to rinse and it does not leave any residues
  • Meets the environmental standards and the products are biodegradable
  • The life of the carpet fibres is extended
  • It is a system easy and safe to use
  • Low investment and costs, which save money and increase profit margins
  • Improves the workers’ environment and their health and safety
  • It is a method easy and quick to apply, saving time and money
  • The training of staff, if required, is simple
  • Consumption of water and detergent is reduced
  • Reduction on costs per metre on chemicals
  • The fluorochemical protector makes the fibres more soil-resistant
  • Non-caustic and non-toxic products

The application of the carpet encapsulation cleaning method is perfect for:

  1. Carpets in commercial premises
  2. Carpets that are in constant use and require fast drying
  3. Carpets that are low or medium soiled
  4. Complementing a thorough carpet cleaning program that includes hot water extraction

The encapsulation cleaning method is not a method recommended for deep carpet cleaning. However, it is a great solution for interim maintenance in premises where carpets need regular cleaning. Although carpet encapsulation cleaning system has its limitations, if used correctly within a more complete and thorough carpet cleaning program, important benefits and the savings can be achieved.