Evaluating carpet-cleaning equipment

Monday, June 30, 2014

What factors should property managers evaluate when buying or renting carpet-cleaning equipment?

When property managers consider buying or renting carpet-cleaning equipment, they may be overwhelmed at the prospect of selecting from scores of manufacturers, machines, and models. Plus, systems may be designed for different cleaning methods, such as interim carpet cleaning versus restorative carpet cleaning. Knowing which type of machine to select can prove crucial when the goal is to get the job done quickly, effectively, and at a reasonable cost.

Interim carpet cleaning

Quicker cleaning methods may be appropriate when carpets are only moderately soiled. Shampoo/bonnet cleaning is one of the most inexpensive ways to clean carpets. However, in some cases, if not performed properly, this cleaning method may damage carpet fibers. (Note: Shampoo/bonnet cleaning may void some carpet warranties should the carpet be damaged.) It may also leave chemical residue in the carpet, which can cause re-soiling.

Dry cleaning methods work, but they may not be the best option for all situations. “Multi-wash” machines, available for purchase or rental, are safe for and can be used to clean many types of carpets using minimal water. They can also be used to clean hard-surface floors. Selecting one machine for two surfaces may generate significant cost savings.

Restorative carpet care

Restorative carpet care refers to the use of portable carpet extractors, machines designed to deep-clean carpets. To select the right carpet extractor for his or her needs, a property manager should consider the following key factors:

PSI: Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measurement of the extractor’s cleaning power. A machine with adjustable PSI, 50 to as much as 500, will allow the use of a lower psi for more delicate items, and a higher psi for heavily soiled carpets.

Hot or cold water: Hot water increases the molecular activity of cleaning chemicals, increasing their effectiveness in loosening and removing soils.

Ease of use: Consider ergonomics. A machine that stands upright as if it were on a dolly can prove much easier to maneuver.

Debby Davis has been involved in the professional cleaning industry for several years and specializes in floor care cleaning and training. She is now product manager for Powr-Flite, a leading manufacturer of floor care equipment. 

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