Comparison of Hot Water Extraction and Encapsulation for Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Carpet for your commercial office is often an expensive investment. A long-term investment, which requires regular maintenance like changing your car’s oil and washing your car. Your car’s paint will start to deteriorate faster if it isn’t washed and waxed regularly. Same goes for your carpet, find out more.

How do you decide which cleaning technique is the best? This article will cover both Hot Water Extraction (Encapsulation) and its pros and cons. It is important to understand which type of carpet you are keeping. The majority of commercial carpets today use a loop construction and an olefin chemical mixture. Olefin can attract oil because it’s an oil-based product. This can make cleaning it difficult. Don’t worry, the correct maintenance schedule that is based on how much foot traffic you have will keep your carpet looking great for many years. The final recommendation for cleaning will be given at the bottom of this article.

Let’s start by looking at Hot Water Extraction. Let’s not forget one important fact. It is impossible to call “steam cleaning” what it really means. It is not possible to clean a carpet pile using “all steam” because there aren’t sufficient moisture levels. A commercial carpet cleaning machine, truckmount or other equipment cannot produce steam at only the tip. All wand water-based cleaning uses hot water extraction. Water boils when it reaches 212°F at sea level. Yes. It can look like steam is coming from the tip of the wand when it’s being cleaned. However, this effect still exists when you take a deep breath and feel vapor coming out your mouth.

The majority of commercial equipment is capable to push the temperature out to nearly 200 degrees. That’s Hot! It’s one of the problems. The carpet backing can be damaged by too much hot-water extraction. Dry Rot is another term. Technically Dry Rot does not refer to Dry Rot. Dry Rot is caused by excessive carpet drying. You should call it Wet Rot. A second problem is how wet it can take or how long to dry. The doors can be locked during vacuuming, which takes place usually after hours. Hot Water Extraction has the advantage of flushing the carpet pile, then extracting. You can almost eliminate allergens and dust. We will now discuss Encapsulation. We will then discuss Encapsulation and how it can be combined to create a near perfect maintenance program for your facility.

The pros and cons of encapsulation. The encapsulation process must be briefly described. Warning: This description of encapsulation is not scientific. The description has been kept simple so that everyone understands it.

An encapsulation solution is one that is applied to carpets using a type of sprayer. Next, it’s applied to the pile with some kind of agitation. This is usually a rotating floor machine that has a bonnet or carpet safe pad. Carpet protection is what the solution looks like. The fiber will absorb or release more soil. It will also pull out more soiling when the carpet is vacuumed. In time, the carpet’s non-soil-attracting layer will wear off and be sucked into vacuum. There are many pros to encapsulation. Carpets don’t get wet enough for them to wick and dry quickly. They also stay cleaner longer. Encapsulation reduces Dry Rot risk and doesn’t damage carpet backing. It is a faster process. Only problem I see with the process of encapsulation is the inability to fully flush out the carpet pile. We combine the two to create a carpet maintenance plan that is nearly flawless. Carpet & Rug Institute is the authority on commercial carpet maintenance. They recommend that one hot water extraction be conducted for each three to four encapsulation procedures. It will reduce hot water extraction times and increase the look and life of your commercial carpets, without having to compromise the indoor air quality and cleanliness.

Steam Star Carpet, Upholstery & Tile Cleaning
1a/802 Pacific Hwy, Gordon NSW 2072
(02) 83112088

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