The cleaning of carpet fibres

The need for understanding the cleaning of carpet fibres is more important than you may think. Understanding the fundamentals about carpet fibres used in today’s carpets. Will help in the choice of carpet cleaning method you choose to use. whether it is upholstery or a carpet.

Essentially, in the vast majority of situations. The soil on the fabric or material will need to be held in suspension and then extracted. The four fundamentals of soil suspension are sometimes referred to as the cleaning pie. This cleaning pie has an easy to remember acronym. Chat.

The cleaning of carpet fibres – C.H.A.T.

Chemical, Heat, Agitation and Time. Using this acronym to formulate a cleaning method will make the cleaning of most carpet and upholstery fibres straight forward.

For example. You may be working with a client that needs a good looking carpet for it’s office. Your client needs the carpet to be both hard wearing bright and easily cleaned. However. The work that is being carried out is dirty warehouse work and the work force has to walk over the carpet as a cut through. The carpet is synthetic. Like much of the normal household carpets in the UK.

So you look at the sort of soil that is on the carpet and determine that it is most likely ground in every day dust and dirt. Sometimes however, the fibres may come into contact with some kind of spill. Such as food products for example on the bottom of shoes. This is normal for houses with children and pets and offices.

There are many synthetic fibres to choose from that will clean up well even after a good deal of abuse. This example turns out to be polypropylene You can offer your client a cleaning solution that is easy and robust.

The cleaning of carpet fibres- Chemical choice

You will know that this fibre is quite resistant to harsh chemicals. Much more so than wool or cotton for example. Many carpets are made from man made materials and these type of synthetic carpets clean very well. They are not indestructible however, but for the purposes of your client may well be the best choice.

All chemicals have some sort of basic chemical activity. For example, if you leave a penny in a fizzy drink for a day or two. The chances are that it will have had some cleaning effect on the coin. This is almost a latent effect. It just happens, without any help.

The cleaning of carpet fibres- Heat

Heat is one of cleanings best friends. Heat does a few things. For example it has a larger capacity to hold soil in suspension. It reduces surface tension and cleans faster. It also dries faster and actually reduces the quantity of chemical that is needed to clean the fabric or fibre.

One added advantage is that it has the ability to start to sanitize fibres at over 55 deg c. So the addition of heat to the cleaning process is very important.

The cleaning of carpet fibres- Agitation

Agitation used in the process of cleaning fibres is also a major consideration. Just heat and chemical alone will not produce the best possible clean. If the fibre you are working with is robust enough, like a synthetic carpet fibre for example. It will take a good amount both of agitation and heat. Depending upon the type of chemical you have chosen to use. It will have a greater or lesser effect. Microsplitters for example need agitation to work and the soil can just disappear before your eyes in some circumstances.

The cleaning of carpet fibres
The cleaning of carpet fibres

Other chemicals will react differently. Some will start to work as soon as they make contact with the carpet or other fibre and require little agitation. It is all down to the fibre and the method of cleaning you choose for your carpets.

The cleaning of carpet fibres- Time

Time is always a factor. Consideration is needed in terms of the fibre being worked on, before thinking about the length of time the job will take. Again, it is all down to the carpet fibre being worked on. If it is a delicate oriental rug or a deep wool fibre. Consideration has to be given to the delicacy of the fibre. Perhaps less agitation and more time will work just as well without harming the delicate fibres.

This short introduction about the cleaning of carpet fibres is intended for students to provoke thought and discussion. It is not a how to guide on cleaning carpets or other fibres of fabrics.

The best way to use this article is to pull out snippets of information and discuss the issues around them. This will lead on to much more specific information and learning.

Written by Paul Watchorn – Doncaster carpet cleaners.

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