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Bonnet Carpet Cleaning

By Michael Hilton

Bonnet cleaning is a minimum moisture carpet cleaning method. Bonnet cleaning essentially consists of a cotton, rayon and/or polypropylene pad and a rotary shampoo machine. It is among the easiest carpet cleaning methods to learn. Primarily there are three procedures for using the bonnet method.

As in all carpet cleaning methods, the carpet should be sprayed with a quality preconditioner and allowed ten to twenty minutes of dwell time to begin loosening soil. The first procedure involves spraying a detergent solution onto the carpet pile. The solution should be applied in sufficient quantities to saturate the fibers. Using more solution may extend drying time but extra detergent may be necessary to attain the desired results. If too little solution is used, the resistance may cause pile distortion. Detergents are relatively inexpensive. It is recommended that an appropriate amount be used.

The second procedure used in the bonnet method involves the use of a rotary shampoo machine and a moistened rayon, cotton, and/or polypropylene pad. This pad is attached to the rotary machine. The rotating pad is used to agitate and aid in suspension of soils. The bonnet pad absorbs these soils and therefore should be cleaned or replaced regularly. If the pad becomes saturated with soil, the soil is then transferred back to the carpet pad.

Since the rayon pad may not be totally effective in the complete extraction of soil, today's detergents are engineered to hold onto soils after they have dried. As a result, a third procedure may be necessary to extract the remaining soil. By thoroughly vacuuming the area, after the area is dry, much of the remaining soil can be removed.

Application

The Bonnet method is among the easiest methods to learn and the method can be very effective in carpet cleaning for interim appearance reasons. The following steps should be followed when using the Bonnet method:

  1. The area to be cleaned should be thoroughly vacuumed using proper vacuuming techniques.
  2. Apply a top quality preconditioner and allow ten to twenty minutes of dwell time. The preconditioner should begin the suspension and emulsification process. A heavier application of preconditioner should be applied to heavily soiled areas.
  3. Mix the carpet cleaning solution according to the manufacturers' directions. Use a measuring cup to prepare the solution. Mixing chemical concentration too strong may cause a resoiling problem and mixing too little chemical may reduce cleanability. Increasing the concentration of the solution will not enhance the carpet cleaning results.
  4. Apply carpet cleaning solution to an area small enough to be agitated before it dries.
  5. Operation of the rotary shampoo machine is quite simple. Raising or lowering the handle will move the shampoo machine to the right or left. Twisting the handle will move the shampoo machine forward and back.
  6. Try not to walk on the area that has been cleaned. If the machine is equipped with a chemical dispenser, clean an area small enough to limit walking on the cleaned area until it is allowed to dry.
  7. A side-to-side motion should be used in cleaning the area. It may be necessary to allow the rotation pad to remain for longer periods in heavily soiled areas. Caution should be used to insure excessive friction does not cause pile distortion.

A side-to-side motion should be used for effective carpet cleaning. Walking backward will prevent stepping on areas that have already been cleaned. Allow the machine to perform the work by raising or lowering the handle to move left or right. Twisting the handle will move the machine forward or back.

This method should not be used on residential cut pile fabrics because of pile distortion that may occur. Also, since there is limited extraction capability, carpet cleaning results may be marginal.

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Did you know?

Bonnet Cleaning is a good carpet cleaning system for loop pile commercial carpet, but it should be avoided in residential cleaning situations. It is considered an interim carpet cleaning method used to maintain appearance levels, but it does not restore carpet appearance as well as other carpet cleaning methods.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

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