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Dry Extraction Carpet Cleaning

By Michael Hilton

The dry extraction method is the lowest moisture cleaning method that can be used on carpet. Dry extraction compounds have been used in carpet cleaning for many years. It is among the easiest methods of carpet cleaning. Many consumers, who know very little about carpet cleaning, may effectively use this cleaning method.

Dry extraction compounds can be very useful because they are safe for all types of carpet. There is no chance of overwetting the carpet, since it is a low moisture method and problems such as browning and yellowing are minimized. Many consumers and professional cleaners alike, use dry extraction compounds to clean traffic areas between scheduled extraction cleanings or it may be used as the primary cleaning method.

Dry extraction compounds use a dry sponge-like powder that is usually premoistened with a detergent, and a dry solvent. The compound is sprinkled onto the carpet and worked into the pile using a mechanical brushing action. The amount of compound should be applied according to the manufacturers' recommendations. Once the compound is worked into the carpet, a vacuum cleaner is utilized to remove the powder and the soil that has attached to the compound. Some manufacturers may suggest that the powder be allowed twenty to thirty minutes drying time.

Application

  1. Vacuum the area to be cleaned using good vacuuming techniques. While the area will be vacuumed after the compound is mechanically agitated, it is still necessary to remove as much dry soil as possible prior to application of compound.
  2. Apply a preconditioner. The preconditioner should begin the suspension and emulsification process. Use of a quality preconditioner will enhance the performance of the compound. Some dry extraction manufacturers do not recommend the use of a pre-conditioner, however; heavy soiling conditions may require the use of pre-conditioning agents.
  3. Broadcast (spread) the compound by hand. Follow label directions for the amount of compound to be used. Use of the proper amount of compound is critical to the effectiveness of the compound. Use of too much compound will increase drying time. Use of too little will decrease effectiveness.
  4. Work the compound into the carpet pile using a mechanical brush. Work small areas to prevent the compound from drying prematurely. Use back and forth strokes as well as horizontal strokes to work the compound around the fibers. When complete, repeat this procedure in the same direction as the initial procedure. The area will have been brushed three (3) times.
  5. Allow drying time. Follow label directions. There is usually a twenty to thirty minute drying time for most compounds. Some manufacturers may recommend immediate removal of compound.
  6. Vacuum the area thoroughly. Remember to empty the vacuum cleaner bag frequently. Failure to do so may significantly reduce the amount of soil removed.
  7. If the area still appears to be soiled, reapply preconditioner to the soiled areas, reapply compound, and repeat procedures.

The dry extraction method can be a very effective cleaning method. The compound can be applied during the course of a normal business day, if necessary, with very little disruption of normal activities. Many homes or businesses can be cleaned in one to two hours. Since there is very little moisture involved, the area can be used almost immediately.

Did you know?

Dry extraction is the easiest do it yourself and professional cleaning method and is the driest of all carpet cleaning methods. Many casinos that cannot afford to shut down for 8-10 hours use the dry extraction carpet cleaning method on a regular basis.

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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