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Rotary Shampoo

By Michael Hilton

The rotary shampoo carpet cleaning method is the oldest method currently used for carpet cleaning. It is still among the best carpet cleaning methods in use today, but it is used by very few carpet cleaners. The shampoo method received a great deal of negative publicity during the early years of carpet cleaning due to the ineffectiveness of chemicals. As described earlier, many of the early carpet cleaning chemicals were true soaps that left a residue on the fibers. These residues caused a rapid resoiling problem. In addition, the early rotary shampoo machines did not have the benefit of extraction as many of these units have today. Today's machines offer the advantages of improved chemicals, brushes that offer excellent agitation and extraction to remove imbedded and suspended soils.

The rotary shampoo method takes time to master the various techniques. Operation of the rotary brush machine is very similar to the rotary bonnet machine. Lowering or raising the handle will allow the machine to move left or right. Twisting the handle will move the machine forward and back.

Application

The following steps should be followed in using the Rotary Shampoo method:

  1. Thoroughly vacuum the area to be cleaned using good vacuuming procedures.
  2. Apply a quality preconditioner and allow ten to twenty minutes dwell time.
  3. Mix carpet cleaning solution according to the manufacturers' recommendations. Increasing the concentration of the solution will not enhance the carpet cleaning results.
  4. Apply carpet cleaning solution directly to the carpet or if unit is equipped with a solution dispenser, add the solution to the solution tank. If the solution is to be added directly to the floor, apply to an area large enough to be cleaned within an acceptable time period.
  5. Work the solution into the carpet pile using an appropriate application technique.
  6. If the rotary unit does not have extraction capabilities, the pile should be extracted using a hot water extraction unit. The carpet pile should be rinsed with plain water.
  7. After shampooing, the pile should be raked or vacuumed to remove the brush swirls that may remain on the pile.

The rotary shampoo 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.

Did you know?

Rotary shampoo carpet cleaning is the oldest carpet cleaning method and is still among the most effective from a carpet cleaning results standpoint. However, most rotary shampoo carpet cleaning machines do not have an effective extraction capability and the rotary brush action may be too aggressive for some residential carpet products.

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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