Where did the dirt go?

Posted by Rick Gelinas on 7/20/2012 to Commercial Carpet Cleaning
A customer recently asked... 
"When using the Cimex why is it that the carpet appears to look cleaner without actually removing the soil. I tried asking this question on one of the boards but no one can answer this question. I understand the process of encapsulation just now how it changes the appearance before the encapsulation takes place." 

Here is the answer that I gave him... 
 It's a trick we do with smoke and mirrors. (just kidding) 

To put it very simply... What we see as we look at the carpet is a reflection of light; thats what reaches our eyes. Our eyes perceive what's on the surface of the carpet fiber. But keep in mind, carpet fiber is made up of thousands of tiny fibers. In addition to all that carpet fiber, theres also a lot of space surrounding the individual carpet fibers. 

What we're accomplishing through encap shampooing is to displace the soil from the visible surface of the fiber. The soil that's been scrubbed free from the fiber is now held in suspension in the encap solution. Since that fluid is surrounding the fibers, the majority of the soil that had formerly been on the visible surface of the fiber is greatly reduced. So at the point that the carpet is scrubbed, the appearance immediately looks clean. Of course all of the soil that was originally in the carpet is still there, waiting to be extracted from the carpet during the post-vacuuming process. 

Realistically we can expect to see a pretty major improvement in the overall appearance of the carpet right off the bat, immediately after its been scrubbed, and before it gets vacuumed. So no, its not actually a trick we do with smoke and mirrors, but sometimes the results sure do look that way.


Date 9/29/2012 6:42:41 AM
You say the dirt is left in the carpet,have you looked at the pads when you have finished a room,they pick up a lot of dirt.If you run over the carpet with cotton pads after you have cleaned it you will find they too will pickup a lot of dirt too.So all the dirt is not left in the carpet to be vacuumed out.Sorry to have to disagree with you,as i know you are the man.
Date 9/29/2012 9:30:20 AM
Rick Gelinas
I appreciate your comments, and i agree with what youve observed. It's true that some of the soil can be captured in the pads. Especially when the solution is being sprayed down on the carpet, a modest amount of soil will transfer into the pad(s). Yet when the detergent is being shower-fed through the pads (as is normally the case with the Cimex) the pads will have the detergent flowing through them during the cleaning process - and in essence they'll be rinsed during the cleaning.
Date 9/29/2012 9:33:34 AM
Rick Gelinas
And as you rightly mentioned, if you run over the carpet with absorbent pads following the cleaning additional soil can be recovered. In fact any form of bonnet cleaning has the potential to pick up soil. And if you're bonnet cleaning with a good encap detergent we're actually combining two cleaning modes - absorption and encapsulation of soil. Thanks again for your comments. It's always nice to go a little deeper. :-)
Date 3/19/2014
stuart clark
Hi ive been in the carpet cleaning business for about twenty years, Ive been experimenting with some of your products that I get from cleaning systems uk ie Jamie Pearson, I mainly use a Chemspec Chemstractor but I also have a Dry-Fusion machine , I have been cleaning commercial carpets using a variety of bonnet systems and chemicals, I have been experimenting with buff and white scotch brite pads and been getting exelllent results I am mainly using the DS2 product for bonnet cleaning but have also used Punch and Hydrox on a couple of other problem jobs, I have a forthcoming job next week cleaning low profile cord polypropylene carpet! woulds I be best using a cotton bonnet or a Pad ? I plan to use DS2

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