The encapsulation method of carpet cleaning was developed primarily for use in the commercial setting, where it’s very low moisture level and quick drying times meant carpet cleaning resulted in minimal disruption to business activities.
Now, though, this unique carpet cleaning technology is being seen more often in the domestic setting, as consumers who are fed up with their carpets taking days or hours to dry out after traditional “steam cleaning” are looking for more user-friendly modern, carpet cleaning methods.
So how does encapsulation cleaning work?
At the heart of the process is unique polymer chemistry which is applied to the carpet and which forms distinct encapsulating crystals as it dries.
The first stage of the process – as it should be with any carpet cleaning technique – is to thoroughly vacuum the carpet to be cleaned. If you do not remove the dry soil by vacuuming, then applying a cleaning solution to the carpeting will effectively cause mud residues to be formed in the carpet fibres.
After vacuuming, the encapsulating solution is sprayed onto the carpet at the dilution rate appropriate to the level of soiling. It is then best to leave the cleaning agent to “dwell” for a few moments before it is thoroughly brushed through the carpet to ensure all the carpet fibres are covered. This brushing is vital to the success of the cleaning project and can be done with a range of equipment, from a bonnet buffer to a contra-rotating brush machine.
It is then time to let the science do its work. As the cleaning agent dries – which should only take around 20 minutes – its unique technology attracts the dirt and soil from the carpet fibres before forming a brittle crystal, in which the dirt is then suspended. The final step in the process is to vacuum away these crystals, removing the attached dirt and soil with them. Any crystals which are not removed by vacuuming at the time of the initial clean remain suspended by the technology and can be removed by subsequent vacuuming.
So, in summary, there are a number of persuasive reasons for choosing encapsulation cleaning for your home or office carpets, over more traditional – some might say old-fashioned – alternatives:
Encapsulation carpet cleaning uses very low amounts of water so your carpets can be back in use very quickly, typically in around one hour after cleaning has been completed. This makes encapsulation cleaning particularly useful not only in the home, but also where long down-time after cleaning is not convenient, for example in hotels, guest houses or offices.
The minimal amounts of water used in encapsulation cleaning means it is the perfect cleaning method to use to ensure no damage to computer, telephone and other cabling found in offices, often concealed within suspended flooring, which might be prone to over wetting using other techniques.
There is significantly less soil attracting residue left in the carpet after encapsulation cleaning, thereby reducing the risk of re-soiling, meaning carpets stay cleaner for longer.
There are a few – relatively minor – downsides to encapsulation cleaning and these can be summarised as follows:
Encapsulation cleaning had previously only been considered appropriate in commercial concerns but it is now becoming more popular in the domestic environment.
Thorough vacuuming is required to remove the crystallised deposits holding the suspended soil, but on a positive note this can be done either at the time of the initial cleaning or at subsequent intervals.
Encapsulation cleaning may not be entirely suitable for situation where there is very heavy soiling where deep restorative cleaning is required. In these circumstances, however, encapsulation cleaning can be combined with other cleaning methods to produce the desired results.