Q. Can you inform me about encapsulation carpet cleaning?
A. Encapsulation is considered a low-moisture, interim carpet cleaning process. Many formulations contain a detergent, surfactant and solvent, but with a crystalline polymer. The polymer allows the encapsulated soil to dry into a non-sticky crystallized particle. It is being used in many commercial settings, especially on level loop carpet. The results are normally quite satisfactory.
The process can utilize a machine propelled bonnet, or cylindrical or rotational brushes. It is usually sprayed on and then brushed into the fibers. The encapsulation chemistry surrounds soil particles and crystallizes them to reduce further soil attraction. Routine vacuum maintenance causes much of the soil to be released and removed. It normally has a high production rate compared to wand extraction, and a fast drying time. It tends to reduce wicking problems and prolong the required times between cleanings.
As with most low-moisture cleaning systems, eventually a deep flushing and rinsing action will be required to remove trapped dust mites and embedded soil from the base of the carpet. Encapsulation works on medium soil to extend the time required between hot-water extraction operations.
Several encapsulation compounds have attained the CRI Seal of Approval. Some technicians are using encapsulation for a pre-scrub on heavily soiled carpet prior to hot water extraction. Others have also used the process after extraction, to reduce browning.
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