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I am useing a protable extractor with a wand. I have some concerns with burber carpet. are there any tricks to doing a good job, I have two jobs lined up next week and want to get the best results. I have done one job with this type of carpet and didn't feel the best about my end results. although the carpet looked better. I know these next two have more traffic marks.
 

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Rockstar, you hit the jackpot with this forum......

To clean berber carpet you must first understand what it is, and the chemistry needed to clean it. First let's talk about what it is. Berber, or loop pile carpet, is usually made from olefin (also called polypropylene). This "plastic" is oleophyllic, which means it likes oils. Over time the oils will not only stick to it, but stain permanently. The other problem with olefin carpets is the fact that they are not resilient, meaning they do not hold a twist or shape for very long. This contributes to the "matted" or flat traffic areas we have all seen with berber. The benefit of olefin carpet is the fact that it is almost completely non-absorbant, making it very stain resistant, except for oils as mentioned above. However, this creates another problem you will face with olefin carpets:wicking. Because it does not absorb, whatever is spilled, or whatever cleaning agent is sprayed onto it, goes right to the backing. Later on, the spots or chemicals come back up to the tips of the fibers in a process called wicking. (just like the oil flowing up the wick on an oil lamp).

Now, let's talk about cleaning. As mentioned above, the main problems for cleaners who are attempting to clean this type of carpet are going to be:

1. Oils stuck to the fibers
2. matted down traffic areas
3. chemicals and spills under the carpet that may return

First, I would recommend making a trip to your supply house to find out if they have cleaners for olefin. If not, use your best pre-spray, but add 2ounces boosting agent (oxidizer) and 10 ounces citrus solvent. Both of these should be readily available to you from your supplier or online (I will give you links if necessary). Pre-spray, let dwell for ten minutes, then extract with an acid based rinse, making sure to do an extra dry pass or two. Use fans to dry if you have them. The oxidizer will help "bleach out" the stained fibers, and the citrus will help remove the oils. The acid rinse will minimize the possibility of wicking, as will the dry pass.

With this basic knowledge, you should be able to do a very good job. You should also educate your client with the info I have provided in the description. Not only will your client have more confidence in your abilities, but will be less likely to blame you when that big soda stain comes back up after you clean. You should also make them aware that olefin carpet does not "perk up" after cleaning, it stays flat, or goes back to flat very quickly. For this reason the traffic areas are going to forever look different, because the light does not reflect off of the carpet at the same angle as the rest of the carpet.

I could go on forever.......TAKE AN IICRC CLEANING CLASS!!!

Hope this helps, let me know how you do.

az
 

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Thanks for the kind words!!

Hey John, do you really need help with those kind of carpets, or are you just making a statement?

Well, in either case, I will give a few pointers in case there are some who need it.

Wool is not that difficult to clean. There are some pros and cons that I would like to point out first. Keep in mind that wool is a protein fiber (natural) much like our own hair.

Pros:
1. Wool is an excellent insulator. Great for northern climates, bad for my area (southwest).
2. Wool has the best resiliency of any carpet. (holds up better)
3. Wool hides dirt better than any carpet I have seen. The reason for this is that wool is opaque, meaning not transparent. You should see the pounds of dirt I have pulled out of a wool area rug that didn't look that bad at all.
4. Wool tends to release soils very easily.

Cons:
1. Very easily stained. Wool is very absorbent, and will take dye very well, such as fruit drinks and wine and other acids. If it can dye or damage your hair, it can damage wool.
2. Very stinky when you clean it. I know why, but who cares, it just plain stinks!
3. Wool can be heat set very easily. Just like curling your hair with a curling iron, wool can be distorted by high tempuratures. This also means that tooling marks can result from the cleaning process, which can be permanent.
4. It costs a fortune!

With this info in mind, my strategy for cleaning wool is as follows:
Use a pre-spray that is designed to be "wool safe", Prochem has a line for this. If you cannot find any, you must use a pre-spray that has a ready to use (rtu) PH of less than ten. Actually less than nine is better. Test your chemical on the rug to check for dye stability. Set your tempurature on your machine to 175 degrees max. or less. Pre-spray one room. Extract using an acid rinse (around 3 to 5 rtu). Do an extra dry pass! Groom carpet straight away to remove cleaning lines and to set nap. Put fans on carpet to speed drying.
That's it!

Some other things to keep in mind about wool: Do not use oxidizers or boosting agents, peroxides or high alkaline spotters on it. You will bleach it, or make it brittle. If you have a pet stain in it, you are pretty much screwed. There are products (such as Pro's choice for wool) that will lighten the stains, but from my experience there is no real cure as of yet. It is not synthetic, so once it is dyed, the color is into the fibre and cannot be pulled out without damage to the original color. Dogs and cats tend to like to urinate on wool rugs, so you might want to inform your client of this when they get that new puppy.

Anything I didn't touch on that you have questions about let me know. I am not a real expert when it comes to stain removal on wool, I usually do only area rugs that are generally just dirty. I do know that once a stain has set, it will not come out.

az
 

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Thanks, John. I guess we are the "land of plastics" in such that we are a throw away society. Instead of maintaining something for years such as many of our European friends do, we wear them out and throw them away. I experienced this first hand, since my wife is from Eastern Europe. They have household items that have lasted several generations. We could learn a lot from our friends across the pond.

Wool IS considered the best carpeting choice, but it is far too expensive for our throw away lifestyle. Most folks only live in thier house for 5-7 years, so they don't see the value in it. I also do not recommend it here in the desert southwest, it is too hot and dry for it.

az
 

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I did just notice that I forgot to mention the fact that the carpet should be pre-vac'd. Just thought I'd add that before someone caught me.

Rock star, make sure and let us know how it goes! Provided you take my advice....

I'm assuming you do not pre-spray now. Well, if you don't then take it from me that you should. It will be the best thing you could do to improve your results on any carpet. You'll thank me later.
 

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Berber

It also has a lot to do with the type of equipment that you are cleaning berber with. I clean berbers alot with great results. Like they said dont overwet and dry as soon as possible. And you will become a berber master. :thumbup:
 

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Hey Rock:

If all that advice does not help, get rid of the protable and get a real machine. A truckmount! :thumbsup:

I am useing a protable extractor with a wand. I have some concerns with burber carpet. are there any tricks to doing a good job, I have two jobs lined up next week and want to get the best results. I have done one job with this type of carpet and didn't feel the best about my end results. although the carpet looked better. I know these next two have more traffic marks.
 

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Wow az

Hey az tell me about those classes, I was a member of the aatcc, American Association of textile chemist and colorist, and now chose a to work for myself cleaning. l
 

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Some other things to keep in mind about wool: Do not use oxidizers or boosting agents, peroxides or high alkaline spotters on it.
Why can't (say) a d-limonene booster be used to hit the soiled spots?

Thanks
Joe
 

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Thanks azclean,

I try to test chems on delicate fabrics like silk, wool etc. I met very experienced guy who was taking an upholstery class with me. He told me that he deals with tough spots/stains on staple fibers by having a high ph (ie 10) spray bottle in one hand and an acidic spray bottle in the other. That way he sprays the spot with high ph product, lets dwell then neutralizers with the acidic product. All under control.

The IICRC makes you paranoid not to use anything greater than 8.5 on the staples but I've tested and it takes a while for those fabrics to
be damaged by high ph solutions.
 

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Noweare,

It may take a short while for pH damage to become apparent on any fibre, but dye de-stabilisation can occur in a very short time-span. Though neutralisation may re-stabilise an acid-set dye, you could still have a dye-bleed problem to resolve.

'Rules' can sometimes be broken with impunity several times, many times, but you never know when your action is going to back-fire on you until it is too late, so don't assume that because you got away with something 'x' times, that it is safe.
 

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Thanks for the reply John,
I should of added that this was special case to use higher ph on
staple fibers, and for spots/stains only that are moving when you've
tried your normal spotting. Yes, if you make this a normal type thing
I agree, it'll get you in trouble ($$).

Joe
 
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