Although relatively low moisture, bonnet cleaning involves more moisture than dry foam, but still has short dry times and makes it an attractive choice for Interim maintenance of high traffic areas such as entrances, hallways, elevators and that magic 20 percent surfaces that will need more attention than the rest of the building.

Bonnet cleaning involves the use of a detergent solution being applied to the carpet by pump sprayer, hand sprayer, machine fed, machine mounted electric sprayer, or a bucket and wringer method and then “buffing” it with an absorbent bonnet that usually fits on the bottom of a traditional low speed floor machine. 

There are too many different technologies utilizing the bonnet cleaning concept to consider in this manual. Following are some basic guidelines on which to build your overall knowledge and experience. Remember that labor and benefits are the highest cost factor in custodial operations. If used correctly, you can maintain key high traffic areas for a fraction of the labor and chemical costs of HWE (Hot Water Extraction) with less stress on the carpeted areas, reduced drying time and a more satisfied customer.

In so many ways, this method of cleaning can be easily compared to the hard floor spray buffing programs that most companies already have in place. If you have a spray buff program in place, then you are well aware that keeping the soil from building up is very important to the shine and longevity of the hard floor. Your “maintenance” procedures will not last simply because you are asking too much of the process. Bonnet cleaning is somewhat similar in that it is not a Restorative process, but instead, it is an Interim Maintenance process that is performed before the carpet becomes too soiled. If you attempt to incorporate a bonnet cleaning program on a heavily soiled carpet, you may not achieve satisfactory results, as you did not have a good “base” from which to start. 

Do not make the mistake of allowing a carpet to deteriorate and then trying to use bonnet cleaning when more extreme measures will be required. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or