Bonnet cleaning can be quite effective in maintaining high traffic areas on a regular basis before it gets heavily soiled and dirty to the point of requiring restorative work. On a less frequent basis, you will need to use HWE to rinse away the detergent build up left by bonnet cleaning.  

You can begin a properly programmed Interim Bonnet program. One of the biggest challenges that we observe in the field is that most people start a bonnet program too late, use the wrong type pads or do not know how to correctly use the bonnet system. The best time to start a program is before the carpet gets too soiled and is in need to heavier cleaning procedures. Always vacuum, pre-treat spots and spray a small area (10 x 10 or 15 x 15) with the traffic lane cleaner made for specially made for bonnet cleaning. Do not try to use HWE shampoo or even high foam shampoo unless you are in need of removing soap build up or heavy soils.

Let’s consider for a moment the different ways that you can do the work. Perhaps the oldest way is to use the bucket and wringer method. In this method, you soak the pad in a bucket of warm cleaning solution, wring it out as dry as possible, place it under the floor machine and start the cleaning process. Flip the pad and once both sides are soiled, place it aside for laundering before using again. 

Remember that some fibers have a relatively low melting point. Be careful the pad does not dry out and burn/melt the carpet fibers due to the heat generated by the floor machine. The transfer of soil to a clean pad can be very impressive. Rinsing out and re-using the soiled pad only re-distributes the soil you just picked up and does not produce satisfactory results. Plan to use a quantity of pads sufficient to clean the anticipated area. 

With time and experience you will be able to guestimate how many pads you will use. A good rule of thumb is one pad (both side can cover approximately 150 SF using both sides. A 1500 SF hallway would require at least 10 pads.

We will look at different types of pads and processes in a future article. 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