A reader asks: "How can various types of carpet cleaning affect overall productivity for my cleaning staff?"

As we continue to consider tasks that are costing labor and reducing productivity at this account, we will look at carpet cleaning and maintenance. First of all, it appears that the carpet techs have had very little actual training and although some of the equipment is in need of repair, they do not seem to understand pH, spot removal, interim carpet maintenance and the importance of focusing on the truly soiled areas more often than some back hallway that seldom gets soiled.

Bonnet cleaning does not have a good reputation due to damage caused to new carpet. Oftentimes, bonnet cleaning voids the warranty of new carpet so caution is advised. Only a person who understands how to bonnet clean should attempt to do so. It is recommended that the use of polyester bonnets (with the green astro-turf stripe) be avoided. If you are going to bonnet clean give serious consideration to either microfiber or 100 percent cotton. Also make sure that enough moisture is used to prevent carpet damage. Remember that nylon has a low melting point and a dry bonnet can melt fibers and cause pilling in seconds.

A better option might be to consider encapsulation which focusing on the chemistry of attracting soils to the "crystal" which dries and can easily be removed once it dries. Although there are some sophisticated machines available that provide excellent results you might consider experimenting with low-tech units first to justify the expense. Consider asking your local distributor to either demonstrate the encapsulation system or loan you a unit for a more thorough test.

We will continue this analysis in a future article.

Your comments and questions are important. 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 CTCG50@comcast.net.