In a recent training I attended, the instructor covered TACT (Temperature, Agitation, Concentration and Time) quite thoroughly and shed new light on the importance of all four parts of the cleaning process. 


He gave special note to temperature (somewhere between warm and very warm; not hot) since warmth helps in molecular movement and the cleaning process. Too hot and it could damage the surface being clean or dry too quickly. This principle applies to both hard floor (stripping/scrubbing) and carpet care (hot water extraction). He stressed that even using a warm pre-spray for carpet cleaning helps to loosen soils contributing to the other three parts of the cleaning process. 


Agitation is any physical activity that has an abrasive effect on the surface or fabric being cleaned. When we clean fabrics in a washing machine, the agitation cycle moves the fabrics around and loosening the attached soils from the fibers. Stripping a floor with a black pad or equivalent brush is agitation. Using a bonnet pad properly on a carpeted surface is an example of agitation. A simple deck brush or hand brush for small jobs can fulfill this important requirement. A key benefit of agitation is helping break up soils so that detergency can do its job. Be careful not to use agitation to the extent that it can damage the surface or fibers being cleaned. Remember that all four parts are necessary in a balance that allows each to do their job.


The four parts of the cleaning equation may need to be adjusted to reflect certain situations. An example is the lack of warm water (temperature) or limited agitation. The other elements would increase to compensate. We will look at Concentration and Time 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