As I have mentioned in previous articles, the type of cleaning equipment used can impact worker and departmental productivity.

As we wrap up this series, we need to look at the need for HWE (Hot Water Extraction) on a semi-annual or annul basis. Please remember that many interim cleaning systems (bonnet especially) tends to leave residue on the fibers that over time can attract soils. If encapsulation products are used correctly, they should not accumulate the same as most detergents although it may still be necessary to thoroughly clean the carpet to start a new base line.

HWE units come in many different sizes and styles ranging from basic "push me/pull you" units with 4 to 8 gallon capacity to truck mounts with 1,000 plus feet of hose. The smaller units oftentimes do not have hot water heating units whereas the truck mounts generate their own heat. The smaller units usually will not have the same suction as a truck mount but they are more portable and can go to areas that a truck mount hose cannot reach.

Some people like to mix and match various size units based on the work to be performed. A truck mount may be used for the first, second and other floors subject to the length of the hose and how close the unit can park to the building. While cleaning the carpet many crews will also clean rest rooms and other areas with ceramic tile and grout lines.

Although a push me/pull you unit is more portable, the solution and pick up needs to be serviced much more often subject to its capacity. For most operations, either a truck mount or a larger carpet cleaning unit is much more productive. If you cannot afford to own such a unit, give serious consideration to sub-contracting the work.

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