Innovations on the chemical front are also helping carpet cleaning evolve, says Craig Jasper, vice president of the IICRC.

“We have learned how to use hydrogen peroxide much more effectively. It’s being built into cleaners and pre-sprays, giving the ability to break down tremendous amounts and varieties of organic soil, oils and greases,” Jasper says.

Hydrogen peroxide based cleaners not only clean well, but they’re also eco-friendly. These chemicals emit low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and after working dissolve into water and oxygen. Both of these attributes make the product safe to use in day cleaning programs when building occupants are present.

“What peroxide has done is, it’s enabled green carpet cleaners to be much more effective than they used to be,” Jasper says.

Encapsulation technology has advanced as well. Polymer encapsulation cleaning agents allow cleaning to happen with very little moisture, as the agent is simply vacuumed up once it dries. With the fast dry times, carpeted areas can be quickly opened to building occupants, making encapsulation useful for day cleaning.

Lisa Ridgely is a freelancer based in Milwaukee. She is the former Deputy Editor of Sanitary Maintenance.

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