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Three Simple Tests for Evaluating
Carpet Cleaning Products

Hi I’m Steve Smith, a fellow carpet cleaner and founder of VacAway Products.

Have you ever tried to evaluate two carpet cleaning products and couldn’t tell any appreciable difference in their cleaning abilities?

Have you ever wondered if your favorite cleaning product could actually contribute to re-soiling? Is there an easy way to tell?

There are several products that claim to encapsulate dirt, crystallize when dry, and easily vacuum away. Do you wish there were simple ways to test these claims?

As most carpet cleaners know, the four main elements involved in cleaning are
Time, Agitation, Chemical and Temperature, commonly referred to as TACT. When comparing two cleaning agents it is essential to eliminate all the variables (Time Agitation, and Temperature) so the only difference you are comparing is the Chemical variable. Is there an easy way?

Test 1: Compare products for ability to remove oily or greasy type soils.

  •   Using a magic marker, make side by side marks (one mark for each product you are testing) on a flat surface such as a glass makeup-mirror or Formica desk top… Identify each mark with the name of one product... Allow several minutes to dry completely. (Sanford "DELUXE Permanent Markers" or Sanford "Sharpie" markers are perfect for this test)


  • Place two or three drops of each product on its own mark.

  • Use your index fingers to VERY GENTLY agitate each mark in a circular or back and forth motion until one of the marks starts to dissolve (To protect your hands, you should wear latex gloves).

    Notes on Test 1: Use equal dwell time and use VERY gentle agitation… If the test is close, conduct it several more times. In the real world the product that loosens/removes the mark first, on a consistent basis, will be the best one for removing oily soils, lipstick, magic marker, tar, etc.

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