Frequently Asked Questions
The main difference is easier to understand when the two types of encaps are dried down in shallow dishes and placed side by side. Click Here for a short video demonstration.
In the video, we simply added 20% additional polymer to our film forming product “Dirt-Axe”. The additional polymer converted the regular formula of “Dirt-Axe” from being a “Film Former” to becoming a “Crystallizer.”
NOTE: We only sell Dirt-Axe as a film former to keep its cost low. The video was produced only to show the difference between the two types of encaps.
Crystallizers are better at removing sticky residue left from previously applied, cleaning products. They also effectively render sugary/sticky substances, that have accumulated in the carpet, (i.e. soda spills) non-sticky. Once they are rendered non-sticky they can be easily vacuum away.
Why is a crystallizer better than a film former at removing sticky residue?
Because a good crystallizing formula will contain “MORE EXCESS POLYMER” than that of a film former.
By “MORE EXCESS POLYMER” we mean the amount of polymer in the formula beyond the amount needed to render its other ingredients non-sticky.
Many ingredients used to create a good cleaning formula are inherently sticky themselves. If not completely removed, or somehow rendered non-sticky, they can be the cause of rapid re-soiling of carpeting and upholstery.
The EXCESS polymer is left to mix with sticky substances in the carpet and render them non-sticky. They will then no longer be able attract dirt and will be vacuumed away during routine vacuuming.
Keep in mind that most Film Formers also contain a certain amount of excess polymer to fight stickiness, but not nearly as much as Crystallizers.
NOTE: Crystallizers, in general, are usually more expensive than Film Formers due to their higher cost to produce.
Some encap distributors only sell Film Formers to keep their cost low and therefore be able to have more competitive pricing. As the old adage says, “You Usually Get What You Pay For.” At VacAway, we make both types available. Some formulas can only be produced as Film Formers due to the other types of ingredients used in the formula.
Rapid Dry times. (Very low moisture is used)
Less disruption for your clients. (No hoses, loud equipment or slow drying times)
Much less expensive equipment needed. (More profit for you)
Carpets stay cleaner longer. (No sticky residue with anti-wicking acrylic polymer)
Much less labor intensive. (More profit for you)
Much less wicking issues. (Low moisture and anti-wicking acrylic polymer)
Less environmental impact (No dirty water to discharge into sewers/drains)
Detonator was originally formulated to be used with VacAway Dynamite. However, over the course of several years many of our customers found they prefer to use it with one of their other favorite VacAway products. They simply substitute the other VacAway encap for Dynamite.
Detonator uses the oxidizing power of peroxide (H2O2) to:
• Brighten fibers through the release of the excess oxygen atom in peroxide.
• Remove many organic stains such as those caused by soda, coffee, tea or red wine spills.
• Remove urine stains and the associated odor.
When used with one of our encapsulation cleaners it produces a whitening or brightening effect without the use of optical brighteners.
When used as directed, it is safe on stain resist and synthetic fibers (not for use on natural fibers.)
Other things to know:
• Excess heat, light or contamination will cause deterioration of the peroxide and the container can swell or rupture because of the excess oxygen that has been released.
• Its stain removing benefit will be at a peak in the very last minutes of drying. It tries to hold on to the extra atom of oxygen for as long as possible. Then it is forced to release the extra atom of oxygen in the final stage of drying to create the oxidizing, stain removing effect.
1. Commercial Magic (Best for low moisture use on carpets not under warranty. Has a high pH. It might be a bit too foamy for Hot Water Extraction.) It is a great Crystallizer.
2. Grease Hawg (Best for Hot Water Extraction. Has a high pH, but has less foam than Commercial Magic.) Also great for Low Moisture use. It is a Film Former.
3. Hot Knife X-Treme (Best for use for carpets under warranty. Has pH less than 10.) It is a great Crystallizer.
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