Very Low Moisture
Carpet Cleaning "VLM"
Harness the Power of Very Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning.
Your Customers Will Love You For It!
Very low moisture carpet cleaning may be the perfect choice if you’re looking for a carpet cleaning method that will leave carpets looking and feeling great.
In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of VLM carpet cleaning in greater detail, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. There is cost savings for equipment, time savings on the job, and improved dirt and sticky residue removal.
Harnessing the power of VLM carpet cleaning can give you a one up on the competition and put more money in your pocket.
VLM uses much less water than traditional cleaning methods.
- An advantage of using any of the following methods is the rapid dry time of the carpet after cleaning (carpets are usually dry to the touch within 30 minutes to two hours.) The quick dry times have significant importance to both consumers and cleaning companies.
- Another significant advantage is the much lower cost of the equipment used. Truck-mounted HWE Equipment can run as high as $100,000 or even more. Low moisture equipment can run anywhere from $500 for a used floor machine to $8,500 for a “state of the art” Oscillating Pad (OP) machine.
- Much less training time is needed to learn to use the equipment properly.
- The most significant disadvantage in all carpet cleaning systems can be the “Rapid Resoiling” of the carpet after cleaning. After having their carpets professionally cleaned, consumers’ primary complaint is that they get dirty again quickly!
The culprit is usually due to the “left-behind” sticky residue from the sprayed-on cleaning solution. Most soaps and detergents are inherently sticky by nature. The carpet will rapidly re-soil if the sprayed-on sticky solution is not completely removed, regardless of the cleaning method used.
This disadvantage is EASILY OVERCOME by using well-formulated encapsulation products like VacAway. Our products will completely eliminate the “left-behind” sticky residue.
Due to their chemical makeup containing crystallizing acrylic polymers, the VacAway encapsulation solutions will never leave behind a sticky residue. Any “left-behind” residue will crystallize and be removed during routine vacuuming. The cleaned carpet will naturally stay clean longer.
- Pre-vacuuming is imperative for most low-moisture systems. This requires a separate vacuum cleaning machine before starting the VLM cleaning process. In many cases, HWE cleaners can get by only using their cleaning wand to pre-vacuum.
- Since “Steam Cleaning” has existed for many years, most consumers are more familiar with it. Extra time may be needed to explain how the VLM process works.
Four of the Most Common VLM Systems Employed Today:
Bonnet cleaning is one of the oldest forms of VLM. It is commonly used in the commercial sector to clean common areas, but can also be used effectively in the residential sector.
A pump-up or electric sprayer is used to spray down the cleaning solution. An absorbent pad, usually loopy in form, is used under a 175 or 300 RPM buffing machine to remove the solution along with the accumulated soil.
These pads are rinsed or changed frequently as they become soiled. NOTE: Rapid resoiling can occur unless the solution used is an encapsulating one.
OP cleaning is similar to bonnet cleaning in that a pump-up or electric sprayer is used to spray down the cleaning solution.
A thin cotton absorbent pad is used under the machine to remove the solution and the accumulated soil. The pads are rinsed or changed frequently as they become soiled. Rapid resoiling can occur unless the solution used is an encapsulating one.
Instead of just spinning like with bonnet cleaning, the machine oscillates (moves back and forth) as it spins slower than with a bonnet machine. These machines come in different sizes and configurations to meet the cleaning demands of the operator.
Personally, I believe this method like the one Big John used in the VLM story, is the best overall of the many very low-moisture carpet cleaning methods. It will work well in both the commercial and residential sectors. I like the high degree of agitation the system produces to loosen the soil. The highly absorbent cotton pads are also a plus. They can give a consumer a great visual of the removed soil.
Counter Rotating Brush (CRB)
An encapsulating prespray is sprayed on the carpet with a pump-up, electric sprayer, or an optional onboard spray system.
This electric machine uses counter rotation brushes that dig deep into the carpet pile. It is very effective at digging out dirt, pet hair, and other debris that can be difficult to remove with the above methods. It is truly amazing how much debris this system can dig from a soiled carpet.
CRB cleaning is very different than the above methods in that no cleaning pads are used to remove the soil. An onboard tray is used to catch the soil and debris as it is dug out of the carpet pile.
These machines vary in size for 10 to 20 inches.
Post vacuuming after drying is recommended for this system.
The Cimex is a planetary machine with an onboard spray system. It has three heads spinning at 400 rpm. The heads each have a fiber scrubbing pad attached.
The planetary action is one where the three drivers spin in one direction. At the same time, the drive deck revolves in the opposite direction. This means you are brushing the carpet pile left and right simultaneously.
It produces highly effective agitation of an encapsulation prespray into the carpet pile. It is capable of very high production rates in the commercial sector. It is rarely used in a residential setting.
Post-vacuuming after drying removes the encapsulated dirt and grime.