The term “steam cleaning” is derived from the original concept of the equipment first utilized in the steam extraction process. Solution pressures were created by large heat generators that relied upon pressure to deliver cleaning solutions to the cleaning tool. A crude vacuum system was used for recovering cleaning solutions. Equipments utilizing high pressure pumps, to deliver cleaning solutions to the cleaning tools and more efficient vacuum systems. This system is also called hot water extraction. Hot detergent solution is injected under pressure; soil is suspended, and wet vacuuming removes soil and excess moisture.
The vacuum efficiency is a combination of both airflow and lift. Airflow is measured CFM (cubic feet per minute) indicating how much air volume is moved per minute. Lift is the measurement of negative vacuum pressure commonly referred to in inches of water or mercury lift. Water lift indicates the amount of vacuum to raise a 1 inch diameter column of water 1 inch while mercury lift refers to the same for a column of mercury; 1 inch of mercury lift = 13.6 inches of water lift.
Preconditioning should be utilized in all instances of heavy soil accumulation. Preconditioning the carpet with Kleen Kuip’s Traffic Tex gives the detergents and solvents more dwell time to effectively break down and suspend soils so that they can be rinsed more effectively out of the carpet fibers.
- Steam cleaning is recognized by most carpet manufacturers and fiber producers as the preferred method for the most efficient soil removal.
- Present state of the art equipment enables high rates of production.
- Less residue provided proper chemical usage.
- Relatively low chemical cost.
- Requires high level of operator skill.
- Longer drying times can occur.
- Problems associated with overwetting if equipment is not in proper operating condition or operator employs poor technique.
- High equipment and maintenance cost.
- A pump operating with insufficient water flow will overheat due to friction.
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