Let us C.H.A.T. it out…
The ability to effectively clean anything—not just tough dirt in carpet—requires an understanding of the four basic principles of soil suspension; chemical action, heat, agitation and time. We remember these fundamentals by the acronym CHAT.
The first of the fundamentals is CHEMICAL action. Water is used in cleaning because of how it reacts with many soils. In fact, water does the majority of the work in cleaning. However, water alone is not very effective on oily or greasy soils. We need specialty cleaning agents to dissolve some of the more difficult soils like food, grease and petroleum oils found in things like makeup, shoe polish and ink. These soils would be difficult or impossible to remove with plain water.
It’s amazing how little of these cleaning agents we need to get great results. When we dilute our products, we are actually using about 99.9% water! If you find this hard to believe, consider how much bubble bath you need to make a whole tub full of suds. It’s not much is it? Similarly, we use just enough cleaning solution to break down soils and no more. This assures that we leave no unwanted residue.
Remember, there are different cleaning agents designed to remove a variety of soils from all kinds of surfaces. A product designed to work on tile and grout floors would likely damage carpet or wood. A wood cleaner would not do an adequate job of cleaning glass. To work well, the right chemicals must be matched to surface and suitable for the soil that you are trying to remove.
The second principle of soil suspension is HEAT. Hot water cleans better than cold water. In situations where it is safe to do so, adding heat to your cleaning solution will increase chemical effectiveness, decrease overall cleaning time, and you will use less detergent. When you are dealing with heavily soiled surfaces, heat is especially helpful. Heat also helps liquefy oily, greasy and sticky soils, suspending them into the cleaning solution for effective removal.
AGITATION is the third principle of soil suspension. Scouring pads, brushes, coarse cloths, and even high-pressure water are some methods used to achieve agitation. Agitation helps by distributing your cleaning agent for better penetration, dislodging soils from surfaces and suspending them in the cleaning solution to be rinsed away. For example, by agitating the cleaning solution into your carpet, a professional carpet cleaner suspends soils and lifts matted carpet yarns for better tough dirt cleaning and maximum results.
TIME is the fourth principle of cleaning and soils suspension. We all know that the longer you scrub and rinse something, the cleaner it gets. While that is true, it’s not the best use of time. When you are cleaning, dwell time of your cleaning agent is important. Dwell time means that you allow the product time to work, breaking down and dissolving soils. The amount of dwell time will depend on the type and quantity of soiling, the surface being cleaned and the strength and concentration of your cleaning solution. If you rush this process, cleaning results suffer. We make sure we allow the product to work so soils are completely dissolved for removal.
Here’s how it works in cleaning: If you have to use a very mild cleaning chemical, you’ll need to increase dwell time, agitation and/or temperature. If you can’t use hot water, you will have to use more chemical, more dwell time, or scrub more aggressively.
If you can’t use agitation, you will need more time, heat and/or chemical action. Increasing temperature by using hot water is usually the best way to improve cleaning efficiency and save time. Hot water reduces the amount of chemical you need to clean, suspends more soil, and rinses better. Temperatures over 130ºF begin to kill microbes on surfaces, providing sanitizing benefits. If you apply The 4 Principles of Cleaning, you can be more successful cleaning just about anything.
Of course, when it comes to cleaning your carpet, upholstery, rugs, wood flooring, and tile, Clean Pro Cleaning & Restoration technicians are the experts at applying the 4 principles of cleaning. That’s why we produce the best results every time, guaranteed.