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Current Category QuickLINKS > POLYPROPYLENE CARPETS -WHY CAN THEY BE SO HARD TO CLEAN?


Polypropylene Carpets - Why can they be so hard to clean?

Is polypropylene carpet (polyprop) any different from other carpets? Yes it is! Here are some characteristics that make it different:

Solution-dyed: Polyprop is non-absorbent and is dyed in the manufacturing process. The colours are permanent.

Stain resistant: The non-absorbent nature of polypropylene carpet makes it almost impossible to stain. It is resistant to most alkalis and acids so you can go after spots with our most aggressive cleaners including oxidisers. Having said that, some organic solvents such as citrus solve adversely affect it.

Poor resilience: Polypropylene fibres are considered very strong and very abrasion resistant. However, they have some resiliency problems and tend to mat and crush in high-traffic areas. No matter how good you are at cleaning carpet, crushing or matting is not restorable. Your customer needs to be made aware of that.

Oil Accumulator: Polyprop is oliophilic. That means that it has a strong natural affinity for oils. It attracts oily soils. Oily soils and spills can be difficult to remove and when left for an extended time may cause discolouration.

T

Identifying Polypropylene using the burn test:

Flame: Even burning flame with blue base and orange tip, no smoke.

Odour: Asphalt or burning wax

Ash: Hard, gray brown to black rounded, beadlike ash.

his presents the following cleaning challenge:

When a water-based cleaning solution is applied to a wool or nylon carpet, some of the solution is absorbed into fibres, while the rest flows toward the backing due to pressure and gravitational forces. However, polypropylene does not absorb the solution and therefore allows more of your cleaning solution to flow into the backing. Any soiled solution in a polypropylene carpet which is not recovered by the cleaning system will then work its way back to the surface to evaporate. As a result, water-soluble surfactants, detergents or additives as well as residual soils will be carried to the surface as well. This can cause a variety of streaking, yellowing and browning effects, and recurring spots. More commonly referred to as wickback.

Your steps to polyprop cleaning success

Step 1 – Remove dry soils

First, vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Remove as much insoluble soil as possible before applying your cleaning solution. Most soil (79 percent) is insoluble, meaning it will not return to a liquid state with water or dry solvents. Studies have shown this type of soil is best removed by dry vacuuming.

Step 2 – Suspend Soils and Oils

Using a prespray that is specially formulated to clean polypropylene will help your end result considerably. Hydramaster PolyBreak and Bridgepoint Traffic Slam a special blends of solvents and emulsifiers designed to lift oily soils from polypropylene without causing resoiling. HydraBoost and BoostAll add the cleaning power of specially formulated alkaline builders and oxygen. Try this formula:

Pump Up or Electric Sprayer

  1. Add 15 grams of HydraBoost or BoostAll for each 4 litres of water that you are going to mix (add about 1/3 cap full for a 10 litre sprayer).
  2. Add a couple of litres of hot water to dissolve.
  3. Add 180mls of PolyBreak or Trafic Slam for each 4 litres of solution that you are going to mix (add about half a litre for a 10 litre sprayer).
  4. Fill with the required amount of hot water. Mix only what you will use. The solution must be warm for HydraBoost or BoostAll to work effectively.
  5. Spray carpet giving extra attention to traffic areas.
  6. Agitate with a grandi-groom. A rotary scrubber can be particularly effective in heavily trafficked areas.
  7. Allow 10 – 15 minutes before extracting.

Hydroforce Sprayer

  1. Use the yellow tip (8-1).
  2. Add 120 grams of HydraBoost or BoostAll to your Hydroforce container (about 1 cap full).
  3. Add a couple of litres of warm water to dissolve.
  4. Add 1.4 litres of PolyBreak or Traffic Slam.
  5. Fill the container with the required amount of hot water. Mix only what you are going to use (makes approx 45 litres of ready to use product).
  6. Spray carpet giving extra attention to traffic areas.
  7. Agitate with a grandi-groom. A rotary scrubber can be particularly effective in heavily trafficked areas.
  8. Allow 10 – 15 minutes before extracting.

Step 3 – Remove soils and Neutralize

Once the soil has been suspended it must be physically removed. The use of an acid or conditioning rinse is effective in removing suspended soils whilst leaving the carpet in a neutral or slightly acidic condition. Acid rinsing will help prevent the browning or wickback that is commonly associated with polypropylene carpets. It also prepares the carpet for the application of a protector.

Portable

To your solution tank add 30ml of Hydramaster SafeClean Clear Water Rinse for each 10 litres of hot water (150ml to a 50 litre solution tank), or to your solution tank add 60ml of Bridgepoint Fab Set for each 10 litres of hot water (300ml to a 50 litre solution tank).

Truckmount with chemical injection

Add 1 litre of Hydramaster SafeClean Clear Water Rinse to 20 litres or 2 litres of Bridgepoint Fab Set to 20 litres of water to make your stock solution. Set your flow meter between 3 and 4,

Truckmount without chemical injection

After extracting, add 30ml of Hydramaster SafeClean Clear Water Rinse per 10 litres, or add 60ml of Bridgepoint Fab Set per 10 litres of water to a pump up or electric sprayer (couple of cap fulls to a 10 litre sprayer). Lightly mist over the area that has been cleaned. Rake in with a groom.

When extracting, control the amount of moisture you apply. Reduce your water pressure to between 100 and 150psi. Use the three-stroke wand method. Stroke one – forward, to remove as much of the prespray and suspended soils as possible before applying more moisture. Stroke 2 – back, to rinse and extract suspended soils from fibres. Stroke 3 – forward, as an additional drying stroke. Let off the trigger at the beginning and end of your cleaning stroke. Make sure that for each wet stroke of the wand you follow it with a dry pass.

Step 4 – Protect

It is a widely held belief that due to the stain resistant properties of polyprop carpet, there is no need to apply a carpet protector. Carpet protectors keep those oily soils on the surface where they belong. Future cleaning will be much easier and more effective.

Pump up or electric sprayer

Add 1 litre of Bridgepoint Maxim for every two litres of water. Ready to use Maxim will cover twice as much area as most other protectors. Use your grandi-groom to set the nap and rake in the protector.

Hydroforce sprayer

Using Bridgepoint Maxim HF, no dilution is necessary. Be sure to remember to remove the metering tip. Use your grandi-groom to set the nap and rake in the protector.

Step 5 - Drying

Dry the carpet as quickly as possible. Where there has been a history of browning or wickback, a dry pass over the cleaned area with a cotton bonnet is advisable. Use your grandi-groom to set the nap of the carpet. This will help considerably to speed drying times. Ventilate the room as best as possible by opening the windows and turning fans and HVAC systems on. Use air movers if possible.


 
 

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