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Is it OK to clean with cold water?

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  • Is it OK to clean with cold water?

    I have heard from many customers that they think because the chemicals are so much better than they were 20 years ago it is OK to clean with cold water.

    Cleaning carpet with cold water is like cleaning clothes in cold water. It still works but hot is a lot better. In fact, if you remember from your tenth grade chemistry class the speed in which water molecules vibrate is double at 136 degrees F. than water molecules at 118 degree F. Every 18 degrees of water temperature increase exponentionaly doubles past 118 degrees. For example, 154 degree molecules vibrates 4 times faster than 118 degrees. The opposite is true. When water cools below 32 degree, vibration slows down the water molecules that the liquid become a solid and forms ice.

    With all that said the theory is that with hotter water, you can use a lot less chemical, dwell time, and agitation to achieve the same results. The is what is called the cleaning pie. The cleaning pie consist of four equal slices. Heat, Agitation, Dwell Time, and Chemical Action. If you increase the size of one of the pie pieces the need for each of the other remaining 3 pieces is reduced. It does not matter which pie piece you enlarge, the theory remains true. The best possible cleaning would be a system that says all four slices in abundance. Why do you think people spend $10000 on a truckmount (more heat, pressure, and vacuum and more automation) or on a Volcano 6000 watt heater if they use portables?

    I also want to comment on the heat that you will get out of a 2000 watt heater. All the brands of the 1750 watt to 9000 watt heaters use thermostats that turn the water heater off when the water temperature reaches 210 degrees. (like when you set the wand down and quit cleaning or a while) The rate of water temperature rise is based on power consumption and water flow. The average in-line water heater only holds 8 ounces of water. Some heaters hold a little more water. The Mytee Turbo and Volcano 6000 hold 32 oz of water. So when you are cleaning carpet, the water is flowing pretty fast through the heater and the average temperature rinse is only 25 to 50 degrees F. When cleaning upholstery, because the spray jet is small and uses less water per hour, a 2000 watt heater is quite impressive. The breakdown is for standard dual jet cleaning expect a 10 to 15 degree rise for every 1000 watts of energy you place in the water. For power wands, these results are cut in half and with hand/ upholstery tools, these figures are doubled. Please note that cleaning and water pressure and jet size also play a part in temp rise. If I have a machine with a 100 psi pump and cleans at 65 psi with the trigger squeezed will get the water much hotter than a 500 psi machine that cleans at 375 psi with the trigger squeezed. Please note the jet sizes primary used on our industry. 11001, 110015, 11002, and 11003. The first figure is the spray angle. The aforementioned jets all would clean with a 110 degree angle. The last numbers represent the size of the orifice. 11001 is twice as small as a 11002.

    Sometimes people tell me "25 degree is not very much improvement, is it really worth the money?" My answer is "Yes!" Twenty five degrees is past the 18 degree temperature rise mentioned above, so you will more than double your cleaning efficiency!

    Donald Cook

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    Last edited by Donald; October 8, 2011, 06:10 AM.

  • #2
    As the hobby of having an aquarium becomes more and more popular, it should be noted that the easiest aquarium to care for and set up is a coldwater tank. As the name suggests, coldwater tanks require no heating set up. This cuts costs when setting up your first tank. It also makes the aquarium much easier to maintain in the long run. Keep in mind that only certain coldwater fish can survive in a tank without heat. Most common are goldfish and guppies, but there are a multitude available and you will be able to have an array of fish living in your coldwater tank.The supplies you will need to set up your aquarium may seem lengthy, but it is actually a much shorter and cheaper list than that of a heated freshwater tank or a saltwater tank. Obviously the first thing you need is a tank. It's all about personal choice here as they come in many sizes and shapes. When you purchase the tank, a kit often comes with it and includes some of the other things you may need. Just to make sure, check that you have a filter and an air pump. These are the most important pieces to the whole set up. If you are buying your tank as a kit, make sure it is specified to be a coldwater set-up. You will notice that no heater will be included.Is it correct?


    • #3
      Good points Donald. I think that many people overlook the fact that a 25 degree change in temperature is quite a lot. I didn't realize that it doubled the cleaning effectiveness though.
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      • #4
        Water temp help

        Question: I tried to register on your forum to ask about the difference hot water makes with tile/grout cleaning since, the forum topic you sent me only talks about carpet but my computer said that your site uses an "invalid form of compression." I figure the principles of hot water and molecule agitation are universal but I'd like professionals first-hand experience with cleaning tile/grout with cold tap water. Here in Jackson Hole, the tap is very chilly.

        Answer: The physics of water temperature are universal and apply to all surface types. This is why some cleaners will boost their water temperature with added fuels (propane, kerosene, diesel, bio-diesel, or electric heaters) Please note most electric heaters are only designed to work at pressures up to 500 psi except for the Volcano 9000 is rated for 1000 psi. The standard propane heaters work at pressures up to 600 psi and the high pressure model works at pressures up to 1000 psi. Only the diesel/ kerosene / bio-diesel model work at pressures up to 4000 psi. Most tile cleaning companies will clean tile in the 1200 to 1700 psi range. The diesel heaters are temperature adjustable up to 250 degrees F. You can clean any surface with cold tap water but you will spend a lot more time using the remaining parts of the cleaning pie. So out of the 4 parts: heat, time, agitation, chemical action, you will not have heat. Your slice of the pie for heat is a tiny sliver. So now you will have to make up the difference with the remaining three slices. The remaining three slices need to be enlarged. Their are two forms of agitation. Physical agitation (like with a brush) and water pressure. Water pressure is a form of agitation as the water molecules are smashed into each other. Here is another problem with many cold tile cleaning machines > the pumps are rated for 1200 psi but they pressure gauge only reads 1200 psi when you are not squeezing the trigger on the cleaning tool. Depending the model of the machine the pressure will drop up to 30% when you squeeze the gun to start the cleaning process. This could drop your cold water tile cleaning machine to 850 psi. This a more common experience on machines that use a fresh holding tank. The pump has to perform two jobs. Suck water from the holding tank and then push the water to the floor. Depending on the size of the jet, the pressure can even be as much as 50% pressure loss. The other style of tile cleaning machines use direct connect to the building water pressure. The 65 psi water building pressure will push the water into the tile cleaning pump and pressure drop off during the squeeze of the trigger is minimal. The other advantage to direct connect tile cleaning is less heat loss. Machines that hold the water in the fresh water tank are having the temperature from the hot water building supply drop off and extra 10 to 20 degrees. Direct connect systems have better heat and better cleaning pressure. Here is an example of two cleaning machine options. US Products King Cobra and the Mytee M12. Both machines use fresh water tanks and the Pumptec 356 series pump under the hood. Because these have to suck and push from the fresh tank, please expect the pressure to drop off and the water to be cooled off a bit (hook these machine to the customers hot water supply). No compare this to using the exact same pump 80346 and direct connect to the hot water building pressure and suck up the water with any flood pumper extractor and machine with auto dump. Much better pressure and heat on the floor and a system that is much easier to lift in and out of the service truck because I do not have a 65 lbs pump installed inside the auto dump machine.
        Now if you look at just the water temperature side of it and you use a kerosene heater and clean at a full 200 degree as opposed to 100 degree like you are now. The hot water improvement is more than double. The the cleaning ability doubles every 18 to 20 degrees we double at 120, double again at 140, double again at 160, double again at 180 and again at 200. If we place a figure and call 100 degree a 1 then 120 is a 2, 140 is a 4, 160 is an 8 and 180 is a 16 and 200 is a 32. 200 degree water can clean 32 times better than 100 degree water.


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        • #5
          It is a very helpful information about cleaning. I think hot water is good option for cleaning. Especially in case of carpet cleaning, hot water with lime juice and vinegar is a very useful thing for cleaning.

          Cleanscape House Cleaning Dublin
          Last edited by vikismith; April 12, 2013, 01:36 AM.