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  • Startup question

    I'm want to start a new carpet cleaning service in my area. I prefer to start with a portable unit for the lower startup costs. What is the best system to use for start up? Do I need hot water? Do the chemicals get sprayed on or do they get on the carpet from the wand? Is there anywhere I can get any literature to learn from? Any help would be really appreciated.

  • #2
    Hot Water and Cleaning Pie

    You need to read and answer the questions located at

    I always recommend using hot water, even if you purchase a machine with a heater.

    Pre-spraying the carpet first improves cleaning performance. 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 exponentially 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 uses
    all four slices in abundance. Why do you think people spend $10000 on a
    truck-mount (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 for
    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. 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. 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
    Similar comments can be found on our message board at

    As far as training and books are located at

    Training Books & Videos, Miscellaneous, Making Money, Floorcovering Dictionary, Floorcovering Inspection Report Writing handbook, Floorcovering Inspection Report Examples, Carpet Cleaners Handbook, Carpet Repair & Installation handbook, Floorco...

    I currently teach a class on the second Tuesday of every month on a different subject and am also recording these 90 min training classes to make available on DVD for only $40 each.

    Donald Cook