How To Clean Commercial Carpets
Clean Informer  Article, by Rob Allen
How to clean CGD (commercial glue down) commercial carpet is and is not as easy as many think. Knowing the right steps in any process is critical. Chemistry also plays a large role. Today’s commercial CGD (Commercial Glue Down) carpets can be quite a challenge for carpet cleaners. Why?

Because standard carpet cleaning methods and chemistry will not clean CGD properly. Your whole way of looking at carpet cleaning must focus on critical steps or you will be unsuccessful. Then someone else will take the ball from you. Hopefully this video will be a game changer for you and your company leading to great profits in your carpet cleaning business.

Here are the steps to cleaning CGD

1. Inspection

2. Identification

3. Pre-vacuum with CRB

4. Pre-vacuum with vacuum

5. Pre-spot

6. Pre-spray

7. Pre-agitate

8. Clean strokes

9.  Dry strokes

10. Air movers


Like any cleaning,the method is not as important as the technicians attention to details. Whether it is Hot Water Extraction (HWE), Encapsulation or VLM with the proper knowledge of construction,chemistry, and application of methodology anyone can do a great job with CGD. Removing dry particulate soil,getting CGD dry as quick as possible is so critical to reduce common problems associated with CGD cleaning,namely,wicking. Wicking is the biggest nemesis of commercial cleaners. How many HWE cleaners have ever cleaned a commercial carpet only to go back the following days to find it looks just as bad if not worse than before?

This is a carpet cleaners nightmare. So many HWE (how water extraction) cleaners throw up their hands in frustration. This is where encapsulation stepped in and filled the gap. Now you could clean quickly even without extraction and get better results. Why? Several reasons. The chemistry breaks down soil fast,drys quickly and encapsulates wicking soil that was not removed initially. It is a win/win. However HWE guys complained that soil is not being removed,rather it is just being taken on a joy ride. We won’t go into that endless debate. Rather we will say there are HWE rotaries and new units like the CX 15 that have closed that gap.

When it comes to chemistry there is so many new and great products on the market to help you regardless of your method. Now you can cross methods with chemistry. How so? Well HWE cleaners can use encap rinses. Encap machines can use HWE chemistry in their cleaning process. This cross over technology has led to many cleaners picking up and keeping commercial accounts.

After all,clients are not as interested in method as we cleaners are. They only care about appearance. That is why I have said on many occasions “we are in the appearance business,not the cleaning business”. I don’t care how clean you get a carpet if it doesn’t look clean the client is not happy and will not use or refer you. But if the carpet is not as clean but looks fantastic,the client will choose you and refers you over another. Now with improved equipment and chemistry you can deliver both!

Lets look at a list of equipment that can used to clean CGD carpet;

  1. 1.      Truckmounts
  2. 2.      Portables
  3. 3.      Rotaries
  4. 4.       OP’s
  5. 5.       175’s
  6. 6.      Walk behinds
  7. 7.      Planetary
  8. 8.       CRB Counter rotating brush

Hot Water Extraction Truckmounts are the pinnacle of the cleaning industry. They can serve so many functions. Problem is on CGD they need a little help,esp with olefins and polyesters. This is where rotaries,walk behinds and chemistry come in to achieve the desired results. The newer synthetics have an affinity for oily soils and are not removed easily. You need strong chemistry,rotary,pressure and good extraction. By following the proper cleaning procedures you will be successful using your truck mount.

HWE portables can be used in the same way as the truckmounts. The disadvantage is they do not produce the same power to clean. So you have to make it up by taking more time. It is just an efficiency issue if one has a decent power portable and proper chemistry. Taking your time will produce great results! 

Rotaries like Rotovac,RX-20, and the Mytee T-Rex are excellent tools to help your CGD cleaning process. A wand cannot match the cleaning ability,speed or extraction ability of a rotary. On top of it reduced fatigue enables one to clean larger areas. This is especially important for owner operators. But multi truck companies do well reducing fatigue for their technicians to keep them happy and around for years.

OP,Oscillating Pad,machines have a great place in our industry too. They, like the CRB, are great for pre-scubbing before HWE. They loosen and spread pre spray in a very unique and effective way. It is great for post padding to remove lines after HWE. Many consider it much more effective than a standard rotary for encapsulation because of oscillating dispersion. Also good for banks or any closed door security jobs where the building must stay locked up. Great for high rises. It also stops wickbacks in it’s tracks. Offers clients a low moisture method. Good back up for truckmounts. Overall a very good CGD cleaning option.

175 rotary is a very good pre agitation tool. This is the old rugged beast that can be picked up very inexpensively. Pick up a few pads and bonnets and you have the lowest price entry machine for doing encapsulation or in conjunction with a suitable HWE machine. You can encap with it. This machine is not the most effective however it will still do a decent job. Efficiency is poor with a 175. Overall still a good tool to have in your cleaning arsenal.

Walk behinds are pricey,expensive to repair and nowhere as effective in cleaning. They do make some of it up in efficiency but most cleaners agree this is the poorest method for cleaning commercial carpets. However it is the easiest as some of them are even ridable. Just don’t expect to ride it to success for your commercial clients.

Planetary machines are hard to beat for efficiency. They can be used on just about any surface including CGD. It really shines for encapsulation because of it’s unique planetary moving heads. Cimex has a 3 head version that eliminates the torque you feel with a standard rotary. This makes it very easy to push,very easy to use and is effective at cleaning cgd commercial carpets. It cleans all sides of the fiber when encapping but there is no extraction. It is also extremely heavy and bulky. It is durable and pretty simple to work on and has a built in shower feed. Many rug shops use it for rugs and that is how we mostly use it. But it’s greatest selling point is definitely it’s claim to clean up to 2000 feet an hour.

CRB’s,Counter Rotating Brush machines are also very versatile. They can be used for encapsulation,pre scrubbing,rug cleaning,pre vacuuming and pile lifting. They are relatively easy to use,are durable and not too heavy. They come in different sizes. This gives you the flexibility to use it effectively in a residential and commercial setting. You can also use it for lock in,hi rises and has many brush options. The counter rotating brush is very difficult to beat for digging deep into a carpet to get the particulate matter out and for dispersing pre spray before HWE. Overall it’s another great weapon to have in your cleaning business.

Well I hope with the explanation of methods and chemistry that anyone can clean CGD carpet. It is very profitable and often over looked by cleaners. It is an excellent staple income that takes you through slow periods. The key is doing great work once you have gotten the job. Establishing a commercial route is not that hard. There are many suggestions on TMF of how to contact the right person,demonstrate demo and securing commercial carpet cleaning. Many cleaners like myself love the benefits and financial rewards that come with CGD cleaning. Shouldn’t you?

Video Presentation Here:  http://

Rob Allen