Hot water and carpet cleaning go hand in hand. Many truck-mount systems have a built-in water heaters to provide readily available hot water at each job site. The reason why hot water is used for carpet cleaning is that the combination of detergent and high-temperature water breaks down grease and organic matter in the fibers efficiently. According to Elite Carpet Services, “For every 18 degree increase in temperature above 118 degrees F, you double the water’s cleaning ability. So if the water temperature is 136 degrees F it will clean twice as well as water that it 118 degrees F. 154 degree water will clean four times as well as 118 degree water. and so on until you reach a water temperature of 250 degrees F.” Hot water also helps to sanitize the carpet since germs start to die off around 146 degrees, heaters can produce temperatures above 180 degrees.
The only drawback with using a water heater with a truck mount system or bucket heaters (for those who use portable carpet cleaners) would be the type of water going into them. If regular tap water is used, then scale build-up will most likely occur on the heating elements. At the same time, jets can become clogged with limescale deposits. Scale buildup can significantly reduce the heater’s ability to work efficiently since the heating element will be covered in thick calcium. It will take longer for the heater to produce hot water. This will also take more time out of an already busy schedule just clean the scale off the heating elements. This means it cuts into the workday and ultimately affecting how many jobs can be performed in a week, which will result in loss of revenue.
For many business owners, time is their biggest asset. If they are spending so much of it maintaining their equipment, then they are going to miss out on opportunities to make money and be profitable by the end of the year. One of the best ways to prevent downtown time is to make sure you’ve got things in place to mitigate potential problems. For carpet cleaners, carrying an extra pump or two for their vacuum/water systems is a must. If any of those fail, the part can be quickly swapped out. Another tool that should be added to the carpet cleaner’s arsenal is an affordable portable water softener.
Water softeners help to eliminate the total dissolved solids such as calcium and magnesium that are found in tap water. A water softener prevents minerals from entering the holding tank through the process of ion-exchange. The portable water softener has cation resin beads in the tank. These beads carry a positive charge and when water passes through it, minerals will cling to them automatically and not let go.
The resin will only let go of the minerals during the regeneration process. This is when a brine solution is then introduced to the resin tank. The salt in the brine performs trade with the beads by swapping out the minerals for the salt. Through the regeneration process, the resin gets cleaned with the help of salt. Once that process is complete, the resin carries a positive charge once again and is ready to repeat the process of ion exchange with minerals in the water.
For carpet cleaners, this is especially important because the water softener will prevent the minerals from getting into the heating system, which prevents any type of scale build-up on internal parts and jets/nozzles. Besides, soft water provides a softer result since there are no minerals present in the water. With tap water, when it evaporates, it leaves a film of calcium and magnesium, just think of the hard water stains in your shower. The same thing happens with carpets, that coat of minerals will leave fibers feeling stiff and crusty, which ends up attracting dirt shortly after. Which can easily translate to an unsatisfied customer, especially if they just paid a lot of money for the service, only to have carpets get dirty so soon afterward.