What is Dirt

Definition: Dirt is “a foreign substance on a surface.”

What is dirt? My dictionary calls dirt “any unclean material.” When I ask the question at a workshop, the most common answer is mud, filth, soil, sand. Occasionally, someone will define dirt as “a foreign substance on a surface.” My grandchildren have a sandbox with clean sand, but when it is tracked into my family room, it becomes dirt.

Mill oil (spin finish) accidentally left on a polypropylene (olefin) fiber by the carpet manufacturer is not seen during inspection. But when it becomes apparent after some foot traffic, it is definitely the culprit we call dirt.

The residue from rotary shampoo, dry foam and bonnet cleaning methods are definitely dirt when it begins to show by attracting soil from foot traffic. The crisp residue left by the powder method is a special kind of dirt. The residue includes materials like ground-up corn cobs, corn stalks, diatomaceous earth, clay, baking soda and minerals such as talc. These powders are, in reality, a foreign substance - Dirt!

Optical brighteners, frequently employed in carpet shampoos and bonnet compounds to give an artificial appearance of brightness and cleanliness, could also be considered another soil often turning the carpet permanently yellow.

Some carpet cleaning extraction equipment leave high levels of residue in the carpet. If the extraction machine has a poor recovery rate and a high dilution ratio, the result is a residue in the carpet that will attract and hold dirt particles. Have you ever noticed that most extraction machines have smaller recovery tanks than their solution tanks?

One shampoo scrubber/extractor machine boasts a 35 percent recovery rate (leaves 65 percent of the stuff behind!). With the Bane-Clene® system, an activated water solution at only 0.5% detergent in warm water is injected into the carpet at moderate pressure, with 95 percent recovered.

Many carpet retailers advise their customers to avoid having their carpets cleaned as long as possible because cleaning will cause them to get dirty more quickly - resoiling. These carpet sales people are still under the impression that this is true. Unfortunately, with many of the methods we discussed above, it is true. This error in thinking goes back to the “old days” of cleaning carpets with sticky shampoos that did in fact cause resoiling.

Each of these “soils” presents an interesting challenge. The mill oil or spin finish can be removed by pre-spraying a solution of TLS® 2000 (diluted one part TLS to ten parts water), followed by extraction. In severe cases, Energy Prespray Booster can be added to the prespray. The extraction solution should consist of 0.4 ounces of PCA to one gallon of water. Booster® may be added according to directions on the container. The extraction process is sometimes followed with a Brown Out® rinse.

Normal Bane-Clene® extraction will solve the problem of shampoo-bonnet residue (browning and foam). Add Anti-Foam Concentrate (AFC™ ) to the recovery system and apply Brown Out® after cleaning. For a carpet that is filled with powdered deodorizers like “Love My Carpet”, it is recommended to use a pile lifter before cleaning. Some of these materials will swell when wet and will lock in place unless pile is lifted.

Educating the carpet retailer in your community is the best possible service you could do for the consumers, who get their advice from this source. We have brochures that are designed for this purpose.

In summary, dirt or soil is anything foreign left in the carpet, even if it is called a cleaner. Good chemical cleaning agents, equipment and techniques will avoid the problem of this type of soil - dirt!

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Published by: Bane-Clene® Corp.
Copyright: Bane-Clene Corp.

Date Published: February 17, 2000

Date Modified: March 23, 2019