By John Klucznik

Your existing and potential customers call you and explore the options you offer because they have a problem and need you to solve it. So, when that customer has a dirty carpet, rug, or piece of furniture — or all the above — encapsulation gives you another option to satisfy the customer’s needs and possibly turn them into a repeat customer and another source of income for your company.

If you or the customer is only familiar with hot water extraction, then you have a real opportunity to offer something new that can help with their soiling problem and make you stand out from the rest of the carpet cleaners in your area. Notice I’ve not indicated encapsulation as specific to residential or commercial. This is because encapsulation used with low-moisture cleaning can serve both.

Encapsulation only refers to the way the chemistry dries and is not in and of itself a method. Many of our cleaners use encapsulation products for both hot water extraction and with different low-moisture machines like bonnet, oscillating pad, and counter rotating brush. Encapsulation can also be used as a prespray before hot water extraction that’s finished with a clear water rinse.

Why customers will want it

Your customer not only wants a beautiful, fresh-smelling carpet, but also a fair price that comes with the least amount of inconvenience to them — along with on-time service delivered by polite, knowledgeable, and well-groomed techs. Not much, right?

Since customers want carpet clean, fresh, and dry as quick as possible, selling encapsulation and low moisture is pretty easy. Low-moisture can deliver consistent dry times under two hours with some dry times under 30 minutes, depending on humidity, air temperature, and air flow as well as how soiled the carpet was. Not only will the carpet dry quicker, but it is also much less likely to re-soil with encapsulation, which gives your customer another reason to consider its use in their commercial or residential location.

The technical side

As a bonnet, for example, runs over the carpet, the chemistry inside water molecules is introduced to the soil on the face of the carpet’s fiber. The chemistry reacts and loosens the soil particles, detaching them from the face fiber. This is enhanced by the mechanical action of the bonnet fibers as they contact and scrub the carpet fibers, assisting the chemical reaction of the encapsulation cleaning detergent.

The mechanical action also can reduce the soil’s particle size into nano-sized particles that will be held in the encapsulation polymer after you have finished your cleaning process. These smaller particles are vacuumed out over the next several vacuum cycles, and this polymer “shell” is what helps reduce or eliminate rapid resoling — not to mention the carpet fibers, which have the oily binders removed from the face fibers. Protectors can still be used and are recommended. The protector will orient itself under the encapsulation polymer for a double coating.

Selling the knowledge

Remember, as with most any sale, the customer is buying you; your service is just included in the deal. So, be confident in the service and products you offer as this will directly relate to your close rate.

Do you use a before and after picture book to sell your services? (You should!) Is your van clean and well lettered? Are you neat and clean? All these things add up to sales. Adding low-moisture cleaning with encapsulation is just one more great way to increase your income with a much lower investment than many of the extraction equipment options.

Your customers will love the fast drying times, great cleaning results, and lower incidents of returning spots and general soiling. That gets you referrals and keeps your momentum rolling in a positive direction.


John Klucznik is president of Bonnet Pro. He may be reached at 215-723-5330.