By Robert Kravitz

When it comes to carpet cleaning, most cleaning professionals and building managers think carpet are cleaned with only extractors. While this is a very effective way to clean carpet, it is not the only method. Another method frequently used to clean carpet that complements carpet extraction is the encapsulation method. This is considered a very low moisture, or VLM, method to clean carpet.

“Both extraction and encapsulation can prove effective, and both have many benefits,” according to Mike Watt with Avmor, a manufacturer of a wide-variety of carpet care products.” However, the encapsulation methods have specific benefits that carpet cleaning techs and cleaning professionals should be aware of.”

So, what are the specific benefits of encapsulation?

Here are Watt’s top 10 reasons to clean carpet using the encapsulation method:

  1. The encapsulation method can extend the optimum appearance of carpet on a day-to-day basis.
  2. Carpet typically dries in an hour or less, so facilities can be put back into service faster.
  3. The equipment used for encapsulation typically costs considerably less than that used for extraction; in fact, most cleaning professionals already have low-speed machines, which can be utilized for encapsulation.
  4. When charging by the square foot, the encapsulation method can be very profitable because more carpet is cleaned in a shorter period. In the professional carpet cleaning industry, this is referred to as a “high production rate.”
  5. When using extractors to clean glued carpet tiles or glued carpet, there is always a risk the carpet will loosen from the floor. This is also true when using a spinning bonnet or pad, which can catch on edges of carpet tiles and cause the edges to lift or curl.
  6. Carpet extraction uses about 20 gallons of water to clean 1,000 square feet; encapsulation uses about four or less.
  7. Encapsulation minimizes the possibility of wicking (when soils filter to the surface of the carpet).
  8. Learning the encapsulation method is minimal when compared to using a carpet extractor.
  9. Soil recovered using an encapsulation system typically is collected by a vacuum cleaner; using the extraction method, gallons of soiled water is discharged into sewers.
  10. Encapsulation stretches carpet extraction frequencies. “This is a cost savings, is less disruptive to building users, and is much more environmentally friendly,” Watt adds.

Robert Kravitz is a frequent writer for the professional cleaning industry.

This article was peer reviewed by Scott Warrington.