It’s a fact … some carpet and furniture cleaners skip the preconditioning step in cleaning.
Others may apply preconditioner, but not the amount recommended by the manufacturer because their sprayer of choice is a bit slow and they are in a hurry to get to the next job.
Then there are those who will use various sprayers depending on the aspect of the job … one for preconditioning and another for applying deodorizers, and yet another for applying fabric protectors.
Which group of cleaners in these scenarios is most likely to get the carpet or furniture clean to the satisfaction of the customer?
Although cleaning can be performed without sprayers, using the proper chemical application tool virtually guarantees a more professional job and better customer satisfaction.
Trigger sprayers are very economical to use, although the quality of the sprayer will affect the price tremendously.
Trigger sprayers are generally used for applying small amounts of chemical, such as a localized deodorizer in a corner of a room or upon a cushion of furniture.
However, many cleaners use trigger sprayers extensively for furniture cleaning. It doesn’t take much chemical delivery, speaking of volume and pressure, to apply the correct amount of chemical to upholstery fabrics.
There are some trigger-type sprayers that use battery power. No trigger to use, but the same effectiveness is utilized.
By far the most common type of all-purpose sprayer is the pump-up sprayer.
The smallest are generally quart-size capacity, often used much like a trigger sprayer but with the ability to hold pressure and reduce fatigue.
Most pump-up sprayers have at least a one-gallon capacity, although the most common have closer to a three-gallon capacity for efficiency. They come in both plastic and metal versions.
A quality pump-up sprayer can be used for virtually all chemical applications a carpet or furniture cleaner needs. With a relatively inexpensive cost, cleaners can have a sprayer for any application, from preconditioning to deodorizing to post treatments.
When using extremely hot water, be careful with plastic parts in your sprayer. They can expand or collapse, depending on the pressure.
Remember that pump sprayers purchased at consumer locations, such as hardware stores, may cost much less than those at professional supply houses for carpet cleaners, but they rarely use chemically-resistant seals. These sprayers often use cone tips that do not apply product as evenly as a tip with a fine spray.
Battery and electric sprayers
With many of the features of a pump-up sprayer, such as ease-of-operation and portability, but without the work of adding pressure to the tank, some cleaners opt to use either electric or battery-powered pumps to operate their sprayer.
Many systems allow the cleaner to simply insert a container of chemical into the pump when needing to change chemicals or when replenishing. Others hold the chemical in their own reservoir.
Obviously, the downside is the need for an electrical outlet for operation or to recharge a battery, but much time can be saved with this type of system.
Tremendously popular is the use of inline sprayers.
These sprayers can be used, depending on a specific make or model, with portable and truckmounted equipment to deliver a specific pressure and temperature to the carpet.
The pressure solution line is hooked up to the sprayer and the system dilutes either at a pre-set or adjustable dilution. The resulting spray is applied hot unless adjusted down at the portable extractor or truckmount.
A variety of inexpensive chemical containers can be used with one sprayer for applying preconditioners, deodorizers, post treatments and more. Simply change the container, run fresh chemical for a moment through the sprayer, and you are ready to apply the new chemical.
Inline sprayers are the choice of most cleaners when it comes to applying hot chemical quickly and efficiently.
Jeff Cross is the executive editor of Cleanfax and an industry trainer and consultant, and offers carpet cleaning marketing, disaster restoration marketing and contract cleaning marketing seminars and classes through Totally Booked University, and also IICRC technical training for carpet and furniture cleaning, spot and stain removal and carpet color repair. For more information, visit his technical training website and marketing training website.