The Cleaning Products You Use, Part 4...Finally!

#1
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I shared some history of the ways our use of cleaning products changed over the last 30 years, and how outside forces influenced those decisions.

Where are we today is in many ways, a full circle. Once again, after all the changes of the last few decades, we are using preconditioning agents with pH ranges from 11-12, a few slightly higher.

The advent of olefin carpet began the move back to higher pH products, and the recent explosion of oil loving polyester and triexta fiber carpet only increased the need to do so.

I have to confess that I smile at how quickly our industry went from fearfulness of using anything over 10 to now almost writing off such products as "weak".

Still, we are also doing things better than 30 years ago. The use of acid rinses, non detergent cleaners, and (with regrets to Tom Forsythe) clear water rinse systems all came about because we are far more interested in having carpet stay clean longer.

We also pay far more attention to our cleaning tools. 30 years ago, the choice was between "straight" ("Hydrahoe" as example....now an unfortunate name..) and "gooseneck wands". The RX20 was a few years old, but no other rotary tools yet existed.

Now we have a number of rotary jet extractors, and revolutionary wands that all had the "greenhorn wand" as its common ancestor. Glides have made carpet cleaning easier for an increasingly aging cleaning population, and we owe a huge debt to Lisa Weber for fighting to keep that product available. It too is a big part of the expansion of wand types used today.

In the end, for all of the outside pressures, the best innovations have come from within the cleaning industry, and in many ways, cleaners just like yourself. Keith Studebaker, as one example, is one such cleaner/inventor to whom we owe a debt we cannot repay.

And while the cleaning product manufactures did the best they could to provide us with detergents that met the carpet/fiber producers' demands, its to their credit that they listened to your needs (ok..often demands)and have created problem solving products the get poorly maintained carpet very clean, while doing their best to keep "approved products available that work as good as can be expected when such are needed.

I'd enjoy your insights on where we are, and how we got here.

One last thought:

During all of these changes and especially when outside forces challenged our ways, it was industry bulletin boards gave voice to independent cleaners. Mikeysboard was and continues to be a place that gives voice to those needs, and introduces new products and new ideas
 
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I am still a relative newcomer to MB, having been lurking for a while and finally having Willy kicking me into the mess. I have to say, it has been an eye opening experience. The greatest thing in the world is being able to discuss, argue, fight and learn about all the different ways carpet cleaners all around the world have been getting things done. Went to my first "Experience" this year and was blown away by the size of the event. My wife had to follow me around with napkins as I was drooling over all the exotic equipment. My hats off to inventors like Tom Conway and Erik Hiltz for seeing a need and taking carpet cleaning to the next level. I think carpet cleaners know what they need and if they invent a tool or machine, it's not just to make a profit, but to solve a problem, or make life easier. In the last 30 years, I feel that I have used every chemical combination out there but I keep finding new ones to try and I keep an open mind when someone comes up with a new one. I like the move to more environmentally friendly products, not just for the customers but for the technicians that have to work with them everyday. I have a love/hate relationship with the IICRC and CRI. They have done a lot of great work and have helped to educate not only carpet cleaners, but Consumers as well. Having said that, the SOA has become a joke. I have been on several bulletin boards over the years but have settled on Mikeys Board and feel like I have found a home here. There are a lot of experienced cleaners, suppliers and others that have no problem sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience and I have to say, if you are a member of MB and want to be a successful carpet (or other) cleaner, you have all the resources at your finger tips. Much easier to start now, than it was 30 years ago. Thanks Jim, you always have a special insight to our industry.
 
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I shared some history of the ways our use of cleaning products changed over the last 30 years, and how outside forces influenced those decisions.
You mean, like how the truckmount manufacturers pushed the IICRC into making it a part of carpet cleaning religion to prespray emulsifying detergents and run acid rinses through the truckmount system - since this had nothing to do with cleaning and everything to do with preserving the life of the heat exchangers that solution passed though in those days?

Now that every manufacturer has gone to last stage chemical injection, that canon has been dropped from IICRC lore. It seems to have seeped into the world of "it is knowns" though, and is still taken for granted as THE WAY.

I will thank the people behind the founding of this board (Mikey and others) for creating a place where that dialogue could be presented. And thank Mikey for not allowing himself to be pushed by those manufacturers and their IICRC toadies into deleting posts the way some magazine editors allowed themselves to be pushed.
 
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You mean, like how the truckmount manufacturers pushed the IICRC into making it a part of carpet cleaning religion to prespray emulsifying detergents and run acid rinses through the truckmount system - since this had nothing to do with cleaning and everything to do with preserving the life of the heat exchangers that solution passed though in those days?

Now that every manufacturer has gone to last stage chemical injection, that canon has been dropped from IICRC lore. It seems to have seeped into the world of "it is knowns" though, and is still taken for granted as THE WAY.

I will thank the people behind the founding of this board (Mikey and others) for creating a place where that dialogue could be presented. And thank Mikey for not allowing himself to be pushed by those manufacturers and their IICRC toadies into deleting posts the way some magazine editors allowed themselves to be pushed.
Tell us how you really feel. :)
 
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You mean, like how the truckmount manufacturers pushed the IICRC into making it a part of carpet cleaning religion to prespray emulsifying detergents and run acid rinses through the truckmount system - since this had nothing to do with cleaning and everything to do with preserving the life of the heat exchangers that solution passed though in those days?

Now that every manufacturer has gone to last stage chemical injection, that canon has been dropped from IICRC lore. It seems to have seeped into the world of "it is knowns" though, and is still taken for granted as THE WAY.

I will thank the people behind the founding of this board (Mikey and others) for creating a place where that dialogue could be presented. And thank Mikey for not allowing himself to be pushed by those manufacturers and their IICRC toadies into deleting posts the way some magazine editors allowed themselves to be pushed.
I didn't realize iicrc required acid run through the steam machine. Once in a while I will use acid that way, but mostly I run alkaline.

However, my Powermatic does not have last stage chemical injection but rather a simple chemical draw, and I have no heat exchanger issues to deal with. Something to be said for the tried and true way of doing things.

Agree Mikey's Board is the place to be. Clearly upper end cleaners compared with other boards. I rarely bother going elsewhere.
 
#13
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Jim let me ask you this.


Do you sell more pre spray or rinse?

Can or will @scottw or @John Olson answer that question?


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I can tell you how good a pre spray is in about two jugs worth yet it takes me a year and many cases to determine if a rinse is worth a damn.

I still really can't say if FLEX ICE is the world's greatest rinse, but I trust Tom and when I use anything over 10ph I feel better having a rinse in the mix.

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Was the Greenhorn the Granddaddy of the Hyper Wand revolution or was it the PC Ti and an added Glide?


IMO, the Greenhorn was just the Po' man's version.
 
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Jim let me ask you this.


Do you sell more pre spray or rinse?

Can or will @scottw or @John Olson answer that question?


----------------------------------

I can tell you how good a pre spray is in about two jugs worth yet it takes me a year and many cases to determine if a rinse is worth a damn.

I still really can't say if FLEX ICE is the world's greatest rinse, but I trust Tom and when I use anything over 10ph I feel better having a rinse in the mix.

----------------------------------


Was the Greenhorn the Granddaddy of the Hyper Wand revolution or was it the PC Ti and an added Glide?


IMO, the Greenhorn was just the Po' man's version.
Pre-Spray because if we were selling more rinse then someone is doing it all wrong.
 
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#17
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More sales of prespray. In large part because of dilution. Presprays may range 1:4 to 1:64 dilution rates. Most of the bP products are 1:32. Rinse products dilute at 1:320 or 1:640. It does not matter your preferred brand, you don't need as much rinse agent in the concentrated form.
 
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The good news is that Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 show that an industry can change and re-invent itself. The scrutiny of bulletin boards prevents chemical manufacturers from introducing products that are weak in performance. Maybe as we progress in Part 5, we will be more concerned about the nature of the ingredients that bring about the performance. Hopefully, the industry will progress in use of safer and greener ingredients that still get the job done. Stewardship of the environment and healthier ingredients are not a left or right issue, but a responsibility for all. The cleaning industry is vital in maintaining healthy homes, and in prolonging the life span of floors and furnishings slowing down the filling up of local landfills.
 
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#19
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Tom did you get a chance to read my God's Rug thread?

I'm wondering what your experience with absorbent compound is..


I could see myself offering that method over the current (micro) OP fad that's all the rage on FB


I hate the whole OP process.
 
#23
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Ya cause dudes would buy a jug of 90 and clean everything
I remember talking to our carpet cleaners (we had a cleaning company back then) and trying to explain to them what "traffic lane cleaner" was. They laughed and asked if you cleaned the street with it.

They didn't get why it helped to spray something on a carpet with a "bug sprayer" when they could just dump some high pH degreaser in with their carpet detergent and "burn out the dirt" (they were using a Prochem 400 with kerosene heat).
 

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