Carpet encapsulation vs Carpet steam cleaning

This is a common question that preoccupies the mind of almost all carpet owners: carpet encapsulation or steam cleaning? Which is the best? In order to know what could keep your delightful carpets going without digging a hole in your wallet, it is important to know how each of these processes work and what are their pros and cons.

Deciding between encapsulation and carpet steam cleaning:

Before you decide whether to go for carpet encapsulation or steam cleaning, it is important to understand the process, function and benefits of each of these procedures in order to opt for the most suitable choice.

Low moisture encapsulation cleaning:

As the name suggests, this method involves lesser use of moisture and thus, one gallon of diluted cleansing solution is able to clean around 300 square feet carpet. It also dries up faster which means you can make it to use much quicker.

Why is it used?

Low moisture encapsulation, often referred to as encap is a kind of old shampoo method. In this method, the carpet is first scrubbed with a rotary machine and a cylindrical brush machine. When the carpet is scrubbed, the soil in the fibres of the carpet is released into the encapsulation solution. Today, the detergents are made with a high grade crystallizing polymer which can encapsulate the soil. After drying, the soil can be extracted while vacuuming.

What benefits are offered?

The encapsulation method is suitable for high production cleaning. It can clean around 2000 to 3000 square feet in an hour and therefore, it is very useful in commercial setting. Recurrence of spill stains and wicking can also be eliminated which is a common issue in the CGD or commercial glue down carpets. This process makes it easier to keep the commercial carpets in its pristine condition for a long span of time.

How effective is the encapsulation method in resisting soil?

Many people tend to refrain from cleaning their carpets due to a popular belief that carpets tend to get re-soiled right after cleaning. This is true for traditional cleaning procedures. It is not possible to recover detergent completely no matter which procedure is followed in carpet cleaning. But when you opt for encapsulation method, the detergent is mixed with crystallising polymer. As a result, there is no sticky residue left to attract soil after washing. In some advanced methods, the encapsulation detergents are compiled with additional built-in fluoro-chemical carpet protector for thorough cleaning.

Steam cleaning your carpets:

If you think your carpet needs a thorough rinse with large quantities of water, steam cleaning is an effective way to flush out huge quantities of residue from the carpet.

Why is it used?

The steam cleaning or hot water extraction method works by injecting water into the carpet with the help of spray jets. The water is recovered right after that through vacuum orifice. The effect of the procedure is comparable to rinse cycle of the washing machine. In order to facilitate cleaning, a strong detergent is applied before along with agitation element. After that the carpet is cleaned using the hot water extraction method.

What benefits are offered?

This is the best method of rinse the carpet of all kinds of contaminants. Since this method can involve a few gallons of water in the cleaning process, it becomes easier to clear out large quantities of soil from the carpet. This is the reason why this process is recommended to supplement encap method. Since this process requires a lot of hot water, using it with encap can reduce the need of frequent steam cleaning.

How effective is steam cleaning in soil resistance?

As it goes with other methods, it is not possible to rinse all the sprayed detergent from the carpet. Hot water extraction process is simply the work of addition as well as subtraction. This indicates that no matter what quantity of water you add to the solution, it will leave behind some quantity of detergent. This is the prime reason why carpets get easily re-soiled following this process. But there are ways of eliminating chances of attracting more soil by mixing the detergent with crystallizing polymer. Another advantage of steam cleaning is that if a good encap detergent gets trapped within the fibres of the carper, it can be recovered easily at the time of post-vacuuming.

Low moisture encapsulation is gaining prominence since the last decade in the area of commercial carpet cleaning. When compared to steam cleaning, the other process doesn’t need so much of training and low in expense. It is found that carpet encapsulation is best suited for moderately soiled carpets whereas steam cleaning is more useful for carpets that mainly responds to the flushing ability and use of varying chemicals of steam cleaning. But to conclude, it is best to say that the two procedures complement each other and both are beneficial to keep up the shine and beautiful appearance of the carpet while extending its longevity.

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Gaurav Pathak
Group Director

Management Graduate with specialization in HR, Young dynamic visionary & entrepreneur, Looks after the overall operations of the company, Has in depth knowledge of FM Industry viz: branch profitability, large account management and service transition.

Gautam Pathak
Group Director

Management Graduate in Sales/Marketing and additional Qualification in Finance from Aalto University, Singapore, Strong network in the industry, Heads overall marketing of the Company, In depth knowledge of contract staffing (Employee leasing service marketing).

R. A. Pathak
Group Chairman

Management Graduate with qualification in law, 30 years of industry experience as HR/IR, Labor Law consultant to leading business entities of India.