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Pre-Vacuum And You’ll Be Home And Dry

I RECENTLY attended an excellent specialist training course run by an NCCA corporate member. The subject was low moisture commercial carpet cleaning and, as we would all expect, pre-vacuuming was a universally accepted major element in low moisture cleaning.

During our break times, we all had the opportunity to network and discuss anything and everything to do with carpet cleaning. One topic of heated debate was the subject of pre-vacuuming prior to rinse/extraction cleaning.
A well known colleague within our industry, who runs a truckmount machine, was of the opinion that with his superior equipment pre- vacuuming was not required and a waste of time. He also had the view that the NCCA, as an industry leading trainer, had influenced other trainers to adopt the requirement to pre-vac all carpets.
I couldn’t disagree more. The dry extraction of particulate soil is so much more effective with correct use of a twin motor upright vacuum cleaner.

The rest of the cleaning process is then so much easier and quicker, using less product and energy, resulting in a cleaner, dryer carpet with a reduced carbon footprint.

And as for the NCCA influencing other trainers? This is certainly not true. Two of our leading industry manufacturers and suppliers, who originated in the USA, supply truckmount equipment and recommend dry extraction with an upright vacuum cleaner.

IICRC, again US based, and perhaps the world’s leading industry training organisation, also recommend dry
vacuuming for ALL cleaning systems. The British Standards Institute, after consultation with various companies and organisations in our industry, also concludes that dry vacuum extraction of particulate soil is an essential component of all cleaning systems. So, in light of irrefutable evidence from respected national and international companies and organisations, pre-vacuuming is a must-do process for the professional carpet cleaner. Anything else is just cutting corners.

There are also other positive elements to pre-vacuuming that many people tend to forget or not realise.
After your initial audit and inspection of a carpet, the vacuuming process forces you to look at every square inch of carpet whilst carrying out the procedure.

This is the final opportunity to fully audit the carpet prior to committing to the wet side of the cleaning process. Spots and stains, wear, soiling patterns, damage and fitting defects will all be viewed more intensely than normal during this final inspection.

Also, because of the pile lifting action of an upright vacuum cleaner, the carpet’s pile will be ‘opened up’ making penetration of the pre-conditioner quicker and more effective.

Any items which cannot be removed from a room can be placed on furniture sliders if appropriate and moved to a location of your choice during the vacuuming process.

From my own experiences using portable extraction machines, once I had adopted pre- vacuuming as an essential part of the cleaning process I found that the overall time on site was actually reduced. Typically an hour or more for a whole furnished house was saved. An added benefit was that the carpets were cleaner, dried quicker and there was a reduction in the chemicals used.

Ken Wainwright of KenDry is a member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA)

The National Carpet Cleaners Association offers a range of courses, including professional carpet and upholstery cleaning including a two-day course scheduled on November 23-24. NCCA also has a health & safety course for carpet and upholstery cleaners and an advanced spot & stain treatment and removal course. Contact the NCCA for full details and to book places.

T: 0116 271 9550

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at