CleanSource Carpet Cleaning Terminology
Acid - Any substance, which when dissolved in water, yields a pH below 7.
Alkali - Any substance, which when dissolved in water, yields a pH above 7.
Bleeding - This is a loss or transfer of color from one section of the carpet to another.
Browning - A yellow or brownish discoloration of the carpet's face, most often caused by excess alkalinity in the cleaning agent; activated alkaline residue or overwetting.
Circling - Circular streaks left on the carpet after a rotary shampooing because of improper technique.
Cleaning Agent - Detergent or emulsifying agent used in the carpet cleaning process.
Color Fast - A term to describe carpet fiber's ability to hold uniform coloration.
Clouding - Usually caused by overwetting. Residue from previous cleanings which is not removed and left too wet will wick up the carpet fiber and cause a cloudy appearence on the surface.
Crocking - This is a loss of carpet's excess color when rubbed in either the wet or dry state.
Defoamer - A surface active agent that is used in cleaning to reduce foaming. Usually introduced into the recovery tank of extraction equipment to reduce suds caused by shampoo left in the carpet.
Degreaser - An emulsifying agent used in the cleaning process to remove heavy oils or grease.
Deodorizer - Products specifically formulated to destroy, mask or modify unpleasant odors in the carpet.
Detergent - A cleaning agent that is capable of wetting, penetrating, emulsifying, and holding on to suspension soils to be removed.
Digester - A chemical agent, usually an organic bacteria, used to break down stains like blood or food.
Dry Foam Cleaning - A concentrated foam is used as the cleaning element and is dispensed through a dry foam machine. Shampoo is applied as a foam, therefore less wetting occurs.
Dry Rot - Disintegration of carpet backing which is caused by mildew.
Dry Spotter - A stain removal agent containing dry solvents. Used primarily for grease or oily type stains.
Mildew - Fungus growth that can occur on carpet fibers. Causes odor and fiber degradation.
Optical Brightener - Optical whiteners or fluorescent whitening agents used in cleaning process.
pH - A number in the range of 0 to 14 used to express the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
Pre Spotting - Prior to the overall cleaning, pre spotting is done to remove stains or to pretreat traffic lanes.
Rotary Brush - A cleaning method in which a high foam shampoo is scrubbed over the fabric by a rotary brush. Best results are achieved if followed by cool water extraction.
Shampoo - A high foam detergent preparation usually used for rotary brush cleaning.
Soil Retardant - An agent that is applied to the carpet to retard or decrease the rate of soiling.
Spotter - A stain removal agent.
Stain Repellent - An agent that is applied to the carpet's surface which primarily acts as a water repellent.
Synthetic Fibers - Most carpet fibers being used today, in contract to animal or vegetable fibers.
Traffic Lane Cleaner - A heavy duty detergent specifically designed to pretreat and disperse heavy accumulations of soil in the traffic lanes.
Traffic Lane Paper - Paper, placed in areas, which must be open to foot traffic while the carpet is still damp.
Wet Soils - Usually the toughest since carpet is composed of absorbent fibers. The key to wet soil removal is quick action and be sure to blot, not wipe.