Almost everyone has heard of or performed the dry down test. You know, the one where the manufacturer tells you to pour some undiluted chemical into a concaved glass full-strength. This test is shear brilliance from a marketing point of view. It shows off a particular feature of their product. How it won’t leave a sticky residue that promotes rapid resoiling. However, there are many problems with this test in its current protocol.
First, you never use your chemical full-strength, do you? You never leave a coating of chemical on the carpet fiber an 1/8” to a 1/4” thick like in the bottom of a glass. This is hundreds to thousands of times thicker than what would remain on a carpet fiber after cleaning. Here’s an exaggerated example, but I think you will get my point. Go outside and stand up a broom or shovel against the wall. Now take your garden hose, pressure washer, fire truck or whatever you want that sprays and spray the handle of the broom or shovel. You can spray a gallon or a thousand gallons on the handle it won’t make a difference. How much will stay on the handle? In other words, how thick will the liquid coating be? The answer: Not very thick. Gravity and surface tension will make sure of this. Now let’s look at a carpet fiber in many cases, thinner than a human hair. How much of your encap will adhere to the vertical fiber? The answer: A very thin microlayer. So why do a test that uses chemical full-strength up to a 1/4” thick in a glass when in the real world you never get anywhere close to that. Why use a test designed to market a feature, not the reality of real world usage of the product?