Assuming you have all methods at your fingertips, why are you choosing Bonnet Cleaning for any given job? The reasons might be because it is the most profitable for a given job while providing high customer satisfaction. Or, access in a larger property that may have wings locked down such as in an Alzheimer’s unit or for other security reasons. Or, that a portable might just be too slow in that particular job. Dry times or the extra agitation that the rotary provides may be needed to get the desired results. Whatever the reason, bonnet cleaning can provide excellent profits with minimal costs and offer options you may not have previously considered while only offering hot water extraction. A time to use extraction over bonnet might be a very heavy soil load on a very heavy weight or dense pile carpet. The extract would be faster (given the right variables) and therefore more profitable in that situation.
Now that you have chosen Bonnet Cleaning as the best method, let’s look at some steps that are very important for you to follow. Don’t cheat. Pre vacuum all of the carpet with a good quality dual motor upright and crevice tool all the edges and corners so the finished job has a high level of detail when completed. If upon inspection most of the job looks great but the edges and corners are dirty, it will not make a good impression on your client. They won’t notice the 5 pounds of soil you removed they will focus on the 1/4 ounce you left behind! Get it all!
After you have completed a thorough vacuuming, let’s look and what’s next. The next step is like a 3 legged stool, take away one and the other two must work that much harder. Your chemistry will be doing the cleaning so you need to use a premium encapsulation product like a Bonnet Pro formula to start the process of separating the soils from the yarns face fiber until it can be collected/absorbed into the bonnet. If this step fails, all the other effort you put into your cleaning will yield only small and unsatisfactory results. You will average from 300 to 400 square feet per gallon on mixed cleaning solution per gallon. Keep in the mind the weight of the carpet, and even the air conditions, as if you spray too much carpet at once it may begin to dry before you run your machine. A drier or dry carpet risks fiber damage and may reduce the amount of soil transfer into the bonnet. No moisture, no or very little transfer.
Next is the quality and ability of your bonnet. Poorly designed materials and tufting can result in very poor soil removal. Using a car as an example you can have all the power under the hood but if the tires don’t deliver, that power it is wasted. The same holds true when cleaning. If the chemistry performs well and the bonnet can’t scrub, hold and remove the results will suffer. Cotton yields the best soil removal – one because it absorbs well and two, it provides friction that helps remove the film left on the carpet from the first step. Ever pressure wash your car? Of course, now have you tried it without the brush? What happens? Even at very high pressure a film is still left on the paint. You know this as you can see it and rub it off with your finger. This is why Bonnet cleaned jobs can look better than extraction jobs (not in all cases) as the friction can remove soils that a smooth Teflon glide and relatively low pressure cannot.
Bonnets that have too large of a loop, like a mop loop, can lay over and have a “pontoon” like effect on the carpet tips. A bonnet with loops between a ¼ and ½ inch will have a better ability to reach into the carpet especially if they are tufted in a way that creates treads. Bonnets like the single layer terry type cloth, appear to work great but because the loops are so small and the material so thin, they load up very quickly and can look very soiled. They can require much more frequent pad changes due to the thinness and can bleed through fairly easily.
The next step would be your productivity – in other words, your machine. One that can spray as it cleans will be much faster than one that doesn’t and will produce a much more even job as the spray and the time from the pad to the pre sprayed carpet will always be the same. If you pre spray first, it will take more time and if the area sprayed is too large and it starts to dry, this diminishes the ability of the bonnet to collect the soil, as the water in the formula is the carrying agent for the sequestered or suspended soils on the carpet to be able to travel out and into the bonnet. Your equipment also makes a statement about you, how clean it is and how it may impress your clientele. An example of this would be your vacuum. If you show up to pre vac your customer’s carpet with a Shark vacuum, they might feel they made the wrong call. The same holds true for your encapsulation/bonnet equipment. Can they rent it at Home Depot or does it look like something special to your customer? And to you also, as this brings about a good version of pride – the kind that says you care about what you do. The machine needs to make you happy not only with its productivity and reliability but the overall satisfaction it provides. In other words, the more you like your equipment the more it will show in how you work and the quality you provide.
Now after your done running your machine, what’s next? If you used a brush or Multii Brush you may need to detail baseboards and recheck for any particles that may have come from the bonnet or been dislodged from the carpet. Some people like to groom/rake the carpet after the cleaning. You now also have the opportunity for the up sell of carpet protector. I plant a seed before the job begins in a residential environment saying that if the job turns out great you might want to consider protecting it. The seed is planted without pressure and now after you deliver a great looking clean carpet to her, you now have gained some trust and she is more open to listen about the protector. Not only does a product like Guardian work very well to repel soils and stains, it provides you an excellent profit for minimal labor and time and increases the percentage of your sale. An extra $20, $50 or $100 dollars on each job really adds up over the course of a year. And when the carpets look and smell great and they soil at a slower rate, you are more likely to get a referral as you have now met the customer expectations. And meeting or exceeding those expectations is what makes you money and gives you a great reputation.
by John H. Klucznik, Founder of Bonnet Pro and Key Floor Care