Synthetic bonnets will wear at a different rate and also clean differently, so as for this discussion, we will be taking a look at bonnets that contain or are made with natural fibers, in this case cotton. When you wash and dry your cloths at home, many made of cotton like tee shirts and blue jeans, you will notice that after they are dried you have to clean out the dryer’s lint trap. Your cotton bonnets will also wear and lose material over time.

I weighed individual bonnets from a case of 17.5” ProCotton IronMan bonnets in this example. Using the average weight per bonnet that was 10.88 ounces it gives us a starting point. After about 10 washings they now might weigh 10.2 o 10.4 ounces or about a 5% loss in material. Based on the carpet cleaning machine type, its weight and the distance covered by each of the bonnet’s sides, did it clean 40 s.f. per side in a filthy restaurant or 700 s.f. in an apartment hallway? The amount of moisture used and the carpet’s fiber type will all play a roll in this discussion. The point to consider is, when is it time to add new recruits to your fleet of bonnets.

Based on my usage, machine type and cleaning I’m calculating a 5 to 6% fiber loss per every 10 cleanings. Why is this important? As the bonnets age and lose material, they will also at some point start to lose their “brand new” cleaning ability. So now you have an important new client you want to impress.  Do you grab your bonnet with 30 wash cycles on it or a brand new bonnet that will show the greatest contrast from the dirty side as you flip it over to show them the clean side and what you just accomplished for them. The same would be true for a service call that had a very dirty carpet. Save your aged bonnets for the moderate soils and introduce your new bonnets to the more heavily soiled cleanings.

Just like tires on your car, as the threads wear at some point your performance will gradually start to diminish until the product’s life has been used up. The same is true for your bonnets. Get rid of the very old and worn ones and introduce some fresh new bonnets into your fleet to help keep your cleaning performance at its peak. This makes your jobs a little easier as the newer the bonnet, the more soils it can hold.  This saves you time and yields the best cleaning results for your valued customers and clients.

Another question I get a lot is how often do I change my bonnets?  This will depend mainly on the soil load of the carpet you are cleaning. One example like shown in this picture.    

You are cleaning a carpet coming out of a dirty kitchen. These bonnets may only cover 20 or 40 square feet per side. This is due to the extreme amount of oils and soiling as this area becomes the door mat for the rest of the dining room. In another example you may be maintenance cleaning a hallway on the 12th floor that is not in bad shape and those bonnets may cover as much as 800 s.f. per side. So, when you estimate how many bonnets to purchase for your needs, you will need to estimate the types properties and their degree of soiling and how many jobs you service per day along the total s.f. cleaned. A reasonable estimate of 200 to 300 s.f. cleaned per side will help get you started.

Next is, when do I know that it’s time to flip my bonnet and when am I finished? This picture from the same commercial job shows three levels of soiling. All three bonnets were used to clean the area right off the kitchen and both sides of each were used. So, you can see an almost black on the first to a darker brown on the second or middle bonnet to a lighter brown on the last or bottom bonnet. One more could have been used, or as I did, leave the rest to the encapsulation process in OMEGA Citrus with AFT used on this particular job.

As you progress, you will have an instinct on when it’s time to flip the bonnet and when it’s time to finish – meaning the soiling on the bonnet is now light enough that you have reached diminishing returns and it’s time to move on to the next location or job.

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