What's makes carpet feel brittle after dry?? Too much detergent? Left too wet?

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johnny916

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Sep 26, 2010
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#1
Cleaning a few of my own carpets and was wondering how come the carpet feels brittle after it's dry? I'm just using some Hydramaster detergent at around 4 GPH..

Is it too much water left behind or too much detergent??

What do you guys use to solve this problem?
 

mrcarpet

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#2
From previous posts of yours, I know you do not clean with soft water. The "crusty" feel of the carpet could be due to incomplete rinsing of soap and minerals in the water. That is my guess.


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Deron06

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#3
If you apply your chemicals in a pre-spray and do an acid rinse, they will dry soft. You are not rinsing. See how your hair feels if you don't rinse out the shampoo.
 

Larry Cobb

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#4
Johnny;

It is usually the residue of the prespray you are using.

Hard water does add to the problem.

Try a well-formulated prespray.

Larry
 

Scott W

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#6
There are many possibilities including carpet fiber and age, but if it is just notice following cleaning, I agree that residues from a high alkaline clenaer is most likely and hard water could also contribute.

If the cleaning used an encap product, that can also make the carpet feel a little stiff until it has been removed by one or more vacuumings.
 

Ara Klujian

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#7
Try this... Dunk a bath towel in a bucket of plain water. Wring it out and let the towel sit until it dries completely. What you will have is a hard, crusty towel. Since you used plain water there is no soap residue to cause the towel to become hard and crusty. The longer it takes to dry, the harder the fabric feels.
Another scenerio would be to leave a load of laundry in the wash and forget to place it in the dryer. What happens to the laundry when it dries inside the washing machine? It becomes hard and brittle. The same principal applies to carpet fibers. The longer it takes to dry the harder the fabric feels.
However, just because time is a factor does not nessesarily mean that soap residue is not a contributing factor either. Both conditions will create the same effect.
 
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#8
4 GPM is too high try setting at 2-3, maybe also spray a fiber rinse afterwards. Learn how PH works and how to neutralize it. Do an extra dry pass, take an IICRC class. There can be many reasons why your carpets feel brittle once they dry.
 

Havi

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#9
rinse rinse and rinse some more
 

Scott W

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#11
Ara's post has got me to thinking about what is causing that effect. I wonder if hard water plays a role. Anyway, thanks for the input. I'll try to find some time do experiment.
 

linemech31

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#12
This hurts to say but i lost a 300unit complex to a bonnet cleaner because he left the carpets feeling soft. This issue needs to be delt with. If i knew how to fix it I would. I hope there is a way to correct without too much time involved. Time is money.
 
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#13
I assume since you say you have your detergent at 4 GPH that you are just running it through the machine. If this is the case you need to spray it on first and then either clear water rinse or use a rinse agent/acid rinse.
 

Ara Klujian

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#14
This hurts to say but i lost a 300unit complex to a bonnet cleaner because he left the carpets feeling soft. This issue needs to be delt with. If i knew how to fix it I would. I hope there is a way to correct without too much time involved. Time is money.
OMG brother, that can't be the case! There has to be an alterior reason. Bonnet cleaning does not remove any soil. Its a flawed method pushed upon us for some reason unknown. Start purchasing better soaps. Try these new soaps in your shop or at home.
 
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#15
Ara's post has got me to thinking about what is causing that effect. I wonder if hard water plays a role. Anyway, thanks for the input. I'll try to find some time do experiment.
As a former laundry and linen pro, when it comes to drying, it has more to do with movement than speed. Anything disolved in water is going to be left behind when the water evaporates, whether it takes 2 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days. The tumbling action of the dryer, prevents the the disolved stuff (laundry detergent, starch, hard water minerals) from drying in long chains and making the fibers stiff. Imagine pulling two spaghettii noodles (essentially a starch) out of boiling water. One you lay flat on a plate and it dries straight and stiff. The others is dried whilst tumbling around inside a dryer. As it dries, it is smashed into a ton of tiny pieces. Each individual piece has rigidity, sure, but it's not the same compared to one long unvroken chain. A la sawdust compared to a 2 x 4. Case in point... wash ONE (just 1) sock and toss it n the dryer by itself. More than likely one of the agitators inside the dryer drum is going to catch it as it starts spinning. The sock will sit in that same position, held in place by centripetal force, and it won't tumble. It will dry pretty quick but will be darn stiffer than normal when you pull it out. This is easy to watch in a laundromat with clear dryer doros. If you ever have to dry just one item in a hurry, adding a couple of clean, dry t-shirts to the dryer with it will help it dry softer and less wrinkled because it will induce tumbling inside the drum.

Since you can't really sit around and move the carpet fibers back and forth as they dry, you need to use the carpet cleaners' version of Downy to remove as much of the disolved solids as possible in your rinse strokes. As for which "Downy" to use, that's best left to Scott and others. As of 2 months ago, my boss was still making me clean carpet w/ Purple Power, so I'm still learning this side of textile care. ;)
 

rjfdube

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#16
Try this... Dunk a bath towel in a bucket of plain water. Wring it out and let the towel sit until it dries completely. What you will have is a hard, crusty towel. Since you used plain water there is no soap residue to cause the towel to become hard and crusty. The longer it takes to dry, the harder the fabric feels.
Another scenerio would be to leave a load of laundry in the wash and forget to place it in the dryer. What happens to the laundry when it dries inside the washing machine? It becomes hard and brittle. The same principal applies to carpet fibers. The longer it takes to dry the harder the fabric feels.
However, just because time is a factor does not nessesarily mean that soap residue is not a contributing factor either. Both conditions will create the same effect.
So true; Brittle drying from water residue also creates a perfect breeding bround for mold. Mold can actually heat up padding while wet and cause heat damage similiar to a magnify glass on a green leaf. And to tell you the truth 4 gph an okay amount of water to use to rinse; but you should be extracting 3.5 of it at least. Air movers should also be your best friend considering you are so new to this profession.

The idea is; Find a good chem; pre vac; mix well apply don't over wet; prescrub; then extract; use air movers. Keep at it.
 

wandwizard

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#17
If this is the product you are talking about I would cut back some either on the dilution or turn the gph to no more than 3. I used to use it at 2 to 3 gph for quite a while with no problems. http://www.jondon.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=17131
If your machine is leaving the carpet too wet that will definitely leave too much residue and make the fibers stiff when dry. Are you making dry passes after your extraction passes? If you are in a really hard water area it could add to the problem, but my bet is you are leaving too much water and detergent in the carpet. Turning the gph down and dry passes should take care of it. Also, try mixing less detergent in your mix jug. Maybe go to 1 lb. per 5 gal. and meter at 3 gph. I rely more on the prespray to do the heavy cleaning and adding a heavy amount of detergent down on top of a heavy prespray just doesn't make good sense to me.
 

Gnu

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#18
Johnny if all else fails. just tell them its the "protectant" You threw in for free lol.. just dilute the solution more of back off the flowrate. and a few more dry passes should keep it at a normal state of softness. I had an entire REDO, I experimented with a new prespray. super high alkaline and the carpets were really crunchy. End result was. My chem meter was off so It rinsed with plain water. not the good stuff
 

groutguy

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#19
I assume since you say you have your detergent at 4 GPH that you are just running it through the machine. If this is the case you need to spray it on first and then either clear water rinse or use a rinse agent/acid rinse.
Jimbo, glad you you brought this up, this is what I was thinking, just thoght it was too obvious not to be mentioned. I always put down prespray first (that's why it's called pre spray) then meter in my acid rinse at 2-3 GPH. Carpet alays dries soft. If he's metering in cleaning chems then how can they get fully rinsed?
 
T

TheEyeball

#20
As a former laundry and linen pro, when it comes to drying, it has more to do with movement than speed. Anything disolved in water is going to be left behind when the water evaporates, whether it takes 2 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days. The tumbling action of the dryer, prevents the the disolved stuff (laundry detergent, starch, hard water minerals) from drying in long chains and making the fibers stiff. Imagine pulling two spaghettii noodles (essentially a starch) out of boiling water. One you lay flat on a plate and it dries straight and stiff. The others is dried whilst tumbling around inside a dryer. As it dries, it is smashed into a ton of tiny pieces. Each individual piece has rigidity, sure, but it's not the same compared to one long unvroken chain. A la sawdust compared to a 2 x 4. Case in point... wash ONE (just 1) sock and toss it n the dryer by itself. More than likely one of the agitators inside the dryer drum is going to catch it as it starts spinning. The sock will sit in that same position, held in place by centripetal force, and it won't tumble. It will dry pretty quick but will be darn stiffer than normal when you pull it out. This is easy to watch in a laundromat with clear dryer doros. If you ever have to dry just one item in a hurry, adding a couple of clean, dry t-shirts to the dryer with it will help it dry softer and less wrinkled because it will induce tumbling inside the drum.

Since you can't really sit around and move the carpet fibers back and forth as they dry, you need to use the carpet cleaners' version of Downy to remove as much of the disolved solids as possible in your rinse strokes. As for which "Downy" to use, that's best left to Scott and others. As of 2 months ago, my boss was still making me clean carpet w/ Purple Power, so I'm still learning this side of textile care. ;)
Awesome. Always wondered about this stuff, but never even knew what questions to ask or to whom. It's just such an obscure topic. Never seen it explained so perfectly. Thanks!