Stathakis Carpet Cleaning Blog

The Controversy Surrounding Bonnet Cleaning

Posted by Dennis Stathakis on Dec 28, 2016 10:25:46 PM


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Bonnet Cleaning Is Not Without Controversy 

Bonnet cleaning offers a carpet cleaning method that while still used today, is not without its risks or controversies. It’s typically called bonnet cleaning but this carpet cleaning method can also be referred to as rotary carpet cleaning, a spin pad, absorbent pad, tip cleaning or carbonated shampoo carpet cleaning. This adaptation of hard floor spray buffing for use with carpet cleaning is sure to cause debate among carpet cleaning companies. Some commercial carpet cleaning companies use nothing but bonnet cleaning to clean carpets, others have bonnet cleaning available as a part of their carpet maintenance programs and many companies refuse to use bonnet cleaning at all. Why? Concerns stem in part  around concerns that is it ineffective in carpet cleaning and can actually wear carpets faster and even void your carpet’s warranty. While some facility managers seem to think bonnet carpet cleaning can save money in between deep, hot water extraction cleanings, others are reluctant to take a chance on this controversial carpet cleaning method. Let’s examine the facts to determine how bonnet cleaning works, whether or not it is effective and what risks this carpet cleaning modality might present in your facility.


How Is Bonnet Carpet Cleaning Used?

As already mentioned, bonnet cleaning was simply an adaptation of a hard floor spray buffing machine. Like this oft used hard floor cleaning method, with Bonnet carpet cleaning, a soft pad saturated with carpet cleaning solution is attached to a rotary shampoo machine. As the rotary machine moves across the carpet’s surface, the movement loosens soil, some of which adheres to the cleaning pad. Although bonnet carpet cleaning is sometimes referred to as a "dry" cleaning method, the bonnet, or absorbent pad, uses significantly more water than the true dry carpet cleaning methods. One of the benefits of bonnet cleaning for a carpet cleaning company is that it is reasonably inexpensive and easy to learn. This can help if you either do not want to expend moeny or time onboarding carpet cleaning technicians or if you have high employee turnover and need a carpet cleaning method easy to continually train new people on. Though it might offer a carpet cleaning company a low cost entry into the marketplace, it has few advantages for offices and other commercial facilities.


Why Bonnet Carpet Cleaning Raises Eyebrows From Experienced, Professional Cleaning Companies

Bonnet Carpet cleaning is no longer used by many carpet cleaning companies for a variety of reasons. First, while bonnet cleaning can dislodge and absorb some surface soil, it can also push dirt deeper into your carpet’s pile. Second, because it agitates and rotates on your carpet’s surface, it can wear fibers and accelerate damage with already torn or snagged carpeting. Third, this type of carpet cleaning can leave behind solvent residue which can cause carpet to look dirty faster than it should, reducing the overall value of your carpet cleaning. Often the carpet cleaning solution uses "optical brighteners" to make the carpet appear to the eye "brighter" or "cleaner." The problem is that these solutions may result in yellowing of your carpet that is irreversible. Bonnet cleaning can even melt or burn some synthetic carpet fibers because of the high speed of the machine. Finally, bonnet carpet cleaning is not recommended by most carpet manufacturers. In fact, use of bonnet cleaning is likely to void the manufacturer’s warranty in many cases. Why do carpet manufactures recommend steering clear of bonnet cleaning? Because they recognize that it will reduce a carpet’s lifespan faster than other less abrasive, more effective carpet cleaning methods. 


Is Your Carpet Cleaning Services Company Still Using Bonnet Cleaning?

Most carpet cleaners have moved on from bonnet cleaning and opt for methods that both clean better and pose less risk to the carpet’s themselves. Your carpet cleaning service or janitorial company might still be using bonnet carpet cleaning as they already own the equipment and either don’t have the money or don’t want to invest in newer, better carpet cleaning technologies. Bonnet cleaning is simply less effective and potentially more damaging. It offers heightened risk with no rewards beyond possiby saving your janitorial company a couple of bucks. Due to these factors, more and more professional carpet cleaning companies are dropping it from their carpet maintenance programs and opting for safer, cheaper and more effective methods. If your building services company still uses bonnet cleaning, be certain to contact your carpet manufacturer to make sure you do not unintentionally void your carpet warranty.


The Bottom Line On Bonnet Carpet Cleaning’s Cost Savings

Some carpet cleaners may price it lower as they have the equipment and it is in less demand, but the long range costs zero out any up front savings you might benefit from. Carpet manufacturers consistently advise against bonnet carpet cleaning. They know it is likely to prematurely wear carpets. As a pricey asset, one of the ways you can recoup your investment in carpet is to get the maximum lifespan out of it. The longer your office carpeting looks good, the less it costs you. Any carpet cleaning machines that accelerate carpet wear decrease years of use increasing total cost. Likewise, bonnet cleaning is simply less effective than better methods like hot water extraction and encapsulation carpet cleaning, which make it a bad deal at any price. All things considered, there isn’t really a financial benefit to using bonnet carpet cleaning.


Balance Cost, Quality & Long Term Savings With Better Carpet Cleaning Methods

At Stathakis, we only utilize the safest, most effective carpet cleaning technologies. By investing in technology that makes carpet cleaning better, faster and more cost effective, we can offer better solutions for your carpet maintenance that don’t come with a steep price tag. Our carpet cleaning methodologies include truck mounted carpet cleaning, portable machine carpet cleaning, low moisture carpet cleaning, dry carpet cleaning and we can utilize these varying methods based on your facility, your carpets and their wear and soil levels, and of course, your budget. We can help you maintain your carpets and facility in optimal condition, each and every day. Whether you are in search of a subscription based carpet cleaning program or just a single, immediate carpet cleaning, we can help get your floors cleaner than they have ever been. For more information, please contact Matt Brown, Special Projects Manager with Stathakis at #800-278-1884.


Tags: Industry Best Practices, Floor Care