(DAM = Dry Absorbent Media)
Of all the carpet cleaning methods available, dry carpet cleaning seems to be the most extraordinary and mysterious. Perhaps this is because most people have not yet had the opportunity to see dry carpet cleaning in action. We have used dry carpet cleaning (and other cleaning methods) for over 9 years, so we hope that you will allow us to explain DAM (Dry Absorbent Media) dry carpet cleaning to you.
What is dry carpet cleaning?
Dry carpet cleaning is a method that uses a controlled amount of moisture – applied in a unique way to clean the carpet and leave it dry and ready to use immediately. Conventional cleaning professionals often point out that DAM (Dry Absorbent Media) methods are not really “dry.” And they are right! Dry carpet cleaning methods are not dry (as in Webster’s definition of “dry”); they are moisture controlled. This precise description is important.
Have you ever used a moist paper towel to clean a counter surface? A paper towel can be perfectly moistened to loosen and absorb the soil. That is exactly how dry carpet cleaning works – just the right amount of moisture to clean carpet, without over saturating. If your table surface is really dirty, you use another paper towel; likewise, if the carpet is really dirty, we use more dry carpet cleaner.
To properly clean a carpet, we must use moisture. So the dry carpet cleaning process is not dry, but since a slight amount of moisture is used, the end result is a dry, clean carpet.
How can the carpet be dry and clean?
To really understand this, we must first, understand that 85% of the soil in carpet can be removed by vacuuming. Dry carpet cleaning methods have championed the vacuuming-step as the most important step in cleaning. “Let’s remove as much of the dry soil as is physically possible before we add any cleaning liquids” is a maxim that works. The lingering 15% of the soil is oily or greasy and cannot be removed by vacuuming. The secret of dry carpet cleaning is that the moistened DAM is used to absorb and remove this oily soil and then the product (DAM) and soil is removed by a vacuum cleaner.
Dry carpet cleaning methods use specialized anionic cleaning agents. The difference between hot water extraction (HWE) and dry absorbent media (DAM) systems is in the amount of moisture used and the actual delivery of moisture. Remember the “moist paper towel” follows the principles of cleaning – using a proper blend of moisture, agitation, temperature and timed
Similarly, dry carpet cleaning uses a mixture of water, and safe cleaning agents to satisfy cleaning. The deep, thorough brushing of the carpeted area satisfies the time and agitation components. Some cleaning methods use heat; dry carpet cleaning employs repetitive physical contact at room temperature.
Carpet… Millions of Vertical Surfaces!
The necessary cleaning agents are mixed with a soft, natural, absorbent base; this blend
is called the “cleaner.” This cleaner is applied to the carpet and brushed through the
pile, utilizing physical contact with a special machine. The cleaner is the absorbent
media, as you would use to clean a wall or a kitchen counter. The cleaner delivers the
liquid to the carpet, dissolves and traps the soil – until removed by vacuuming.
The dry carpet cleaning machine usually has two counter-rotating brushes that move and distribute the cleaner through carpet fiber. This brushing or circulating action is an
important part of the dry carpet cleaning process. Why? Because the brushing technique
is designed so that the cleaner has an opportunity to contact all the dirty fibers in the
carpet. The cleaner applies the necessary moisture to the fiber surface, the liquid
dissolves the soil, and the cleaner reabsorbs that soil.
Brush, Vacuum, Use. Zero Down-Time
Some systems incorporate vacuuming and pile lifting in a single piece of equipment.
Others use standard vacuuming equipment. Either way, the key is proper and effective
vacuuming to remove the cleaner that now holds all the carpet’s soil (including dust,
mold spores and allergens). Proper vacuuming includes using equipment with a built-in
agitator, such as a beater bar, to move all the cleaner into the vacuum’s air stream.
When this vacuuming is done, the job is done. And the carpet is ready to be used.
Dry Carpet Cleaning; The Customers First Choice
So why should you consider dry carpet cleaning? Dry carpet cleaning is safe for all
fibers, and excellent for natural fibers, such as wool, silk, and cotton. Manufacturers and
importers of these natural fibers often recommend dry carpet cleaning as the cleaning
method of choice. Simply put, dry carpet cleaning is convenient, environmentally safe
With dry carpet cleaning, you can clean only the areas of carpet that need cleaning, such as traffic areas. Since very little moisture is involved, it is easy to clean a area and blend it into surrounding areas. No watermarks or streaks, minimal residue and the soil is efficiently removed. Dry carpet cleaning can be done at any time, day or night, even while people are walking on the carpet.
A distinctive of dry carpet cleaning is the ability to clean anytime making DAM cleaning perfect for commercial or retail facilities. Areas that most often need cleaning, many times, cannot be closed to traffic. Imagine turning a hotel room in 15 minutes, cleaning the carpet in a retail store just before it opens, refreshing the carpet in a restaurant right before the lunch or dinner rush. This is what we call “zero down time”.
Regular Cleaning Is Intelligent Cleaning!
When is dry carpet cleaning the best way to go? Other than the cleaning of delicate natural fibers mentioned above, it is the application of “intelligent cleaning” (scheduled cleaning maintenance) that is perhaps the best use of dry carpet cleaning. The amazing convenience of dry carpet cleaning is not only a new and wonderful thought in the homeowners mind, but because of “industry politics” it is a topic of great confusion within the carpet cleaning industry.
Intelligently scheduled maintenance is misunderstood and is often categorized as “Marginal Cleaning”, with little purpose – something you do to “put off the real cleaning”, which takes much more time and effort.”
It’s Carpet Cleaning Not Rocket Science!
Dry carpet cleaning removes soil efficiently while controlling moisture, leaving little residue and leaving the carpet dry, clean and ready to walk on. When dry carpet cleaning is used on a regular basis, the carpet is clean and stays clean longer.
These facts, I hope, help solve the “mystery” of what dry (DAM) carpet cleaning does, and why it is so valuable. Similar to the moist paper towel used in the home, dry carpet cleaning is a simple logical procedure which is appropriate in accomplishing clean and dry carpet.
In 1995 aggressive R&D resulted in Swedry® Carpet Cleaner and the invention of the acronym DAM (Dry Absorbent Media).
Greg Cantrell 1-800-Dry-Carpet http://www.drycarpet.com