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TRULY GREEN CARPET CLEANING

The "green" movement has been with us for several decades now. It might best trace its roots back to the first Earth Day in 1970, or perhaps back even further to the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's damning book on the indiscriminate use of pesticides and other chemicals - SILENT SPRING. During the intervening years, most thinking people have come to recognize that exposure to chemicals can lead to a wide range of unhealthy human health results, up to and including many forms of cancer. People who value their own health, as well as the health of those in their family, now make the effort to try and minimize the amount of chemical exposure in their lives.

This applies not just to families, but to the workplace as well. Particularly in the field of facility management, it is becoming increasingly important for a company's management personnel to provide its employees with as healthy a work environment as possible.

If, for no other reason, employees will stay healthier, and will therefore be absent from work less frequently when provided with healthy working conditions.

Many homes and workplaces are carpeted. Carpeting requires cleaning from time to time, for both aesthetic and health reasons.

The chemical cleaning agents traditionally used in the carpet cleaning process can be unhealthy to the human body: to the respiratory system, to the brain, and to the skin. In recent years some enlightened companies in the field of carpet cleaning have realized the wisdom of performing their work using cleaning products containing lower levels of toxins, even to the point of some who use only plant-based products. The informed homeowner and business manager today is on the lookout for companies who can get the job done with healthy, natural cleaning products.

Going one step better, there is just now beginning to emerge a small number of cleaning companies who have gone so far as to have eliminated manufactured cleaning products altogether, relying on water alone to break down carpet soil, enabling it to be easily removed by traditional equipment. How do they do this? It admittedly sounds like alchemy, but it is more like an area of electrical engineering. Water alone does have some limited ability to soften up soil, but not nearly as much as does water with some form of detergent, solvent, or soap added to it. But instead of adding these traditional cleaning products to water, electricity can now be injected instead into ordinary tap water using a technology that almost immediately turns it into a super- effective heavy-duty cleaner/degreaser. This makes it perfect for such tough jobs as cleaning grime-filled carpeting and rugs.

By using an alectrode wand made from a combination of high-value metals, a small computer, and a trace of ordinary table salt (for conductivity) an electric charge is run through the water that is about to be sprayed onto the carpet to begin the breakdown of soil. This jolt of electricity has two effects. First, it raises the pH - the alkalinity - of plain tap water to a level of between 11 and 12. This is the moderately high alkalinity level that results from the traditional adding of cleaning products to the water. It is the alkalinity level of the water that does the actual job of breaking down embedded soil. And second: the electrical charge further scrambles the water's molecules, shrinking the size of the clusters of molecules.

This is comparable to what occurs when a chemical water softening product is added to water. This allows the water to become "slipperier", or more viscous, and therefore better able to penetrate the carpet's soil.

So if you are going to have your carpets professionally cleaned, or if perhaps you are going to start a carpet cleaning business, don't follow the old, antiquated approaches. Be healthy and truly green. GO electronic!

Written by: Mark Dullea, Nature's Quick Dry


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