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Carpet Cleansers | Detergents | Additives

What are some of those things in carpet cleansers and what do they do?  Here are a few of the common terms and how they work in carpet cleaning.

A detergent is any substance that dislodges or emulsifies dirt.  In layman’s terms, the detergents surround the dirt particles and allow them to be removed with the water.  So, most carpet cleaners have some type of detergent in them.  After a detergent is used, a acetic acid rinse may be applied to the carpet to neutralize detergent residue. This may be called a rinse agent.

Another common additive in carpet cleansers is a defoamer.  This chemical keeps detergent from being so foamy.  Very foamy detergents and water leave residue on the carpet.  Brighteners are whitening agents that make your carpeting look newer, but they can also hide dirt.  A sanitizer would be an agent that reduces bacteria.

Another common additive to carpet cleansers may be a buffer.  This is a chemical that helps the detergent maintain a constant pH level so your carpet doesn’t get damaged by too acidic or too alkaline chemicals. A degreaser helps break down oils and grease in the carpeting.  A deodorizer destroys or hides unpleasant odors.

Your carpet cleanser may be specially formulated with an enzyme additive, often called a digester.  This is an organic substance which helps break down stains, particularly protein based stains like blood.  A stain repellant is applied to the surface of carpeting to repel water, thus cutting down on how quickly a liquid will stain. 

When your carpet was manufactured, an anti-stat and an anti-microbial may have been added onto the fibers.  Anti-stat is a chemical, used applied to the back of carpeting, that helps reduce static electricity in the carpeting.  An anti-microbial can be applied or built into the carpet fibers.  It helps prevent mold, bacteria and mildew from growing in the carpet.

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