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The principles of cleaning/removing dirt

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How do the principles of cleaning/removing dirt (Soil) relate to cleaning product chemistry

The principles of cleaning soil (removing dirt) consist of 4 major steps.

Step 1: Dry Soil Removal

  • a preliminary step
  • best accomplished through the use of a good vacuum cleaner
  • is an integral part of an overall maintenance program

Step 2: Soil Suspension

  • is the key principle of cleaning product chemistry
  • involves separating the soil from the fibres or hard surface for removal
  • is where the major effort of the technician, chemicals and equipment is applied

The four fundamentals which determine how efficiently soil suspension occurs are:

  1. Temperature
  2. Agitation
  3. Chemical Action
  4. Time

We can use the acronym T.A.C.T. as a way to remember these 4 fundamentals. The T.A.C.T fundamentals of cleaning product chemistry are represented as a pie with 4 equal slices.

TACT graph

Each cleaning situation determines the size of each pie slice. Anytime you decrease one of the pie slices (fundamentals) you must increase another pie slice to keep the overall pie (cleaning efficiency) as large as possible.

Step 3: Soil Removal

  • the suspended soil and the cleaning solution are removed from the cleaned surface
  • is accomplished by rinsing prior to drying as with a wet extraction method
  • is accomplished by vacuuming after drying as with a shampoo or dry powder process
  • proper soil removal leaves the surface clean, fresh and residue–free

Many detergent based cleaning products leave behind residue. This residue can cause rapid re-soiling and lessen the appearance of the cleaned surface not to mention the effect on the user or building occupants.

Step 4: Drying

  • is the process of removing all moisture from the cleaned surface
  • allows the carpet or hard floor surface to return to normal appearance and texture
  • quick drying time reduces problems related to mildew, re-soiling and odor
  • accomplished by air movement and ventilation

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  • Matthew Smith
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