Carpet and Rug Cleaners
Carpet and rug shampoos are sold as concentrated or ready-to-use liquids, trigger sprays, powders and aerosols. They are formulated to wet the pile of the carpet and take up oily and greasy soils. Such products provide a system that traps soil in suspension and dries to a brittle solid residue. The brittle residue containing the soil particles is then removed by vacuuming. Carpet and rug cleaners actually clean a surface and should not be confused with carpet fresheners which are formulated to reduce malodours that may be found in carpets and rugs.As with many cleaning products, a surfactant is the essential ingredient. A polymer, which helps in making the dried foam brittle, is usually present in carpet/rug cleaners. In addition, shampoos may contain colour brighteners, deodorizers to counteract malodours, and soil retardants to keep carpets cleaner longer.Carpet cleaning can also be achieved by the use of wet, free-flowing powders.
These powders contain water, solvents and surfactants to emulsify soil. The emulsified soil is absorbed onto the powders. Once dry, the powder can be easily removed by vacuuming.Besides products to be used directly on carpets or rugs, there are liquid cleaning formulations which are marketed for use with carpet/rug shampooing equipment. The ingredients are essentially identical for both products.
Steam cleaning equipment requires special formulations, as foam interferes with the steam cleaning process. If there is residue from previous shampooings, a defoamer (silicone emulsion) may be used.