Greener Carpet Cleaning Using Electrolyzed Water

Engineered water devices producing cleaning solutions onsite using tap water, salt and electrolysis — aka, electrochemically activated or ECA cleaners — can provide effective carpet cleaning solutions for pennies per gallon as part of an integrated, and potentially time-, money- and earth-saving approach.

The dilute alkaline stream produced by some electrolyzed water devices can be effective for cleaning carpet when used in a complete system.

The operative word is “system”, as the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has tested and selectively approved the use of engineered water as part of a system embracing both process and product. Two systems have been CRI “Platinum”-level approved).

All Systems Start with Vacuuming

Vacuuming is the single most important measure you can take to prevent soil buildup (assuming you have adequate entry matting) and to remove soil prior to extracting the carpet. Look for a vacuum cleaner certified by CRI for soil removal, indoor-air quality protection, and carpet appearance and longevity factors.

Why Onsite Generation of Cleaners?

Advantages of electrochemically activated (ECA) water solutions:

  1. They are produced onsite from tap water, reducing the need to manufacture, package, ship, store, handle and dispose of many cleaning products and their packaging; for a more sustainable process.
  2. They eliminate the cost of buying many cleaning chemicals, including general cleaners for carpet (although they do not necessarily replace spot-removal products).

Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Certification of Systems Using Electrolyzed Water

Typical System Recommendations:

  • Vacuum using four passes at about 1.8 feet per second.
  • Pre-spray with hot electrolyzed water cleaning solution.
  • Agitate with a carpet rake.
  • Allow the solution to set for 5-10 minutes, then
  • Extract with a heated CRI-approved extractor.

Using an approved system helps ensure soil is effectively removed (90 to 100 percent soil removal is required for CRI Platinum Certification), applied solution pH is between 4 and 10, carpet does not resoil due to residue, dries quickly, maintains its appearance and no optical brighteners are used.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.

About the Author

Allen P. Rathey is an educator specializing in Healthy Facilities. He has assembled an advisory group of dozens of scientists, PhDs, facility and public health experts, who share his passion for helping people everywhere create and maintain safe, healthy, indoor environments. He is past-president of The Housekeeping Channel (HC), The Healthy House Institute (HHI), and The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI). He is the principal of Winning Environments, LLC, promoting best practices that enhance the living environment. Call him @ 208-724-1508 or email arathey@outlook.com. Allen provides advisory and consulting support, in person, by phone, via published articles, social networks, and through seminars and webinars.

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