Use chemicals that have alcohol as a base.
As the need for drying has increased, manufacturers have started
producing fast-drying pre-sprays. And alcohol evaporates faster than water and
will help water evaporate faster, Dr. Aziz says.
In the extraction stage, there are numerous ways to facilitate drying. A
powerful truckmount machine is the most efficient, as only one pass is usually
needed to pick up the majority of the water.
Dry passes after cleaning almost guarantee drying before you apply protector.
Mean machines How do you know what machine is better at drying?
Having higher cubic feet per minute (CFM) is important, but there is only so
much CFM you can get out of 1½- to 2-inch hose or wand. After a certain point,
adding a larger blower increases the CFM only marginally.
Most manufacturers use CFM of the blower rated at the factory with no hoses
attached, which can give the user a false impression.
Water lift is by far the most important ingredient in drying the carpet. It
The lifting power to lift water molecules out of carpet.
“The waterlift is the muscle behind the vacuum,” according to John
Sales, president of Steam Action, a truckmount manufacturer.
Water lift is measured in inches of mercury. Basically, one inch of mercury
lift, as indicated on a vacuum gauge, will lift water 14 inches, Sales says.
Chemical use is key Using fast drying chemicals in place of what you
use now will also decrease drying time. Even adding two to four ounces of
rubbing alcohol to your portable extractor or 16 to 32 ounces to your truckmount
stock solutions can decrease drying time.
Alcohol keeps your detergent on the surface and evaporates quickly to help
you easily accomplish faster drying.
Dr. Aziz warns, however, that alcohol can be a fire hazard and may create
liability if used improperly.
Other ways to facilitate drying include turning on fans in all the rooms
after you finish cleaning, or using air conditioners on humid days.
The costs of drying Offering faster drying time puts you in another
league, but the equipment, extra labor and chemicals will cost you more.
Therefore, you need to charge extra for this service.
You can offer it as an option in addition to your steam cleaning or do it for
all your customers as a value-added service that your competitors may not be
able to offer.
How much to charge is not as difficult to calculate as it seems. Figure out
the cost of better equipment compared to your current equipment, and the
additional cost of fast-drying chemicals and labor.
If you raise your prices even by one-third to offer this service, you can
still have happy customers while increasing your profit margins. In our
business, we calculate on an hourly basis, but we never tell this to customers.
Just build it into the price.
Offering faster drying time puts you in another league.
We charge $100 per hour for a 2-man/woman crew for steam cleaning and $150
per hour for dry cleaning. We use the best truckmounts that get higher water
lift from our 1½- to 2-inch wands and vacuum hoses.
We use alcohol based pre-sprays and detergents made by reputable
manufacturers and follow up the cleaning with a dry pass. We use lower psi,
around 200, when performing fast drying services, and we use solvent protectors
that are sprayed concentrated and evaporate faster.
Taf Baig is president of Magic Wand Company, a manufacturer and distributor
of carpet cleaning tools, equipment and supplies. He is also president of a very
successful carpet and furniture cleaning company. He owns patents to several
tools and pieces of equipment. To e-mail him, visit www.magicwandco.com.