The drying game
Choosing the right chemicals, equipment should help cleaners dry carpet more quickly.By Taf Baig
From Cleanfax magazine. After the price question, “How long will it take to dry?” is the question customers ask us the most. Customers want to be inconvenienced as little as possible. They pretty much want their carpet to dry before you leave. So, how do you dry carpets before you leave?
According to Aziz Ullah, Ph.D., president of Fabpro Manufacturing, drying is a function of:
It also depends on
It’s the easiest for bonnet cleaning because this uses very little moisture. Dry Foam also is relatively easy.
What about hot water extraction?
So, how do dry the carpets before you leave? Here are some tips for pre-spray:
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 the protector.
How do you know what machine is better at drying?
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 is:
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.
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.