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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Alltec Rotavac

Posted by williamx (williamx), 28 February 2004
I'm thinking of buying a Rotovac but would like to find out what other cleaners think of it before I do.  At the moment I Bonnet Buff first then clean with a HWE machine  Huh
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 28 February 2004

I have never use a Rotavac but was intrigued by your current method.

Bonnet buffing is a fast, low-moisture method most commonly applied to 'maintenance' cleans since its' effect is mainly a surface clean ( on low-soil, low profile synthetic piles its results can be close to HWE).

HWE is a deep cleaning method.

I have used bonnet buffing subsequent to HWE for various reasons - rapid drying, tile joint-wick problems etc., but never the other way round.

Why do you do this?


Posted by Ian_Hare (Ian Hare), 28 February 2004
Use of a bonnet in this way, may seem unusual, but it's just like agitating prespray on upholstery with a hand mitten, or towel.
It performs the same function on carpet.
It is more usual to perform the other way round, though.
Posted by williamx (williamx), 28 February 2004
I use this method as I have found that it cuts down the overall cleaning time and on badly soiled carpets it works wonders without me having a cardiac arrest Wink
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 28 February 2004
Clive at Astra Clean has one for sale.
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 28 February 2004

I had thought that pre-spray agitation was likely to be the reason but surely a brush is more appropriate since not only will it give better pile penetration, breaking up impacted soil at pile-base but, not being absorbent, will agitate without removal.

Examine the purposes of pre-spray agitation:

1] To homogenise treatment - here absorbancy is dissadvantageous.

2] Mechanical disturbance - the physical loosening of insoluble particles and the mixing of soluble elements of the soil with the solvent, dispersant, degredant or emulsifier being employed. The advantages of bristles are obvious here.

3] Physical pre-conditioning of pile to enable more efficient extraction - the 'flattening' effect of the bonnet does not achieve this.

I can accept that in rare instances, agitation by bonnet will have some advantages but not in the general run of cleans

Absorbent agitation on upholstery is a different matter due to the relative thickness of the fabric, the nature of the soiling and the relative absorbancy of the substrate.

I am not saying that what you are doing is wrong, only that there is a better way that requires no more time and no additional effort on your part.


Posted by Ian_Hare (Ian Hare), 28 February 2004
Hi John,
your observations as to pile depth on carpet and a brush being more suitable are correct.
Using a bonnet to agitate does seem rare, but in some cases may be effective. I'm sure William will learn from trial and error, what is most suitable for him personally.
Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 28 February 2004
Rotavac - Sheffield Shauns got he thinks it was well worth the MONEY!
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 28 February 2004
Hey Dave

That one is sold to the FAT Bloke from Dewsbury for 5 Eccles cakes.
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 29 February 2004

There have been several instances when I have used a bonnet prior to HWE.

Example.... very old carpets where the 27" strips have been sewn together and the quality of the stitching is questionable.

Vacuum thoroughly, pre-spray,  bonnet and HWE reduced to a a treat.

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 29 February 2004

That make sense but on the occasions I have come across that situation I was not brave enough to bonnet - hand pile brush seemed a safer option.

Thankfully these days hand-stitched carpets are relatively rare and  27" strips even rarer  Smiley

Posted by Nigel_W (Nigel_W), 29 February 2004

Sadly the hand stitched 27 inch wide carpet is making a bit of a comeback in London. Quite a few times in the last year I have come across recent installations of this type of carpet. It seems to be some kind of status symbol to have this kind of carpet - no doubt at considerable cost Roll Eyes. I have cleaned alot of it over the years and have not yet experienced any problems.

Alot of my older clients have had this style of carpet in their homes for 30 plus years and it is still in excellent condition. This is testament to the theory that they don't make things the way they used to.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 29 February 2004
Too right Nigel

I am still occasionally coming across the thirty year old versions.

John... I have carried out this type of combination clean on some real 'iffy' seams ( that's a Leicester technical term) successfully


Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 29 February 2004
Strange how experiences vary - I cannot recall coming across narrow-band in the last 20yrs or so. Much that I did encounter was in such poor condition that I had to do some re-stitching before I started the clean.

The problem was partly due to the fact that, when working with such narrow widths, it is hard to avoid seams in doorways.

I suspect that the new installations Nigel is encountering will be in households where the extent of deteriation will not ever reach the real problem level.

In any even I'll be retired before these installation become old.

Posted by Shaun_Ashmore (Shaun_Ashmore), 29 February 2004
When the fat bloke has the readies I'll delivery it to his door, but he's had a bad time of it of late and spends all of his disposable income or porn Kiss

re 27" carpet, that was my first carpet clean, a crossley sultana and I think if memory serves me correctly don't they also call it 'body carpet'

Posted by michel (michel), 3 April 2004
27" carpet is correctly known in the carpet trade as 3/4 body.  The reason being that 27" is 3/4 of a yard.  It is still used for stair runners and also for splitting in half down the lengh when being used in border work.
Posted by Neil_Gott (Neil Gott), 4 April 2004
Most of my carpet jobs involve cleaning small areas of dirty carpet and very much larger unsoiled areas.

I bonnet as first choice if appropriate, and follow up with a small HWE handy for deep or stubborn stains, and obstinate traffic lanes.Results are very good indeed. Clients are happy and so am I.

Very very occasionally, I am not happy with the bonnet result and I then do the whole lot again with HWE.

Posted by Fintan_Coll (Fintan_Coll), 4 April 2004
Is the rotavac an exclusive Alltec product or are they just buying it from some other manufacturer?. I know nothing about it but I have an Alltec Rotabrush which I never thought was as good as Extractas Scrubba De Luxe
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 5 April 2004

Take a look at

I have been using a Rotavac for the last 3 weeks results are fantastic after I robbed it from Sheffield Shaun who stole it  from Dave Lee who wishes he had never parted with it.
Posted by Fintan_Coll (Fintan_Coll), 10 April 2004
Just as I thought John, so Rotavac is not really an Alltec product at all , they are merely stockists.
Posted by Dave_Lee (Dave_Lee), 11 April 2004
By your own admission, you are not the rightful owner of the said Rotovac, you have RECEIVED it as proceeds of the original crime. Knowing you John, repentance is your only saviour -SO HAND IT BACK!  Grin
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 11 April 2004
"Lord please forgive me for I have sinned"

Swap yer it back for yer RX and a few Chorley cakes and an Easter Egg. Cool Cool Roll Eyes  Cool Cool

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