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

Re: Upholstery Cleaning - Dry Times
Posted by paul_moss (paul_moss), 21 January 2004
Im agree with you and often wondered how the guys get the suites dry before they leave.
Mine also take a few hours to dry.
May be there suites are pretty clean

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 21 January 2004
If you want suites to be dry before you leave its easy, just use 3 blowers

I use 3 and never leave a suite wet, I might have to hang around and have an extra cuppa so the last chair is dry but its only an extra 10mins

Posted by allencarpetclean (allencarpetclean), 21 January 2004
Mike how do you grt on with ornaments, pictures etc do you ask the customers to remove them as it must be like a wind turbine in there.
Also do you come out with hair looking like Don king?
Posted by Shaun_Ashmore (Shaun_Ashmore), 21 January 2004
If you have seen a picture of Mike you will find that with a million turbo driers he would have trouble looking like Don Estelle! Grin

Posted by paul_moss (paul_moss), 21 January 2004
More like DONKEY
Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 22 January 2004
I do now & again take down pictures but when you get used to using 3 blowers its quite easy to work around.

most fabrics darken when wet, so unless you completely dry the suite how can you tell if its clean?

I say i always leave a suite dry but their has been times when I've dried the suite and done a final inspection(wearing my white gloves Wink ) and I've noticed some dirt,  I've recleaned that area, so then I have to leave that bit damp.

Posted by Les (Les), 22 January 2004
I tend to use a nice hot air blower directed towards my turbo fan which then passes nice warm air over the upholstery. And it helps keep your cup of tea warm Cheesy
I did have one funny moment re: pictures and ornaments... I was drying the carpet in an old property which had a very long room, hence turbo fan on full pelt. Air flow went to other end of room behind large display cabinet, up the back, to end up opening the bloomin sails on some galleon ship on display, thus knocking the ornamental horse next to it onto the floor Embarassed Angry
Tried superglue but no had to be put down !!
You have to larf in this job Cheesy Grin
Thankfully client had sense of humour too!
Posted by Phil_@_Deep_Clean (Phil_@_Deep_Clean), 22 January 2004
I also find it difficult to dry the whole suite, but then  only have 1 dryer in the van

What I do is completely dry the 3 seeter sofa so they do have somthing to sit on & maybe a chair, or like yesterday I left the dryer with the customer and picked it up this morning as this was a slow drying suite.

Posted by allencarpetclean (allencarpetclean), 22 January 2004
I myself use alot of towels to "take of the thick" so to speak, you can reduce drying times considerably if towels are used
Do many others use towels aswell as dryers?
Posted by woodman (woodman), 22 January 2004
Hi Guys

You might want to think about getting 2 or 3 of the new Sahara Compacts (baby blows).These are small, light weight blowers.

They are new out and are a must when it comes to drying off furniture with out blowing holes in the walls and still being able to hear yourself think.

You can quite happily operate 2-3 of these in a property with out them getting in the way.

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 22 January 2004

I never use more than a single blower - I consider the most important drying to be extractive rather than evaporative ( This is not a critisism of Mike* )

An average 10-cushion suite will take me about 3 Hrs. and the standard proceedure, after inspection, testing, set-up etc. is:

Though pre-vac with vibrating upholstery vac.

Mist-spray 2 or 3 cushions and brush in with tampico brush.

Extract first cusion useing CFR or Kleenrite hand tool.

Finish first cushion with terry towel (french-folded & turned frequently). Stack first cusion in drying area.

Pre-spray and brush another cushion, extract second cushion.

And so on, always with some cushions pre-sprayed in advance, untill it is time to move on to the carcase, which I normaly clean with a curtain tool.

The blower is normaly introduced after the first few cusions are cleaned, and is the last thing to leave the house (along with me and my wallet).

The above is a 'basic' description of proceedure, which is addapted to suit circumstances, such as required dwell-times, drying times of pre-spray etc. There are also additional proceedures, some not directly associated with removing soil, which are probably peculiar unto myself, which I may carry out.

With problem staining, eg from a 'sat-on' biro, the cusion is pre-treated and put to one side for prolonged dwell, thick wad of absorbent material on the underside,
rather than interupt the flow, then brought back into the sequence at the appropriate time.

What is most important to remember is that the most important drying takes place in the first second.
Any further extraction drying is subject to the Law of Deminishing Returns, as the liquid (and any soiling still present) is drawn into the pad, from whence it may wick back to the surface. Your aim should be to leave no more liquid than the surface fabric can comfortably hold at the end of extraction.

If a suite takes "overnight to dry- longer sometimes", it is most likely due to over-wetting the substrate.

*When this occurs even three blowers are unlikely to effect 'dry before drive-away', so even without blowers, Mikes' suites would probably be dry in a couple of hours.

Posted by Les (Les), 22 January 2004
So how much are these mini blowers, and will they keep my tea warm  Huh Cheesy Wink
Posted by Nigel_W (Nigel_W), 22 January 2004

Do you change the tips in your CFR tool to suit the fabric you are cleaning? I have been using the 4 inter-changeable tips for the CFR tool which allows you to more exactly control the amount of water used. I try to keep dry times down by using the least amount of water I can that will achieve the desired result. In other words there is no point in flooding all fabrics you clean with an 03/04 jet when an 01 or 02 would have cleaned them just as well.

For exceptionally fast dry times I use an 01 tip with the Ashby's steam mate 25 feet down the line. With a blower as well you are talking minutes to dry to touch.

I have also found for  fast dry times it's best to mist pre-spray on to each cushion as you go rather than thoroughly wetting out several at a time.

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 22 January 2004

Yes, like yourself, I use the finest jet that will put through sufficient water - isn't great that it takes only seconds to change jets?

I use a six-foot solution hose from the Steamate to the tool-hose which gives greater control over temperature and to reduces the time taken to bleed out the cooled water after a pause.

I give a fine mist spray, especially with Solution Nr 2 and advance-treat only sufficient area that I can get to it before it drys - except in over-heated rooms this would be two average squab cushions, four scatter cushions.

Although this excellent tool does give improved drying times, I find that even with the Kleenrite tool, on draylon, for example, I can still impress customers by pressing a paper towel onto the cloth imediately after extractionand hand it, almost dry, to the customer. A little showmanship does no harm Wink

Best wishes,

Posted by woodman (woodman), 23 January 2004
Hi Les

you can get your compact blowers from Dri-Eaz for about 99 + VAT Wink

They are based in Newport Pagnell, Bucks.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 23 January 2004

I think the steamate has been discussed before but just a do you rate it and is it reliable.

I had thought about buying one but was put off by adverse comments concerning its reliability.

Posted by Dave_Parry (Dave Parry), 23 January 2004
Derek, I have one of the old Black ones. The new ones are blue and modified inside. My one has had two problems in two years. One was just not working at all, and was a relay or something inside. and the last one was condensation causing it to trip MCB's. Just dried it out and its fine now. I keep it on the van so that probably caused the condensation. I wouldn't be without it, I do a lot of let properties and dont always have hot water on tap. saves a lot of time waiting for the Ninja to heat up.
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 23 January 2004

My Steamate was one of the first off the line and innitially suffered a few problems with sticking non-return valves and the like. Derek Ashby could not have been more open or accomodating in resolveing these problems.

The innitial design has undergone a number of changes, such as increasing the pressure relief valve setting from 200psi to 400psi and more recently a rework of a number of components, as indicated by the change of case colour from black to blue.

As to the reliability, the most common problem, as mentioned by Dave, is the tripping of RCD's, due to condensation causing a minor earth leak. This can be overcome by sensible storeage when not in use.

I would not wish to be without mine - the main advantage other than being able to fill with cold water and not waiting an age for an immersion heater, is that the water can be delivered at the point of use at the temperature I choose. I cite the case of a suite clean that I did without an inline heater, with 30ft of hose hanging from the balcony of the flat and with a wind-chill factor of -5C. With the tank thermostat on full the water reached the suite just warm - or stone cold if I paused for a few minutes  Sad  Even with 50ft of hose running inside a house, it is not possible to consistantly maintain a steady temperature unless the flow-rate is constant - with the steamate close to the working position this becomes possible.

Posted by Ian_Hare (Ian_Hare), 24 January 2004
I've had a black Steamate for 20 months, never had a problem.
However, the old heater previous to the steamate only lasted a year.
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 25 January 2004
Thanks for that fellows..

I shall renew my interest in the little devil.

It certainly seemed a superb idea when I first saw this piece of equipment, it was comments as to unreliability that put me off....I am reassured

One thing about Derek Ashby..whenever you see him at a show he always has some new, sometimes obscure, items on display...that little piece of kit you always wished 'someone' would design...he does!


Posted by Nigel_W (Nigel_W), 25 January 2004
Hi Derek,

I bought the 400psi version of the Steamate 2 months ago. It is an excellent piece of kit performance wise, I have even used it as a booster heater on my truckmount - I think it is still too early for me to comment on the reliability front.

It does strike me that a heat exchanger is an easy piece of equipment to break e.g. if allowed to freeze or if left on for a long period without water in it. I am being extra careful to mollycoddle my steamate so as to avoid trips to Dartford.

I agree with your comments on Derek - he has now come up with a spot cleaning machine with an internal mini steamate. Sounds tempting!!!

Posted by Les (Les), 26 January 2004
Hi Woodman,
thanks for the price and details regarding the compact blowers.
Sound reasonably priced. Wink

This page is a thread posted to the cleanitup forum at and archived here for reference. To jump to the archive index please follow this link.