January 28, 2023
Many professional carpet cleaners refer to encapsulation carpet cleaning as “encap” or “encapping.” Although often misunderstood, the cleaning system has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. Encapsulation has been around since the late 1990s or early 2000s. The method often uses similar equipment to the “Shampoo” carpet cleaning method.  For that reason, many have confused,…

Many professional carpet cleaners refer to encapsulation carpet cleaning as “encap” or “encapping.” Although often misunderstood, the cleaning system has gained tremendous popularity in recent years.

Encapsulation has been around since the late 1990s or early 2000s. The method often uses similar equipment to the “Shampoo” carpet cleaning method.  For that reason, many have confused, dismissed, and equated it with that method.  But encapsulation uses a very new and revolutionary different type of chemistry!

The encapsulation cleaning system applies a cleaning solution containing a crystallizing acrylic polymer.  It is this polymer that helps create the magic of encapsulation.  Encapsulation formulas also contain other cleaning components, such as surfactants.  These ingredients aid in breaking the bond between dirt, grease & grime from carpet fibers.

The encapsulation cleaning solution is usually worked into a carpet with an agitation machine.  The machine types used include Cimex, Rotary Brush, Rotary Bonnet, and Oscillating Pad (OP).  There are others as well.

The agitation facilitates the breaking of the chemical bond between dirt and fiber.  It also mixes the encap solution with the soil and sticky residue.  Upon drying, the solution crystallizes, rendering the residue completely non-sticky.  Routine vacuuming removes the encapsulated particles.

Whichever machine is employed, well-formulated encapsulation detergents can produce remarkable and incredible results!

Most suppliers of encapsulation products explain it as surrounding or encapsulating the dirt.  This explanation is accurate to some degree.  In the mind’s eye, it does make it easy to visualize how the process works.

At VacAway Products, we have run countless tests.  Our tests have caused us to conclude that the above explanation is only a VERY SMALL PART of what takes place.

Explanation

The encapsulating polymer does surround a certain amount of the soil.  But there is another even MORE IMPORTANT PROCESS that takes place during encapsulation.

Approximately 79% of all carpet soil is dry particulate matter.  Routine vacuuming can remove most of these dry soils.  But it is the other 21% that causes carpets to Ugly Out and need professional cleaning.

Without sticky residue, there would seldom be a need for professional cleaning.  A good vacuum cleaner could be used to remove the accumulated soil.

The Remaining 21 Percent of the Soil

The best-performing encapsulation products contain EXCESS ACRYLIC POLYMER.  The polymer mixes with and helps liquefy sticky substances in the carpet.

These sticky substances come from tracked in dirt and oils.  They come from soda spills and over-the-counter spot removers.  Another contributor is sticky surfactants left from previously applied non-encapsulating cleaners. 

In and of themselves, many professional cleaning products are inherently sticky.  After their application, the sticky surfactants are never 100% removed.  Their sticky residue lingers behind to attract more dirt and soil.

What is the major complaint people have after
having their carpets professionally cleaned?

They complain that their carpets get dirty again very quickly!  The culprit is usually due to the left-behind sticky residue!

Well-formulated encapsulation detergents remove the stickiness in the carpet.  Due to their chemical makeup, they will never leave behind a sticky residue of their own.

A well-formulated encapsulation will crystallize.  It can then be removed during routine vacuuming.  A carpet that has been cleaned with an excellent encapsulation product will stay cleaner, longer too.  That is a great bonus!

What’s the bottom line?

We have run thousands of tests at VacAway.  We concluded that the MAJORITY OF DIRT AND GRIME isn’t really encased in a capsule or crystal.  Instead, well-formulated encapsulation detergents render sticky residue completely NON-STICKY! 

The grime will be easily vacuumed away when running your vacuum cleaner and your carpet will stay cleaner much longer.  If your professional carpet cleaner is unfamiliar with the encapsulation process, tell them to visit vacaway.com/encapsulation-carpet-cleaning for more information.