We’ve discussed carpet maintenance programs a number of times in E-tips and other articles. To maintain a carpet’s appearance far into the future, it is essential for it to be on a maintenance program. Manufacturers often require them to have a program to maintain their warranty status. They set this requirement to ensure that the damage to the carpet is not due to manufacturing defect. A number of issues such as discolorations and greying out due to abrasion, can be largely prevented by regular carpet cleanings.
There is not just one approach to maintain a carpeted floor however. In the past few years, carpet manufacturers have started to include the option of an intermediate clean, using what is called a “Whittaker.” Like how the company Xerox is synonymous with photocopying, Whittaker is a brand name of a type of agitating carpet cleaners currently on the market. Simply put, it uses two (or three) brush rollers that are spun in opposite directions at high speeds. This allows for what is called a deep pile cleaning, which is when the area at the bottom of the carpet fibers are agitated by the brush action. This helps to dislodge dust, dirt and other debris, which can later be picked up.
It should noted that Whittakers are really not intended to be used on their own, but rather in conjunction with a vacuum and a periodic hot water extraction. It does not have a traditional extraction system; the rollers will pick up most of the hairs and larger pieces, however dust and smaller particles will not be removed. That occurs either through the extraction clean or during a building’s regular vacuuming schedule. Whittakers are also designed to work with our existing cleaning products and crystallizers, which helps to remove stains and discolourations. They are activated when agitated by the rollers and then removed through the vacuum or extraction.
Functionally, you will not see any difference in how we offer Whittakers: we are using them regularly during maintenance cleanings in conjunction with a hot water extraction. The only obvious difference may be in how much cleaner the floor will look afterwards.
We also employ Whittakers in buildings with a program as an intermediate step between day-to-day vacuuming and a full extraction clean. In these cases we may use a Whittaker at a higher frequency to agitate the carpet to enhance the effectiveness of the building’s regular vacuuming. The Whittaker cannot deal with an entire range of stains and discolourations that are found on carpets, so a spot will be necessary as usual.