A “HOT” Issue

Recently there have been some news reports in the professional cleaning industry suggesting that cleaning with hot water, specifically cleaning carpets, results in more effective cleaning.

While I do understand the theory of thermodynamics and technically I agree that in some cases, heat may help cleaning, there are enormous consequences to the use of heat that are not being addressed.  Among them are the following:

  • The energy and electricity needed to produce the heat.  This can be significant and is why some portable extractors require two sources of electricity, one to operate the vacuum system and one to heat the water/solution.
  • In some cases and with some types of carpet fibers,  heat can actually damage carpets.
  • I question how much actual difference the heat makes as many products/extractors lose the heat before it gets to the surface being cleaned.
  • And finally, some of today’s modern surfactants perform very well in cold water. Heat is simply not needed.

There are many other issues I can bring up regarding this hot topic, but these are some of my key concerns.

Stephen Ashkin