A common problem in truckmounted carpet cleaning is FOAM. Foam in the vacuum hose can increase drying time and greatly reduce cleaning effectiveness because it has, in effect, reduced the vacuum hose to 1/2 inch in diameter! Additionally, excessive foam can cause damage to the vacuum pump and other equipment.
Foam is usually caused by residues from carpet shampoo, spotters and detergents in the carpet. These foamy residues result in the rapid filling of the recovery tank and air movement restriction as the vacuum hose fills up with foam, which results in poor cleaning, wicking problems, streaking, resoiling and poor drying time.
We recommend the use of the Consumer Demonstration Tube to more easily tell whether you’ve removed all the prespray. If you see a lot of foam as you’re extracting, extract until there’s very little foam left. The apparatus fits a 2 inch vacuum hose. The demo kit comes complete with two 2 inch vacuum hose cuffs, a 2 inch slip connector and clear plastic tube.
Silicone antifoams such as Bane-Clene’s AFC™ Anti-Foam Concentrate prevent foam from forming and cause existing foam to rapidly collapse. The low surface tension and interfacial properties of the silicone molecules in AFC cause the foam wall to thin and collapse.
What are shampoos? They are formulated to be not only highly foamy but also very foam stable. The main ingredient is sodium lauryl sulfate. Take a look at the label for your hair shampoo and you’ll see sodium lauryl sulfate or one of its relatives listed as a primary ingredient. It’s used in hair shampoos for foam, foam stability and fair or mild cleaning (good cleaning would be too harsh and thorough for hair and scalp!). This should also tell you how well carpet shampoos clean.
Most defoamers are very dilute mixtures of oils to kill the foam. Some carpet cleaners try to make their own defoamers such as using fabric softeners, oils, etc. wasting time and money! AFC Anti-Foam Concentrate is a thick emulsion of highly effective silicone defoaming agents specifically designed to kill this type of foam. Induct the AFC into the vacuum hose to clear the hose of foam to get better air movement. Add AFC to the vacuum hose when cleaning a restaurant with TLS® 2000 since soap is being generated.
In extreme cases, before extracting, apply Chemspec Crystal Defoamer to the carpet to kill the foam at its source.