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Does Your Cleaner Use TACT?

At Extreme Steam we think about TACT on each and every job in Napa Valley. In the cleaning world TACT doesn't just mean "sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues." It also stands for the four components that together ensure great results for any cleaning.

TACT stands for:





Temperature is arguably the most important element. At 118° Fahrenheit cleaning solutions work at 100%. Any colder and you will need more of the other three elements agitation, chemical/ cleaning solution and time. If you add only 18° and bring the temperature up to 138° you double the cleaning power. If you add another 18° and bring the temperature to 154° you double the power again! The higher the temperature the less agitation, chemical and time are required.

To help you put that in perspective with how Extreme Steam cleans in Napa Valley here's how our temperatures generally run. At the truck the temperature is between 200-220°. By the time the steam travels from the truck, through the line to your carpet the temperature is still well above 150°. This unlocks the maximum cleaning potential of our cleaning solutions! We will go into further detail about how we get it so hot in our blog next week which will discuss our equipment.

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Picture if you would a greasy pan. If you try to clean a greasy pan in cold water it is going to require more scrubbing (agitation and time) and soap (chemical). If you use hot water it will come in a lot less time with less agitation using less soap. The same idea applies to all types of cleaning. You wouldn't try wash jeans covered in oil in cold water.

Agitation is the scrubbing factor. We figure out our base price is by the square foot for carpeting. The dirtier carpet it is, the more we will have to scrub it. The more time we spend getting it clean the more we have to charge. Like we mentioned in our blog from two weeks ago the more we do the more we charge, the less we do the less we charge. Our goal is to offer a great value by providing a clean healthy home at a good price.

The type of chemical/cleaning solution used depends on several factors. Those factors can include; what kind of carpet/ material we are cleaning, what kind of soiling needs to be removed and customer preferences. You might be wondering: What is the difference between a chemical and a cleaning solution. A cleaning solution is the proper mix of a chemical and its mixing agent. When cleaning carpet and upholstery in Napa Valley we often add an anti allergen pre spray to our treatment. With all the vineyards around us many people need extra help to fight off allergy symptoms. This will be discussed in further detail in a blog we will post soon.

One of the more common questions we receive is do we used JUST steam. While this is an option it is not what we recommend in most circumstances. It would be appropriate to just only steam on areas where there is hardly any soil. For example along the edges of a room or areas where there is little to no traffic. Another reason we would use just steam is if we are working in the home of someone who is very sensitive to chemicals.

The final element is time. Many of our cleaning solutions need what is call dwell time to fully work. The dwell time depends on what chemical is being used as well as what type of fabric we are using it on. During the time the cleaning solution is dwelling it is helping to separate the soil from the surface of the fiber.

The four elements Temperature, agitation, chemical and time work together. If you have less of one you will need more of the others and vise versa. TACT applies to more than cleaning carpets. So next time you are getting ready to clean something, don't forget to think TACT.

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