Nature's Quick-Dry Forum

Welcome to The Nature's Quick-Dry Forum. Feel free to post a message.

Challenger Forum
Start a New Topic 
Steam vs. Bonnet Cleaning

Am I assuming correctly that Bonnet cleaning is what the Challenger employs? Correct me if I’m wrong.

Here’s the deal. Back in High School a close friend of mine (he was my best man in my wedding) from my home town wanted me to go in on a carpet cleaning machine and start a business. I told him he was crazy, I don’t do carpets. I joined the US Navy and saw the world instead.

He struggled a little, but today he runs a very successful carpet, tile, hardwood floor sells and cleaning business…Guess I should’ve listened, but the Navy was an awesome experience.

Anyway, he’s a HWE guy and say’s that the recommended method of cleaning carpets from the manufacturer is HWE. That Bonnet cleaning only cleans the top third of the carpet leaving the soil underneath untouched.

I’ve read through this board, and Mark’s website “why different?” section, but is there a website where I could read a little more in-depth of what is actually happening during the stages of the cleaning process using the Challenger?

It seems from my limited knowledge is that both systems use the same process to “loosen” and “separate” the dirt from the carpet fibers, but were the disagreement lies is how to “extract” that loosen soil.

It makes sense to me, that forcing water via HWE into the carpet after successfully loosening the soil would push the soil deeper into the carpet and the extraction process may leave soil behind, only to reappear later.

In regard to the Challenger and the “dirt underneath untouched” comment above, is it the agitation process of using cleaning agents along with certain pads that drive that deep down soil up to the top of the carpet to be collected by the cotton pad during extraction?

I'm sorry, as a mechanical guy, I have to know the processes and how things work.

Thanks, and forgive me for the long questions.

Re: Steam vs. Bonnet Cleaning

One of the main differences between HWE and OP (don't call it bonnet cleaning; that's more associated with 175-RPM rotary floor machines) is that HWE relies on a combination of softening up the soil with a prespray, waiting out a period of what is called dwell-time, then injecting and extracting fresh water to pick up the loosened soil. Unless you add a scrub step, there is very little agitation involved. An OP machine operates at 1750 RPM in the little scrubbing movements, or orbits, or oscillations, which is a high level of agitation. Agitation is very effective at scrubbing soil away, and the greater the level of agitation produced by your machine, the less moisture is required to get the job done. With OP, you intentionally avoid getting water down into the base of the carpet, where it will, I believe, do more harm than good. The only way you can get ALL the soil out of wall-to-wall carpeting would be if you could take it up and send it to a rug cleaning plant. Everything else, including HWE and OP, is a kind of compromise, necessitated by the carpet being attached to the floor. I find much more upside, and less downside, with OP than with HWE. Plus, as a practitioner of OP, low-moisture cleaning, you are not just one of the huge crowd of so-called steam cleaners, who are all perceived by the public as offering about the same thing. Steam cleaning is a commodity, and commodities are sold by whoever sells them cheapest. You don't want to have to compete on price. By offering the convenience of low-moisture carpet cleaning, combined with the use of natural, odorless cleaning products, you have something better, and can sell it at a higher price. And your product will appeal more effectively to the high end of whatever market area you are working in.

Re: Steam vs. Bonnet Cleaning


I'd suggest that you consider taking the IICRC Carpet Care Technician course.

Re: Steam vs. Bonnet Cleaning

The cleaning pie is:
T: Time
A: Agitation
C: Chemical
T: Temperature

With this in mind you can compare what we are doing here without trashing one method or the other.

OP done the "right" way: With a pre-vacuum step and spraying ahead of where you are working to allow 10 mins or so dwell time will be very high on the Agitation by it's very nature, the dwell time gives you the T step and using a product that does a good job gives you the C. Thus 3 of the 4 parts of the cleaning pie are represented very well. It's difficult for OP to add the Temperature aspect, though it is possible. I admit I am usually working with roughly room temperature pre-spray and luke-warm pads. Given that I have 3 of the 4 parts of the pie figured out pretty well, and I give a pre-vac and change pads regularly I can get most any carpet looking very good-- the exceptions being trashed/greasy restaurants and really heavily pee-soaked carpets.

HWE done WRONG: When HWE skips the vacuum step because "it all goes up the hose anyway", and skips the agitation step because it's too much work, and some budget lowball HWE'ers even skip the pre-spray step. Thus going only to spray and suck. With this method they have only Temperature if they have HOT water. 3 of the 4 parts of the cleaning pie are skipped by this sort of HWE.

HWE gets a bit better if they add a pre-spray step, but it get's a lot better if you add a pre-spray step AND agitation step. With a pre-vac and no steps skipped HWE would do a job as good as, if not better, than what I can with OP.

My goal is to do as good of a job as I can with the method I have chosen to employ, but I recognize it's (few) weaknesses.

Much like HWE, OP can be done wrong too, ie. skip the pre-vac, skip the post vac on any nylon cut pile, or only use a few pads for a whole house... it really comes down to the operator and how much you care about your work product.