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I have frequently succeeded in diminishing or even completely breaking up water stains with OP. If I find I'm not making any headway with ordinary cotton or blended pads, I will switch to a FiberPlus pad, normally used for encapping. If I am working on CGD carpet, I might even use a FiberMax pad.
Then finish up in the normal way, with cotton pads. This has worked more often than not, but it is not 100%. Maybe 60 to 70 percent.
I tackled water stains in flooded basements twice. I had great success both times with OP. Both times the carpets were fairly clean before the flooding and the stains were due mostly to orange-yellow clay that had washed in with the flood water.
I presprayed with a mixture of Quantum Green and Encap green (quantum is good at suspending particles)and scrubed with a large hand brush. Yep, I scrubbed a large area by hand. Then I went sprayed with Encap green and used 100% cotton pads on the Challenger.
I left no trace of stain. Easy does it on the quantity of fluid sprayed down, however.
Jon, what was the advantage of using a hand brush over a large or small orbital tool?
The large hand brush ( a bit larger than a shower brush) has long medium-soft nylon bristles that seem to do something different than the orbitals. It reaches deeper into the pile. My hand brush action may be similiar to what the Cimex does, but alas, I don't have one of those.
I can loosen stubborn dirt with my hand brush that I cannot get up with OP, especially on BERBER. Of course I have to followup with OP to lift the loose dirt out. I will do areas up to 4 or 5 feet square with the hand brush, but of course I am not happy about encountering stains like that.
My customers are thrilled, but I am left wishing it were easier.