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Light Wand Techniques

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Carpetologist View Drop Down
The Great Hardini
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    Posted: 20/October/2004 at 1:22pm

Light Wand Techniques

General Principles

There are probably as many different wand stroking techniques as there are technicians using light wands. Let's review som egeneral principles as well as three basic wand stroking techniques you should be familiar with.

The cleaning tool should be comfortable to the operator. Adjust the handle so the operator can clean in an upright position. You won't last long in this business if you do not employ good posture in your cleaning strokes. You will reduce operator fatigue if you are in a comfortable upright stance. Normally, start your cleaning in a typical home at the farthest point from where you will exit.

  • The amount of solution can be controlled by the trigger valve.
  • Always recover the solutions sprayed into the carpet pile as soon and thorougly as possible.
  • Always be cautious of overwetting.
  • Always avoid damage to seams by cleaning parallel to the seam.
  • Repair any cracks in cleaning wand opening to avoid snagging carpet fibers.
  • Never leave the cleaning wand sitting on the carpet when not in use.
  • Avoid nicks and gouges in woodwork by careful control of hoses and cleaning wand at all times.
  • Be careful not to damage flooring materials when cleaning next to them.

Block Method

The most basic wand stroke is the block method. Take an approximately 3 ft. by 4 ft. area and flush the area clean with the solution valve open. Follow this by re-extracting with solution valve off. Be sure to overlap the block area to pick up any oversprayed solution. Also avoid the sawtooth effect by properly overlapping cleaning strokes.

Chop Stroke

The chop stroke can be very helpful in heavily soiled areas and in flushing spots out of carpet fibers. Use an up (3 inches) and back (5 inches) chop stroke with solution valve off, go back over the same area and re-extract with a dry only pass to insure proper solution recovery.

Paintbrush Stroke

Using the same pattern as the block method, the paintbrush stroke is used to eliminate overlap marks. Possible overwetting and browning in overlap marks can also be controlled by utilizing a paintbrush stroke. An autobody painter begins his painting stroke before spraying paint and stops the paint spray before he ends his painting stroke. The same concept is applied to the cleaning wand in the paintbrush technique. The paintbrush technique will help control problems associated with the extra solution between the wand vacuum opening and the operator that often remains unextracted.

Steam/Extraction Tools and Attachments

Drag Wand
The original carpet tools utilized in the steam extraction system were drag wands. Drag wands served a useful purpose in their time due to limited efficiency of steam/extraction units. They are heavy, cumbersome and difficult to maneuver around furniture and have for the most part been replaced with the light wand.

Light Wand
The development of the light wand has followed the evolution of steam/extraction equipment. Great maneuverability and versatility have made the light wand the most widely utilized tool today.

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Superglide Ken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Superglide Ken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/October/2004 at 12:22am

And then we have the Glide Wand.

The glide wand is one where a plasic glide has been added to the wand head of a light wand to reduce the effort for the operator to clean with . This has several advantages:

1) A properly designed glide will allow the wand to double the air(cfms) that can be drawn in during cleaning. Since the amount of water that can be extracted from a carpet is dependant on both the amount of air used and the speed that it enters the lips of the wand, both these qualities are increased with a good glide.

2) Productivity is increased by at least 20 to 30%. Since a glide wand requires only 1/2 to 1/5 the effort to move on the floor as the light wand does, it can move much faster.The light wand has it's speed restricted by 2 factors, the strength of the operator, and the low airflow that its lips allow in during cleaning. The Glide wand is restricted by neither one. Because it takes in about double the airflow, it removes water from the carpet much more rapidly. This allows you to go faster without compromising cleaning quality. Because fatigue is not a problem with this wand, you can start at a faster pace and maintan it as well.

3) Less injuries on the job. Before the advent of the glide wand, both the drag wand and the light wand have caused the early demise of many a carpet cleaners cleaning career. Repetitive injures were a common cause why many were not able to stay with this job as long as they might have, not to mention the high turnover rate in the trade from people that did not want to work as hard as a regular light wand requires you to do. So continued on with the use of the rotary powered tools, but many cleaners are too cheap to spend the money it takes for these labour saving devices. The glide that goes on a light wand costs only $100 to $200 and is affordable enough that no cleaner has to clean with just a light wand anymore. Relief is only a phone call away.

So what is next? The next generation of wands is already being designed. Most of the best airflow designs are being made in Titanium wands. This makes sense since most of the dollars that it takes to do the research cannot be recouped  on a cheap wand. There is also the fact that to build a wand that can move 200 to 300 cfms at the carpet interface, requires construction techniques that are more expensive than the mass produced wands use. The best wands all cost $1000 or more, but will more than pay you to invest in them. In our business, equipment is cheap in comparisan to what it can make you year in year out.Having the best Titanium wand costs you less than 1% of your yearly gross income and will last at least 10-20 years. That is truly cheap.

Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/October/2004 at 12:26pm
ken:  Are you now saying you need complete wand, becsause your glide did absolutly nothing to assist with drying times and air movement for.  I use a Pro chem wand and a 405 and it if anything increased drying times on commerical.Guitar
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Superglide Ken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Superglide Ken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/October/2004 at 3:27pm
Doug: Notice that I said nothing about dry times in listing the advantages of a glide wand. Dry times are determined by how good a seal you have with a glide. Air will always take the path of least resistance when moving from an area of high pressure(atmosphere) to an area of low pressure(inside the wand). The first generation SS Teflon glide you have did not seal well. Its main advantage was glideability. That it does. Glides where the water from the jets does not spray onto the glide itself will also not dry quickly either because the high pressure from the jets gets driven into the carpet back. Once that happens, the carpet takes many hours to dry. Check this on the glide you are using. The new second generation SS glides address both these problems, and fix them.
Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bojedis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 10:00pm

Next thing we will see are plastic wands

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennis_is_ok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 10:19pm
uh they are already available
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hammy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 10:24pm
Dennis_is_ok loves his plastic wand.
Could somebody just clean my carpets!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 10:45pm
Mr. Steamer perfers ABS?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Superglide Ken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 10:47pm
Originally posted by bojedis bojedis wrote:

Next thing we will see are plastic wands



They are already here. Some people call them vibrators.
    
Inventor of the Teflon Wand Glide and the Turboteck Rotary Air Duct Cleaners for TMs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hammy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 10:55pm
Maybe Dennis could give us his review.Big smile
Could somebody just clean my carpets!
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doug View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 11:02pm
Only on the glide version?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hammy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 11:05pm
I wonder why they don't just make a teflon wand! Confused
Could somebody just clean my carpets!
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doug View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 11:07pm
It would keep sliding out of your hands?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hammy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/November/2006 at 11:12pm
Good point, I'm sure Kenny would come up with something though.
Could somebody just clean my carpets!
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