Need to control foaming in your carpet cleaning equipment? Read on to see why you really, really DO need to manage foaming, but first, here's a quick tip: Saturate a sponge with defoamer and toss it in the recovery tank. This treatment can last for weeks. Minimizing foam in the tank will help maintain maximum vacuum performance and protect the blower and other valuable components from damage. Discard and replace the sponge when it's no longer effective.
But what’s so wrong with foam? The bubbles themselves are mostly harmless; it’s the moisture, detergents and soil residues that foam carries that can cause problems.
For a portable extractor, moisture drawn through the electric blower can damage electrical components and cause premature failure.
In a truckmount, rust forming on the inside of the blower is the primary concern. Clearances in blower housings can be a little as one hundredth of an inch (.010”), so it doesn’t take much rust to lock up and destroy a blower. This is why blower manufacturers recommend that operators spray WD-40 or other types of water-displacing lubricants into the blower after use – to displace any moisture that may be present.
Foam can cause other problems also. Detergents can rinse away the lubricants used in the bearings for electric blowers and the soils can deposit on blower impellers. In truckmounts, detergents and residues can work their way into in heat control valves and affect the heat control system, clog valves, and reduce heat exchange efficiencies.
Note that the automatic shutoff valves used in recovery tanks won’t protect your blowers against foam. Monitor your recovery tank frequently and ensure foam is under control.
The defoamer sponge trick described above works great to control foaming. But do keep a close eye on things. You may need to add defoamer to your cleaning solution - be sure to follow the defoamer label directions. Keep foaming under control and you’ll enjoy maximum cleaning efficiency while protecting your valuable equipment.