Encapsulation is a relatively new dry carpet cleaning method in which a special compound is spread over carpet, and the compound then crystallizes, encapsulating dirt.
In the 1990s, residential and commercial carpet cleaning services began literally encapsulating (crystallizing) soil particles into dry residues on contact, in a process now regarded by the industry as a growing, up-and-coming technology. Working like “tiny sponges”, the deep-cleaning compound crystals dissolve and absorb dirt prior to its removal from the carpet. Cleaning solution is applied by rotary machine, brush applicator, or compression sprayer. Dry residue is vacuum-able immediately – either separately or from a built-in unit of the cleaning-system machine. According to ICS Cleaning Specialist, evidence suggests encapsulation improves carpet appearance compared to other systems; and it is favorable in terms of high-traffic needs, operator training, equipment expense, and lack of wet residue. Encapsulation also avoids the drying time of carpet shampoos, making the carpet immediately available for use.
The use of encapsulation to create a crystalline residue that can be immediately vacuumed (as opposed to the dry powder residue of wet-cleaning systems, which generally requires an additional day before vacuuming) has recently become an accepted method for commercial and residential carpet cleaning.