Frequently Asked Questions & Comments


Product Related

Vacuum Related

Cost Related

Carpet Related

Product Related


What is HOST?

HOST, Fragrance Free, and HOST SJ are soft, natural products consisting of millions of absorbent sponges. These unique engineered "sponges" are moistened with specific amount of water and 100% plant-based ingredients. HOST contains and controls all the necessary liquids to dissolve both water soluble and solvent soluble soil.

The HOST SPONGES do a double duty job. First, they carry the liquid cleaning agents to the fibers in a controlled way. Second, they loosen, absorb and hold the soil in control for extraction by vacuuming. With the HOST Dry Extraction Carpet Cleaning System you are in total control of the cleaning chemicals and soil at all times.

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How does it work?

The HOST Machine brushes the moist SPONGES up, down, over and around the carpet fibers so they contact all surfaces of the soiled fibers, breaking the oil bond and wiping the soil away. This action is similar to a moist sponge used to wipe up spills in the kitchen or soil from a wall. Carpet pile is a vertical surface much like a wall. When liquid is applied, gravity pulls any excess moisture down into the carpet toward the backing.

When you use HOST you don’t lose control of the moisture and soil. In addition to absorbing the soil, the HOST SPONGES hold that soil until it is removed by vacuuming.

Carpets do not resoil as quickly as when cleaned with wet methods because there is no sticky residue to grab and hold fresh soil. Because the HOST System does not contribute to resoiling, regular, frequent vacuuming helps to keep the carpet cleaner longer.

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Will HOST "deep clean"?

The unique design makes the HOST Machines ideal for deep cleaning carpets. Carpet is manufactured in straight rows of upright carpet yarns. This is similar to millions of individual, vertical surfaces. The brushes of the HOST Machine turn toward each other in a vertical direction, the same direction as the carpet yarns. This makes it possible for the brushes to get into the carpet pile and work the HOST SPONGES in, around and through the carpet yarns, deep cleaning the carpet.

A side benefit is effective pile lifting and restoration. So if the carpet is dirty right to the backing, the HOST Machine can work the HOST SPONGES deep into the carpet. The SPONGES Cleaner then dissolves and absorbs the soil and is removed during the vacuuming procedure.

The HOST eVAC improves on the ability to deep clean because of its superior vacuuming ability. In heavily soiled areas, power vacuum the area before applying HOST and this will help you to achieve better results.

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Is HOST only a carpet maintenance product?

No. The HOST System can be used for total carpet care which includes regular carpet maintenance, as well as carpet cleaning and restoration cleaning.

While it is true that the most efficient way to use the HOST System is as a maintenance tool, its unique qualities make it possible for HOST to clean very dirty carpet in a controlled manner. Often the carpet has been “uglied out” due to improper or careless wet cleaning techniques. HOST is an ideal way to restore these carpets and prepare them for regular, ongoing carpet maintenance.

In order to effectively maintain a carpet, it is necessary to use a system of cleaning that removes the soil from the carpet before it can build up and spread. This is why in a maintenance program it is important to concentrate your cleaning and vacuuming efforts in the areas where people walk.

The HOST System dissolves, absorbs and then extracts the soil from the carpeting. Since HOST uses a controlled amount of moisture, it is easy to blend into the surrounding clean carpet during maintenance cleaning. So when the cleaning procedure is complete, the entire carpet, wall-to-wall, looks clean because it is clean.

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What is PREP Traffic Lane Booster for?

PREP Traffic Lane Booster is to be used with HOST in those very difficult areas that resist cleaning. It is a powerful cleaning booster containing professional strength detergents and penetrating solvents which combine to help break surface tension and emulsify excess oil film which binds dirt to carpet fibers.

PREP Traffic Lane Booster puts extra cleaning power just where you need it; entryways from parking lots, doorways to restaurant kitchens, on hard-to-clean spills such as medicine, thick, greasy food, etc. It is, however, meant to be used sparingly, only in a light mist. PREP is not the cleaner, HOST is.

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Why will the HOST System take out a spot so it will not come back?

First, it is important to understand why some spots reappear. When liquid is used in an uncontrolled manner to remove spots from the carpet, it can dissolve the spot and cause it to run to the base of the carpet. This is because of the vertical nature of carpeting. Gravity will take the dissolved soil and spots, and pull them toward the bottom of the carpeting. During the evaporation process, the dissolved spot is drawn up the sides of the carpet yarn and eventually reappears on the surface.

HOST cleans in a controlled manner. It contains just the right amount of moisture to dissolve the soil or spot but not enough to cause it to run down the sides of the carpet yarn. As soon as the soil is dissolved, it is absorbed by the HOST SPONGES. Since none of the dissolved spot has the opportunity to run to the base of the carpet, there isn’t anything there to wick back to the surface. That’s why when you clean a spot with the HOST System, it will not come back.

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Is HOST safe?

The HOST cleaning products are totally safe to use. We have MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) available on each product.

HOST is not an eye irritant, not a primary skin irritant. It is also nontoxic by oral ingestion or by inhalation. However, some people with unusual skin sensitivity should protect their hands and arms from direct contact with the product. Also some people with respiratory problems should avoid using HOST in unventilated or confined areas. By and large, for the general population, it is a safe product to use.

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Can I be allergic to HOST Cleaner?

While HOST is a safe product to use and conforms to the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is a possibility that some people may be allergic to an ingredient in the product.

Just as you may know someone who is allergic to milk or strawberries, you may find someone who will have an allergic reaction to a particular ingredient in the HOST product. If this is true, we suggest this person not come into contact with the HOST Cleaner. Most people can use HOST without any reaction.

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Can I get HOST without the fragrance?

Yes, HOST is available in a fragrance free formula. However, even this formula is not completely fragrance free since there are detergents and other cleaning agents in all HOST dry cleaning products. But, this HOST Fragrance Free version is a solution when odors are an issue. Usually the fragrance dissipates within 20-30 minutes after the cleaning.

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How much HOST should I use?

The amount of HOST to use is determined by the degree of soiling in the carpet. The HOST Applicator gives you three application settings, Light, Medium and Heavy. Light is for maintenance cleaning, Medium is for most average soiling conditions and Heavy is for very dirty carpet. As you begin to work with the products, you will begin to recognize the different situations and understand which setting to choose.

It is the brushing action of the machine that contributes the most to the end result. If people make a mistake with the HOST System, it is because they don’t do enough brushing. Choose the correct setting on the applicator, do the brushing and your results will be excellent.

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How much HOST can I apply before cleaning?

The answer to this depends on how you apply and which product you are using.

If you are applying by hand, we recommend that you only apply enough to cover a 10′ x 10′ (3m x 3m) or a 100 square foot (9 square meters) area before brushing. If you apply to a larger area, it is possible that some of the cleaning agents may evaporate and your results will be unsatisfactory. If you are using a HOST eVAC you can apply up to 200 square feet (18.5 square meters) before brushing. If you are applying with the applicator, you can apply to larger areas before you start brushing. The HOST applicator applies the HOST in small piles which hold the moisture for a longer time period. Therefore, you may apply up to 500 square feet (46 square meters) of carpet before brushing. You must still brush the area in sections of 100 square feet at a time before moving to the next, otherwise the HOST will dry out too quickly.

If you are using HOST SJ the use guidelines are different. Apply HOST SJ to an area of only 30 to 35 square feet (3 to 3+ square meters) before you begin brushing. Brush this area and then vacuum immediately. It is important to clean smaller areas and vacuum immediately when cleaning with SJ. For best results, SJ must be vacuumed while it is still damp. You may use the HOST applicator with HOST SJ, apply to smaller areas with the applicator as well.

When you use the HOST extractorVAC, vacuum each 50 square foot area as you go, do not leave the HOST on the carpet until it is dry. The HOST extractorVAC vacuums the SPONGES Cleaner more efficiently when they are slightly damp.

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Can you use the HOST System for restoration cleaning?

Yes. The HOST System is an ideal system for restoration cleaning. When a carpet is heavily soiled it may require many applications of HOST and a great deal of brushing to truly restore the appearance of the carpet. With other methods of cleaning, multiple applications could overwet the carpet and cause damage but with HOST there is never any chance of this occurring.

We developed HOST for restoration cleaning. The unique blend of cleaning agents in HOST will help you achieve superior results on really dirty carpet. The HOST extractorVAC will do a superior job of removing the dry soil while at the same time opening up and restoring the texture. This will make the cleaning more efficient.

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Is HOST solvent based?

There is a great deal of confusion in the industry as to the nature of the various dry cleaning products available for carpet cleaning. The original dry cleaning products were solvent based products. They were a clay powder (diatomaceous earth) mixed with a dry cleaning solvent which was scattered on the carpet, brushed in with a hand brush or broom and then vacuumed. These products were oily and could potentially cause some resoiling.

Today, all of the dry cleaning products manufactured are water based, not solvent based. The HOST Dry Extraction Carpet Cleaning products are water based also. The main ingredients in HOST and HOST SJ are water, detergents and green cleaning chemistry.

This combination of cleaning ingredients helps to dissolve all types of soil, whether it be water based or oil based. And since such a small amount of moisture is used, there is very little left behind on the carpet fiber to promote resoiling. When you clean a carpet with the HOST System, it will stay cleaner longer than with any other method you may have tried.

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Why should I buy HOST instead of a wet method?

First, it is important to know the objective of carpet cleaning. The objective is to remove the soil as completely and efficiently as possible.

There are two different principles at work in each method. A wet method must first liquefy and dissolve the soil in and on the carpet in order to begin to retrieve it. As the liquid flows onto the carpet and the liquefaction of the soil occurs, it essentially loses control and the soil and cleaning solution flow throughout the entire carpet. Based on the statistics that manufacturers of extractors use, only 60-85% of the liquid used, can be retrieved.

Consequently, if 10 gallons of liquid is used in a room, 3-4 gallons of liquid will be left in the carpet. When we look in the tank and see dirty water, we must remember the 3-4 gallons left behind in the carpet contain the same dirty residues.

In other words, what is left behind has the same soil and cleaning chemicals as what is in the tank. As the carpet dries out, some of the soil and spots may wick to the surface of the carpet and require recleaning.

HOST works on a different principle. It is millions of small sponges, dampened with the right amount of water, detergents and a safe-to-use solvent. This allows us to keep control of the liquids at all times during the cleaning process so there is no chance of wickback.

HOST is just like a sponge you use in your kitchen to wipe up spills on a table or counter. When you pass the sponge across the surface, it lays out a film of cleaning agents which dissolves the soil and then the sponge absorbs the dissolved soil. Everything that is dissolved is absorbed and trapped in the HOST SPONGES so it can be removed by vacuuming. This is a controlled way of removing soil which meets the objective stated above. This is a very efficient way to remove soil from the carpet.

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What is HOST SJ?

HOST SJ is a dry extraction, low moisture carpet cleaner formulated for special jobs. It is a natural, sponge-like material which we have mixed with water, detergents and a safe-to-use solvent. HOST SJ is white in color and is especially formulated for white, off-white, pastel and lighter colored carpets. It is also ideal for cleaning olefin and solution dyed nylon.

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Vacuum Related


The HOST particles get in the carpet and will not come out.

If you are experiencing this difficulty, it is normally due to the vacuum cleaner. We have found that if your vacuum will not remove HOST, then it will not do its major job which is to remove dirt. The normal, everyday tracked-in particles of sand and grit are heavier than HOST.

It is important that the vacuum cleaner be in good operating condition. It should have fresh belts, an empty bag, the proper agitation (brush and bar or all brushes) and it should be adjusted to the proper carpet height. If the vacuum is in good working condition, there should be no problem vacuuming HOST.

The HOST extractorVACs eliminate much of this concern. The combination of the counter rotating brushes and the 120 CFMs of air movement help to achieve superior removal of the HOST from the carpet.

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HOST is hard to vacuum out of some carpets.

In some cases on a tight, loop pile carpet, you may notice some residual HOST after cleaning. Especially if it was necessary to apply HOST several times in order to get the area clean. Some of the HOST may get caught in between the loops making the area appear tan, gold, yellow or white.

The best way to remove HOST is to power brush the area with the HOST extractorVAC and then vacuum again. The best way to avoid vacuuming problems is to use the HOST extractorVAC.

When you are using the HOST extractorVAC you will find that removal of HOST is simplified. The eVAC performs best when the HOST is vacuumed lightly damp. We have found that removal from tight, loop pile carpets is very good.

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What type of vacuum do I need to remove HOST?

The best way to remove HOST from the carpet is with the HOST extractorVAC. If you don’t have an eVAC, use an upright vacuum in good working condition with the following features:

  • brush and beater bar for carpet over padding
  • all brush agitator for carpet that is glued down
  • 85 CFM or better
  • top filling bag
  • capable of being adjusted to various carpet heights

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How do you get HOST off the baseboards, legs of furniture, etc.?

In most cleaning situations, it will be possible to clean the carpet without causing HOST to come into contact with baseboards, furniture legs, etc. However, there are times when it will be necessary to clean the carpet near these surfaces and some HOST will inevitably end up there. The easiest way to remove it is to use a long handled whisk broom or the attachments that come with a tank vacuum. The few SPONGES that are found on these surfaces are safe and will not cause any damage.

Current HOST Machines will minimize this problem because there is a skirt around the base of the hood which keeps the HOST under the machine and prevents them from splattering.

There is also a set of vacuum attachments available for the HOST extractorVAC which will allow you to easily vacuum the HOST off the baseboards, legs of furniture and hard surface floors, should they end up there. Merely attach the long extension tube to the hose on the eVAC and then you may use the various attachments for detail vacuuming.

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Will HOST or HOST SJ wear out my carpet?

No, HOST products will not wear out your carpet. If HOST wore out carpets, we certainly would not have the carpet mill recommendations we have. Over 100 carpet manufacturers and fiber producers recommend or approve HOST.

We have cleaned hundreds of thousands of carpets over the years and have never worn out a carpet. Actually, we have case studies that show the HOST System prolongs the useful life of the carpet because the appearance level is maintained at such a high level. HOST is a safe product for carpet. It is made of a soft, natural organic spongelike material which cannot cut or scratch carpet fibers.

The Mohs scale indicates the relative hardness of a mineral according to its resistance to scratching by one of the following minerals (arranged in the order of increasing hardness):

  1. talc
  2. gypsum
  3. calcite
  4. fluorite
  5. apatite
  6. feldspar
  7. vitreous silica
  8. quartz
  9. topaz
  10. garnet
  11. fused zirconia
  12. fused alumina
  13. silicon carbide
  14. boron carbide
  15. diamond

The HOST SPONGES, when dry, has a hardness of 4.5 on the Mohs scale. When HOST is moist, it is even softer. Soil is composed of sand, quartz, feldspar, and rock, all of which are harder than HOST. Carpet fibers, such as nylon, are very tough and can withstand years of high foot traffic with little damage. The HOST System does not wear out carpet fibers. Properly used, it extends the life of carpet.

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Cost Related


It costs too much.

The HOST System is inexpensive to use when it is used properly. Whenever you are analyzing the cost to clean carpet, it is important to include all the cost factors involved: labor, materials and overhead. Let’s look at each factor.

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Labor Cost

Most manufacturers of carpet cleaning equipment overstate the production rate of the equipment they are promoting. We feel it is important to give as accurate a measure of production as possible.

When we describe the production rate with the HOST System, we are including everything that is required to complete the cleaning job: preparing the equipment, mixing the chemicals, setting up the equipment, vacuuming, applying, cleaning and final vacuuming.

When these factors are considered, the production rate with HOST is very competitive. There is very little setup time or mixing of chemicals. Cleaning the machine is very simple. So the rate is 300 to 600 square feet per hour with a T-6 or Reliant.

When you use the HOST Freestyle your production rate is increased which means your rate will be at least 750 to 1,500 square feet per hour and as much as 1,500 to 2,000 square feet per hour. Some customers have reported even faster times than these with the Liberator. These increased production rates are due to the ability of the extractorVAC to do several jobs at once; pile lifting, vacuuming and deep cleaning.

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Material Cost

The HOST Applicator is the best way to control your material costs when cleaning with the HOST System. You have 3 choices of coverage when you use the HOST Applicator: Light, Medium or Heavy. Following are the coverage rates for each of the HOST products using the applicator:

Setting

Sq. Ft./Lb.

12 lb. Bucket

30 lb. Bucket

Light 96 1152 2880
Medium 64 768 1920
Heavy 32 384 960

We have found that when the HOST extractorVAC is used, the coverage rates of the HOST products improve because of the superior dry soil removal that occurs before the application of HOST. When this dry soil is removed by power vacuuming, the cleaning power of HOST can be focused on the remaining oily and greasy soil.

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It looks too slow and labor intensive.

With proper training, the HOST System is a very efficient way to clean carpet. At first glance it may appear slow because there are several steps involved in the process. However many of these steps are also recommended for other cleaning methods. For example, it is always important to vacuum the carpet before cleaning. The steps of application and brushing are actually relatively quick once you understand the techniques.

The HOST Freestyle or Liberator makes cleaning with the HOST System so efficient that you will find your concerns about the steps involved in cleaning disappear. The combination of power pile brushing and power vacuuming is an unbeatable team when it comes to soil removal. It is the efficient removal of soil that contributes to the labor savings you will experience with the HOST System.

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Carpet Related


Will HOST damage carpet?

The HOST cleaning system uses soft, organic, natural sponge-like particles to carry the cleaning agents to the carpet. These soft SPONGES are completely safe for the carpet. They do not cut or abrade the carpet fibers.

HOST Dy Carpet Cleaner has been formulated to be pH balanced with carpet dye. Most dyes used in carpeting are on the acid side of the pH scale. HOST is also slightly acidic and, therefore, it will not affect the dye in the carpet. HOST is the safest way to clean all types of carpet.

We have also designed many different types of brushes for the HOST Machines. Selecting the correct brush for the carpet is important for best results. If the wrong brush is used, it is possible to fuzz the carpet yarns during cleaning. When the correct brush is used, the carpet can be cleaned without fear of texture change or distortion.

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Is the HOST System only good for low pile carpets?

While the HOST System performs quite well on low pile carpets, it can be used on all types of carpet. Sometimes on deep pile carpet it may be necessary to apply more HOST and do more brushing to achieve better results. This may require extra vacuuming to properly remove the HOST.

The HOST System is ideal for all types of carpeting; one only needs to understand how to use it properly to achieve excellent results. HOST is also excellent for Oriental, Chinese, Persian and Sisal floor coverings.

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How often should I clean my carpet?

The answer to this question will depend on the type of carpet, the color and where it is installed.

If the carpet is installed in a residence, the need for cleaning will be different than if it is installed in a commercial setting. In most cases the carpet will only require cleaning twice a year when it is installed in a residence. Of course, there are exceptions to this depending on the number of people in the home, pets and the style of the carpet.

For commercial locations, we have developed the Computer Aided Maintenance Plan for Carpet (CAMP).

This program is designed to show you exactly where and when to clean your carpet in order to maintain a high appearance level year-round.

With CAMP we determine which areas require cleaning and on what frequency based on foot traffic. It is usage that determines frequency of cleaning. We identify the key areas: track-off, funnel, main traffic and spot prone that must be cleaned in order to keep the entire carpeted area clean. The CAMP plan is a management tool that delivers clean carpet year-round at reasonable cost.

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Do HOST brushes take the twist out of the carpet yarns?

Carpet is manufactured from carpet yarns which have a heat-set twist. This means that during the manufacturing process, moisture, heat and pressure are applied to the yarn so it will retain its twist. When this is done properly, the twist remains close to the original appearance for quite a long time.

Eventually vacuuming, foot traffic and cleaning can slowly change the texture of the carpet and perhaps cause some of the twist to relax. This is considered normal, everyday wear and tear on the carpeting.

The brushing action of the HOST Machines will not aggravate or cause this type of texture change. However, it is important to choose the correct brushes for the type of carpet you are cleaning.

Even after you have chosen the correct brush for a particular carpet, you should continue to observe the texture of the carpet while you are cleaning. If you notice any texture change, stop brushing and change to a softer brush.

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Why do carpet mills and fiber producers recommend HOST?

They recommend the HOST System because they have found that it performs well and is safe for all types of carpet. Their experience has been that HOST delivers clean carpet. They find their customer is happy with the long-term appearance of the carpeting and is more inclined to purchase carpet in the future. The carpet manufacturer and fiber producer are interested in selling more carpet, and they can do this if the customer is happy with their decision to purchase carpet. The HOST System makes that possible because it delivers long-term, high appearance at reasonable cost.

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Can I clean Oriental, Chinese or Persian rugs?

Yes, the HOST System is ideal for cleaning these delicate rugs. HOST has been formulated to be safe for all carpet dyes. You need never fear any color bleeding or color loss when using the HOST. HOST is one of the safest ways to clean rugs of this type.

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