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A substance that has a pH less than 5 and has a low concentration of hydroxyl ions (OH-).

A substance that has a pH greater than 9 and has a low concentration of hydrogen ions (H+).

Alkaline Cleaner
A cleaner that has a pH higher than 9. This would include all purpose cleaners, degreasers and strippers.

Material used to form the base of the carpeting into which the pile is attached. Polypropylene and jute are common backings.

The transfer of color from one section of the carpet to another. Bleeding usually takes place in the presence of moisture and/or chemicals.

A common yellowish-brown discoloration of carpet that is caused by overwetting and/or overuse of chemicals, especially high alkaline formulations. Most common in natural fibers such as cotton and jute.

Carpet Tabs
Small pieces of plastic that are placed under furniture legs after cleaning to prevent rust stains from forming on the carpet.

The ability of carpet fiber to hold its coloration (dye).

Cleaning solutions that consist of water and one or more of the following ingredients: Surfactants, builders, solvents, chelating agents and soap.

Method of carpet cleaning in which a cleaning solution is injected into the carpet and the soiled solution is quickly vacuumed back into the extraction machine.

Neither acid nor alkaline. Neutral generally means pH in the 5.0 to 9.0 range, but true neutral is pH 7.0.

To change the pH of a substance to 7. Either raising the pH of an acid or lowering that of a base.

A carpet fiber that is common in both commercial and residential applications. It is very durable, resilient and soil-resistant. Nylon stains fairly easily and dries slowly after cleaning.

Odor Digester
A special chemical which contains enzyme-producing bacteria that actually digests organic spills and stains from carpeting such as vomit, urine and feces.

A carpet fiber that is common in commercial applications. It is naturally stain, fade and moisture-resistant and is extremely colorfast. It cleans easily and dries fast.

The surface yarns of carpet that are secured on top of the carpet backing. This is the "visible" portion of the carpet that is exposed to wear.

A chemical that is spray-applied to carpeting prior to extraction. It can be lightly applied to the entire area and extracted with rinse agent or it can be applied to traffic lanes and spots only, then extracted with detergent and a neutral rinse solution.

The amount of a substance that will dissolve in a given amount of another substance. For example, mixing an all purpose cleaner with water leads to 100% solubility of the cleaner.

A liquid that is capable of dissolving another substance. Water, butyl, mineral spirits, d-Limonene and isopropanol are all examples of solvents commonly used in our industry.

Traffic Lane
Sections of carpet that receive the most use and wear (hallways, steps, walkways and entranceways) and require frequent vacuuming and cleaning to maintain appearance.