Bonnet or Spin Pad Carpet Cleaning

This procedure is commonly called dry bonnet cleaning. Although not completely dry, the carpet or pads are damp when this process is performed.

This system is excellent procedure to maintain a high quality appearance level. Spin pad cleaning is an interim system that is fast, uses low moisture and dries quickly(usually less than 1 hour). The equipment and materials required are: Rotary Floor Machine(175-300 rpm) with drive block carpet bonnets or pads, spray applicator and/or bucket with wringer, and a spin pad, cleaning products.

This is a variety of chemicals available for this procedure. There are products for especially heavily soiled areas and where odors are a problem. Enzyme systems have been developed that digest organic soils and continue the cleaning process, even after the physical cleaning has been completed. Products are available that clean, sanitize and deodorize in one step. Then there are the products with solvents to speed the drying and leave the least possible residue.

Bonnet or Spin Pad Cleaning: Procedure

  1. Vacuum and remove all stains from the carpet
  2. Prespray, using the spin pad cleaner as prespray
  3. There are two basic methods for spin pad cleaning
    • PreSpray Method (Best Method)Mix the solution in a sprayer. Generously prespray the carpet 10 minutes ahead of the rotary machine. Do not allow it to dry before buffing. Lightly spray the pad before beginning. This method allows even moisture control and quick drying time.
    • Immersion MethodUse two mop buckets. The first mop bucket is for cleaning solution. The second bucket is for rinsing the soiled spin pad. Submerge the spin pad in the cleaning solution and wring out tightly. Position spin bonnet under the 175-300 rpm rotary machine. When both sides become soiled, rinse spin pad rinse bucket. Wring out tightly. Re-soak in cleaning solution, wring out tightly and start cleaning.
  4. Buff the carpet from side to side using overlapping circular motions.
  5. As the pad becomes soiled, rotate, change or thoroughly rinse the pad and continue cleaning.
  6. For extra cleaning and faster drying, rebuff with a clean dry pad and use fans or air movers.
  7. Depending upon the nature of the carpet groom the pile to speed drying and to leave a finished appearance.
  8. Complete the job by using furniture leg pads or blocks to eliminate rust or furniture stains.

There are two different system that can be used when bonnet cleaning

One Pad System
With this procedure the pad used is a polyester/rayon blend. These fibers both absorb the dissolved soils as the pad is being used on the carpet. Once the pads become soiled they can either be rinsed and reused or replaced. A new version of this pad uses strips of polypropylene added which will increase the agitation.

The absorbing ability of the polyester/rayon fibers is limited. Once the pad becomes thoroughly wet it should be replaced or it will just spread the dissolved soils over the surface or the carpet.

Two Pad System
With this procedure the polyester/rayon pad is used first. It agitates and breaks down the soils as well as absorbing some of these soils off the surface of the carpet. The second pad used is a thick cotton. This pad has excellent absorbing qualities and will remove most of the dissolved soils left by the first pad. When both sides of the cotton pad become thoroughly wet, replace with a fresh dry pad.

With either the one or two pad bonnet cleaning systems can be used on commercial carpets. As long as it is done at the proper interval and performed correctly, it can be a very important part of the maintenance program.

A minor drawback with bonnet cleaning is that its not as effective at heavy soil removal and it leaves residue.

There are a number of variations to Bonnet Carpet Cleaning. Mixing the prespray system, immersion system in conjunction with the one or two pad approach to Bonnet Cleaning provides quite a variety of possible combinations that may be emplyed.

1. Low Cost
2. Easy to do
3. Fast Drying(approx. 1 hour)

1. Does not deep clean
2. Leaves residue


Prespray Method of Bonnet Cleaning
1) Prepare equipment and supplies. In a pump or power sprayer, mix solution to manufacturer’s recommended dilutions
2) If there is a lot of furniture to remove, draw a floor plan
3) If the area has furniture, remove as much as possible.
4) Thoroughly vacuum carpet. If pile is crushed or matted using a pile brush will help loosen the soil which will make the vacuuming process more effective
5) Pre-Spot.(most important) This will eliminate the spot being smeared on the surface of the Fiber
6) Using a pump or power sprayer apply solution. If working alone, apply solution to a 400 sq. ft. area. The surface must be damp when the floor machine reaches it. This will help prevent excessive friction build-up.
7) Using a cloth or a doodlebug pad with a wall washing pad on it, clean the base boards and corner.
8) Work machine with a polyester/rayon pad from right to left around perimeter, then while walking backwards using a side to side motion, start the cleaning process. Make sure to clean all areas by properly overlapping each pass of the machine.
9) At 150-200 sq. ft stop and flip pad over. At 350-400 sq. ft. , replace pad.
10) If doing the two pad system, go over entire area with a cotton pad.
11) Repeat steps 6-10 until all of the carpet has been completed.
12) Use a grooming tool and remove any machine marks or nap shading.
13) Replace furniture, place protective pads under furniture legs that may cause rust marks.
14) Clean up any mess that may have been caused by this cleaning procedure.
15) Thoroughly clean equipment and store away.


Note: If 2 people are working together, the size of the area being worked can be increased to 600 sq. ft. The pads will be flipped at 200-300 sq. ft and replaced at 500-600 sq. ft.