Bonnet cleaning is the process where a pre-spray is applied to the carpet and then extracted using bonnets on a rotating floor machine. We will explain it in detail below.
With the bonnet process, the carpet cleaner uses a rotary floor machine similar to a floor buffer. The machine usually spins at 175 revolutions per minute but some will spin at 300 rpm. The faster speed buffers are usually used for commercial cleaning only. The slow speed model is more often used with residential carpet. On the bottom of the machine the cleaner will have a drive block which is a plastic block with plastic spikes designed to hold the cleaning pad in place.
The bonnets themselves are usually 100% cotton in residential cleaning. They may also be a mix of synthetic and cotton or can be a micro fiber. The 100% cotton bonnets are the most absorbent but the least durable. They will usually be of a looped construction somewhat resembling a mop head.
The carpet is first sprayed with a pre-spray which is allowed to dwell on the carpet for 5 to 15 minutes. The bonnet is then placed on the floor and the machine is centered over the bonnet. The cleaner will either use a dry or slightly moistened bonnet. Either way is fine as long as the carpet is sufficiently wet (for lubrication). The machine is then engaged and the bonnet will turn in a circular motion. The cleaner moves the machine from side to side, changing or rinsing the pad as it becomes soiled.
A variation of this method is the orbital pad method. This method is similar except that an orbital or oscillating machine is used along with thinner cotton pads. This machine rotates the pads in a random semi circular method. The advantage is that this provides increased agitation.
This process generally leaves the carpet dry within 1 to 2 hours although some cleaners may dry the carpet in as little as 15 minutes by using carpet fans. It is always a good idea to turn ceiling fans on and turn your HVAC system on run after having your carpets cleaned to speed drying.