Carpet Cleaning Methods Compared

There are many different methods of cleaning carpet and I will summaries these for you in this blog.

Dry Cleaning

These systems are mostly technically “very low moisture” (VLM) systems, relying on dry compounds complemented by application cleaning solutions, and are growing significantly in market share due in part to their very rapid drying time.

Heavily soiled areas require the application of manual spotting and pre treatments which are detergents that bind to the soiling and break them down.

Dwell time for the pre treatment is commonly only about 15 minutes  due to the thorough brushing used for this low moister method.

Dry time is usually about two hours but the clean is considered more of a surface clean.


Polymers are used on the soiled carpet and crystallize particles into dry dry residues on contact.They absorb and dissolve the dirt   before it is cleaned. A rotary scrubber is used to apply a cleaning solution and the waste is vacuumed up immediately  by an inbuilt system .

Another system with relatively fast dry time plus the added benefit of improved carpet appearance.


Cleaning solution is sprayed onto the carpet as a mist and a round bonnet/buffer scrubs the mixture .It has an absorbent spin pad that attracts the dirt.The pad is rinsed or replaced  immediately. This method does involve significant moisture and dry time can be extensive.The bonnet should always be well lubricated  in order to avoid carpet pile distortion.

Not a great method for sanitizing due a lack of hot water but an antimicrobial solution can be sprayed post cleaning to resolve this matter.

This method does not use the amount of water required in the Hot water extraction method. Also does not penetrate deep in the carpet fibres.


This method was very popular until the 1970s when encapsulation and hot water extraction began to take over.The method involves wet shampooing with a rotary machine followed by wet vacuuming. Since no rinsing is performed the sticky shampoo residue remains on the carpet collecting dirt and particles. This created the misconception that carpet cleaning leaves your carpet dirtier faster.

Hot water Extraction (steam cleaning)

The hot water extraction cleaning method uses equipment that sprays heated water (not steam), sometimes with added cleaning chemicals, on the carpet while simultaneously vacuuming the sprayed water along with any dislodged and dissolved dirt.

Many carpet manufacturers recommend professional hot water extraction as the most effective carpet cleaning method.

The primary advantage of the hot water extraction cleaning method is that effective cleaning is possible using only hot water, or hot water with very dilute detergent solutions. This avoids the problems associated with detergent residues that can remain in the carpet with other cleaning methods.

The primary disadvantage of the hot water extraction cleaning method is that 100% of the water used cannot be removed. If poor water extraction is achieved, in conditions of high humidity, mold growth could occur or be exacerbated

Moisture left in carpets after cleaning will evaporate more quickly with ventilation, heating, air conditioning or dehumidification.

Drying time may also be decreased by extra use of fans, air conditioning, and/or outdoor ventilation.

Balancing the need for rapid drying (attributable to lower flow rate through the cleaning jets of a spray system) and the need to remove the most soil (attributable to higher flow rate) is a key technique that must be mastered by carpet-cleaning technicians.

To get you carpet cleaned today call Solutions Carpet Cleaning Specialist 0404 018 765.

Solutions Carpet Cleaning

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