Steam Cleaning vs Dry Cleaning Carpets

There are only 2 successful methods which is Dry carpet method just using chemicals and a scrubbing type agitation machine or Steam cleaning which is a hot water extraction process

Some people think that a steam cleaner leaves the carpet too wet and the carpet takes too long to dry.

The thing is, overly wet carpet fibres were most likely cleaned by an inexperienced “carpet cleaner” using substandard equipment that has a weaker suction power.

There are three major factors to consider why carpet or a piece of furniture may have stayed wet for too long after the cleaning process.

• Over-wetting carpet fibers

• Not properly extracting or low powered extraction system

• Environment (no airflow, high humidity, cool temperatures)

Only one way to clean carpet. Definitely not.

That might work for a certain percentage of the situation’s we cleaners face. Our opinion is that we must have open minds to cleaning carpet based on the situation before us. In our experiences, we truly believe we would not have the kind of success or reputation we have if dry cleaning carpet were our only option.

The “right” way to clean carpet

It all begins, at least it should, with a pre-inspection of the carpet. This is the time we take a close look at the type of fibre/fabric you’re working with and the pre-existing conditions it may have. Pre-existing conditions could be heavy soiling, fibre abrasion, missing fibres, stains/spots, odour, pet accidents, etc. The location of the carpet or furniture, amount of use, foot traffic, airflow considerations, whether shoes are worn on carpet, etc. all play a big part in the pre-existing conditions of the textiles. We often know most of this by our conversation over the phone, prior to the Cleaning Technician arriving or by the test done at your home. This helps provide you with an accurate estimate.

Following the pre-inspection, we choose the method and solutions to achieve the best results. Synthetic fibres need to be cleaned differently than natural fibres like wool, cotton or silk. Some carpet that we salvage is in such bad shape that dry cleaning would make zero improvement.

So, which cleaning method do we think cleans better?

Honestly, steam cleaning is the preferred method for most residential and commercial “wall-to-wall” carpet.

There’s always exceptions, but this is the method that is the most effective.

In addition, some carpet manufacturers, recommend steam cleaning (hot water extraction) every 18 months from date of purchase to adhere to their carpet warranty.

With steam cleaning, it is important to provide proper drying time and resources for heavily soiled carpets or areas located in areas with low airflow or high humidity. The upside is that your carpets are going to be cleaned much more thoroughly and stay clean longer.

Dry Cleaning has a lot of limitations, but it can be a great method for maintenance cleaning of commercial grade, low impact carpet, for example. In fact, we employ this method of carpet cleaning when the situation and conditions call for it.

While other cleaning methods for carpet cleaning may have their place, if we really had to choose, most professional carpet cleaning technicians will pick “steam cleaning or called hot water extraction”. The best carpet cleaner will be the one who can provide a solution for all situations, whether it’s steam cleaning (Hot water extraction process), dry cleaning or low-moisture cleaning.