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How to Choose a Carpet Cleaning Method

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How to Choose a Carpet Cleaning Method – Professional Tips

Despite efforts to keep carpet clean, years of grime, dirt, and stains accumulate and cause the need for carpet to be cleaned. How do you choose the best carpet cleaning method? The most popular methods are steam cleaning and dry cleaning. There are a few other methods. Is there an advantage of one over the other?

Steam Cleaning

This method is not free of cleaning agents. Steam is not what cleans a carpet. Hot water is used, and vapor is given off. Detergent is sprayed onto the carpet. The steam and hot water activate the cleaning agent on the carpet fibers. After approximately ten or 15 minutes, a vacuum extracts the solution.

Bonnet Cleaning

This method is most frequently used for routine light maintenance. A carpet is vacuumed before it is sprayed with a cleaning solution. The solution stays on the carpet long enough to allow a cleaning reaction.

An absorbent pad, placed on a rotating floor machine drive block, is spun over the surface of the carpet at a rate of 100 to 300 rpm. The method impregnates the carpet fiber with the cleaning solution, then extracts it and the soil.

Dry Cleaning

A powder mixed with cleaning agents and particular solvents is spread over the surface of the carpet. A machine that is fitted with brushes that counter-rotate is used to work the cleaning agent into the carpet fibers. The powder absorbs the soil. It is vacuumed up after sitting for ten to 15 minutes.

Rotary Shampoo or Dry Foam

A cleaning agent that helps support debris and dirt is applied to a carpet. A special machine with rotating brushes whips the cleaning product into a foam and works it into the carpet. After setting for a short time, the foam is beaten and worked into the fiber of the carpet.

living room carpet

Pros and Cons

Each method has its plusses and minuses. Steam cleaning gets soil from deep in the carpet. High cleaning concentrations, pressure, and temperatures can be used. It is the most widely used method. Steam cleaning takes a relatively long time to dry. It is the most expensive method.
Bonnet cleaning is inexpensive, fast, and simple. Lightly soiled carpets have seen excellent results. Only the top third of carpet fibers are cleaned. Chemicals and dirt accumulate at the bottom of carpet fibers.

Dry cleaning is a simple system that requires no specialized technical training. Within 20 minutes, a carpet can be used again. The powder can get trapped and build up in plush pile carpets over time.


Rotating shampoo or dry foam has only a small amount of moisture, and therefore, dries quickly. The brush rotation provides great agitation. Extraction below the carpet surface is impossible. Equipment malfunction could cause excess wetness.
With so many pros and cons, the best choice may be to let professional carpet cleaners clean the carpet. A technician will know the method that works best for the cleaning necessary and the fiber of the carpet.

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