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The Best Carpet Cleaning Methods Explained

Put the Yellow Pages down and back away slowly! Before you pick up the phone and dial up the first carpet care company that you stumble across, take a look at the different methods which can be used to rejuvenate your carpets.

You may have done your homework and have already settled on the hot water extraction method, because it is widely regarded as the best. While this is largely true it is always a good idea to check out the other methods of carpet cleaning and analyse their specifics. Who knows, there may be a better method for you! Each method has its pro’s and con’s, so check out the following explanations of the “four pillars” of carpet cleaning to decided which method is best for you!

Dry Cleaning

The dry carpet cleaning method uses very little water but rather a dry, absorbent powder. This powder contains tiny amounts of water, detergent and solvent. Usually this powder is lightly sprinkled onto the carpets where is attracts and absorbs dirt and dust. The powder then dissolves the dirt where it mixes with the solvent and is then vacuumed up and removed.

More often than not the detergent is organic, but there are synthetic products on the market. It is imperative that vacuuming is done thoroughly as you do not want any of the detergent left on your carpets. These powder agents can affect the indoor air quality but it does have the advantage of no drying time, making it suitable for interim maintenance.

Bonnet Cleaning

This method differs from dry cleaning because it uses a fair amount of water. This is particularly odd because many people confuse the two methods. Bonnet cleaning incorporates the use of an absorbent “bonnet” or pad. This bonnet placed on the bottom of a rotary machine. The carpet is then sprayed with the solution and worked over with the rotary machine, removing soil as it does so. The pad is reversed when the one side is dirty and the process is repeated.

What’s great about this method is that it uses a small amount of water, meaning it dries quickly. However, many carpet cleaners will advise against this method because it can potentially distort and damage pile carpets and does not produce fantastic results when it comes to dirt extraction.

Carpet Shampooing 

Carpet shampooing involves working shampoo into the carpet to give it a thorough clean. Through the use of a rotary pad a cleaning solution is ejected through the pad and onto the carpet. When the pad begins its rotation the solution is then lathered into foam. What is great about this method is that it is perfectly suited to low pile and low cut carpets, the types you would usually find in offices. This method has no extraction process. Once the foam has dried it is then vacuumed up, removing the dirt as it is goes.

Many consider the shampooing method to be inferior to other carpet cleaning methods because it yields poor results and the carpets dirty relatively quickly after the process. This method can be potentially damaging to your carpets, especially if you have cut pile carpets which are very common in residential homes.

Hot Water Extraction 

Ever heard of steam carpet cleaning? That’s another term for hot water extraction. This method is considered the “Big Daddy” of all the carpet cleaning methods and comes highly recommended by carpet manufacturers, fibre technicians and carpet cleaners alike.

Hot water extraction involves spraying a hot cleaning solution into the carpets, after which the solution is vacuumed up and stored in a tank. The dirty solution is then disposed of at a later stage. The best part of steam carpet cleaning is its ability to dissolve and rid carpets of heavy dirt, grit, bonded dirt and sand particles.

So, according to the experts, hot water extraction is the best method for a deep and effective carpet clean. In fact many professionals also refer to this method as “deep carpet cleaning”. However, it may not be the best option for you as one of the other methods may better suit your needs. Whatever you choose, at least now you are equipped with the knowledge regarding the “four pillars” of carpet cleaning, you are ready to make an informed decision and start your journey towards clean, sweet smelling carpets in your home of business.