You’ve probably heard of dry cleaning carpets, but maybe you’re wondering whether this method is just as good as traditional carpet cleaning. It’s a question we get a lot.
Dry Cleaning Carpets
Dry cleaning your carpet is not like dry cleaning your clothing. There’s water involved! The cleaner applies a foam shampoo to your carpet, lets it dry, then uses a vacuum to suck the dry shampoo out. If you imagine following that process on your hair, you understand this method is not very effective. With the drychem method, it’s essentially the same process except with the addition of a large cotton bonnet and a spinning machine that absorbs dirt from the carpet. The dry compound method is basically the same, except you spread an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust over the surface of the carpet, brush it into the carpet, then vacuum it up.
Here’s a visual that will help you understand carpet dry cleaning: Take a big towel. Rub the dirt out of your carpet.
Hot Water Extraction Cleaning
This is the traditional method for cleaning carpets. It’s also called steam cleaning, even though steam is not used. This method is recommended by Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer.
There are two ways to do hot water extraction cleaning. One is by portable extraction, which uses a small machine, or truck mount extraction, which uses a bigger machine mounted in the company’s truck. Truck mount extraction works better because it uses a higher rate of pressure to clean. Either way, the method involves using hot water. This method breaks up dirt, bacteria, fungus, tobacco residue, and pollens in your carpet then uses high suction levels to draw that dirt out of the carpet. The carpet is then raked, and you are left with a very clean carpet.
Here’s a visual to help you understand hot water extraction: Take a hot shower with soap, rinse thoroughly, then dry.