Now that it’s time to get your carpets cleaned before the holidays, there is an ongoing debate in carpet companies as to which method is the best, steam cleaning or dry.

Dry and steam cleaning are both popular methods for cleaning carpets, but does one have an advantage over the other? Before you forge ahead and make an appointment with any carpet cleaning company, here are some facts.

family on carpet with baby

The Debate

  • Companies that promote hot water extraction claim that dry or low-moisture methods don’t clean carpets as deeply as wet cleaning.
  • Companies that promote dry cleaning systems claim that steam cleaning may over-wet the carpet and penetrate the padding.

Steam Cleaning Method

First, let’s clear up the myth that steam is actually used to clean your carpets. While the machines use hot water, which gives off steam, the steam itself does not clean the carpet.

For over forty years, most commercial cleaning companies have been utilizing the traditional hot water extraction method. This method is used by industry professionals who believe that steam cleaning is the only way to go for cleaning carpets. It is the only process that rinses all of the dirt and cleaning solutions right out of your carpets.

The process relies on high hot water pressure and special high-alkaline detergent for breaking up the dirt. The solution is then spread onto the carpet by forcing water and detergent down into the fibers and base of the carpet. The use of high heat helps to kill the bacteria that has been growing in your carpets. The combination of water and detergent is then sucked out with a special vacuum.

This special vacuum is very effective in releasing the dirty water from the carpet where it is held in a large container for disposal.

Because the carpet, pad, and subfloor are dampened during the process, it takes a bit of time for the carpet to completely dry, generally within one day. That is probably its only disadvantage, but it’s worth the wait for beautifully cleaned carpets.

Dry Cleaning Method

With the advent of new technology and more awareness of the environment, some commercial companies have opted for using modern low moisture carpet cleaning systems. This method provides for carpets that can be thoroughly cleaned and completely dry in 30 minutes or less.

Although dry carpet cleaning and dry foam carpet cleaning may boast about the method providing a faster drying time, this process comes at the expense of quality carpet cleaning.

The dry cleaning method uses dry chemical compounds or cleaning solvents, which are placed on the carpet where they break down whatever soil they find and release it. Although this process is called dry cleaning, it’s a bit misleading because small amounts of moisture are used in the form of application solutions, which complement the dry compounds.

Dry cleaning offers some advantages, such as a shorter wait time, but the method may leave soap, residue, and dirt behind resulting in the carpet attracting more dirt. With this method, you may find that you have to repeat the cleaning process more often, which is a bit of a nuisance.

Dry cleaning is environmentally friendly in that it is quieter, easy to transport, easy to store, and there are no freezing issues like steam cleaning; however, this alternative method’s advantages cannot compete with the deep clean and sanitizing effect that is provided by steam cleaning.

Which Method to Choose?

More than anything else, it depends on the circumstances of your particular situation; however, for routine residential carpets, steam cleaning offers a superior, deep clean and deodorizing effect than its more organic counterpart.

At Kleen Rite, we offer safe and chemical-free cleaning with high heat steam cleaning.  We feel that this method makes it safe for pets and children, while offering the best results for your carpets and upholstery.  We serve Burlington, Milton, Oakville, Hamilton and the surrounding areas.  Contact us Today!

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