Is Steam or Dry Cleaning Better For Your Carpets?

The Two Most Commonly Used Methods

The steam and dry cleaning methods are the two most common processes used by professional carpet cleaners in the industry today. There is always a debate on whether carpet steam or dry cleaning is the best method. The answer is usually in the carpet manufacturer’s recommendations. Fabrics are now manufactured with different materials from wool, synthetic, organic, silk, bamboo and many other textiles. In more recent times, carpet can be woven into a combination of two or more other materials that sometimes conventional steam or dry cleaning may actually damage the fabric.

Steam carpet cleaning is a good method but would not be recommended to use on viscose, silk, bamboo or natural fibres such as sisal, or even a combination of these fabrics as it will permanently damage and discolour the fibre.

Dry carpet cleaning can be used on most fabrics. However, any looped carpet or woollen weave that isn’t a straight pile should not be attempted by the dry clean process using the brush orbital machines. The dry clean method is more recommended for maintenance cleaning or short pile shallow fabrics.

What is Carpet Steam cleaning?

Most carpet technicians will favour or recommend the steam cleaning process. It is the most popular form of carpet cleaning. There are actually two types of steam cleaning.

Steam cleaning is where the water is heated at a boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius, and it is delivered out of the cleaning wand in the form of actual steam. This provides a powerful cleaning action that breaks and dissolves unwanted substances.

Hot Water extraction is where the water is only heated to 60 degrees Celsius but not to boiling point and delivered through the cleaning wand as hot water. This form of steam cleaning is also effective in combination with a carpet cleaning detergent.

The steam cleaning process requires pressurised hot water, which is extracted through a wand into a waste tank. The pressure and extraction motor can be produced by a truck mount machine or a portable machine.

What is Carpet Dry Cleaning?

Three categories can be classed as dry cleaning:

It is a form of dry cleaning that requires a specific encapsulation chemical that is applied via a rotary agitation machine using a soft pad/s to scrub the carpet. The carpet is first pre-vacuumed, agitated, and then vacuumed after it dries. The process required the dirt to be encapsulated as crystals before final vacuuming. Drying is usually around two hours on average.

Carpet dry cleaning uses the same agitation process as encapsulation. It uses a neutralising chemical and pads (not brushes) to absorb the dirt. Drying time, on average, is about one hour.

Dry powder:
Cleaning is possibly the driest method as it uses a lightly moist neutralising powder that is spread over the area and worked into the carpet. The dirt is then absorbed in the powder substance. It is then vacuumed out of the carpet, leaving it dry almost instantly.

Visit our carpet cleaning page to learn more.

Get your obligation FREE quote now!

Scroll to Top