Choosing the Right Carpet Cleaning Method

A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Carpet Cleaning Method

Are your carpets looking a little worn and weathered?

Are there spills that won’t budge, no matter how hard you scrub?

If so, it’s probably time to call in the professional carpet cleaners.

But which carpet cleaning should you choose?

It can be overwhelming to decide which one is best for your carpets.

Luckily this article is here to make sure the decision doesn’t feel quite so daunting.

We will go through each of the different methods step by step to determine which one might be best for your home.

Popular Carpet Cleaning Methods

Dry Carpet Cleaning

Dry cleaning is the quickest and most convenient of all types of carpet cleaning methods. In layman’s terms, it typically involves a specialist spreading detergent or shampoo onto your clean carpet which attracts dirt particles like a magnet. After allowing this powder to settle, he/she can vacuum it up from your carpets. Let’s take a further look at some of its pros and cons.

Its biggest advantage is that it only takes about 15 minutes. Compared to other methods which need several hours to dry completely. It makes this an ideal option for busy households or commercial areas with high foot traffic.

However, one disadvantage of dry carpet cleaning is that deep steam extraction removes dirt from both the visible surface and deep within the pile. It leaves carpets looking like new. Dry carpet cleaning can’t usually do more than superficially remove dirt. Additionally, since there’s no water being used, you won’t totally get rid of some pet stains and odors which require water extraction for complete elimination.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning (Hot Water Extraction method) is one of the most widely used carpet cleanings, and for good reason. In this technique, a hot steamy special cleaning agent is sprayed onto your carpets to break down dirt, dust mites, and oils. This is then followed by an extremely powerful vacuum cleaner which quickly draws out the dirt and cleaning agent into an onboard recovery tank.

The main advantage of this method is that thanks to its deep-cleaning capabilities, equipment, and extreme temperature levels, wet carpet cleaning can be effective on difficult brown stains like red wine or pet waste. It penetrates deeply into fibres removing both the surface dirt and hidden debris inside. Additionally, professional cleaners can treat pet odors in carpets, and the preferred method of carpet manufacturers too.

But there are some drawbacks with carpet wet cleaning that are worth considering before you hire someone for your carpets. Firstly, since this process uses hot water pressure. It has a longer drying time than the dry clean method. Furthermore, because of its high temperatures, wet cleaning could potentially cause shrinkage and discoloration if done incorrectly on sensitive carpets. So always ask your steam cleaner about any preventative measures they may take for such safety while performing this job.


Encapsulation is a relatively new method of carpet cleaning and it is usually used in commercial establishments that need deep-cleaning intervals. It works by spraying a professional cleaning solution onto the carpets which encapsulates dirt, grime and dust particles within its harsh chemical residues. As it dries, these granules then turn into dry soil that can be easily vacuumed away from the surface of the fibres. This results in carpets looking like new.

One major advantage to this method is that since no water or steam are used. It shortens drying times significantly, making it perfect for business settings where fast turnaround is important. Additionally, due to its low moisture content, encapsulation also prevents mold growth which could otherwise occur from excess water left out after cleaning.

On the other hand, some drawbacks of this system include that heavier soils may not be removed as effectively as those tackled by harsher methods such as hot water extraction, and since only minimal moisture is used. There’s a chance that some grimes may remain unattended. Lastly, although safer on fibres than other techniques.

Bonnet Cleaning

bonnet carpet cleaning is another dry-cleaning technique used in professional carpet care. This method usually involves a cleaning product being applied to your carpets using a counter-rotating brush and then scrubbed into the fibres with a powerful rotary bonnet machine. Which are “low-moisture” but “deep-agitating” to ensure the toughest of stains are removed from them.

The main pros of this system include that it can be completed much quicker than the carpet steam cleaning process, so it’s perfect for busy households. Additionally, if you suffer from severe allergies.

Unfortunately, although bonnets can tackle significant dirtiness within short periods of time. They may not be too proficient with oil residue types of soils due to its low moisture content. Furthermore, depending on how often or heavily they’re used. These pads may need regular changing or replacement in order to remain effective.

Carpet Shampooing

Carpet shampooing is perhaps one of the oldest methods of carpet cleaning. In it, a professional will usually apply a water-based mixture to your carpets. Then use rotary machines with brushes or scrubbing pads to deeply agitate and lift dirt from within.

The main pro here is that this method can effectively remove everyday general mess from carpets such as light soils, odors, and pet hair. It makes it great for carpet surface cleaning maintenance and regular vacuuming. Secondly, since warm water is used in this process, it’s also much easier to tackle tough grease soils than those requiring heavy-duty cleaning agents.

However, for starters, due to its low moisture content. Additionally, excessive foaming could leave residues which lead to rapid re-soiling if left unattended. Lastly, an extensive amount of agitation is needed here in order for success. This may cause damage or wear away at sensitive fibres over time if not done correctly by your professionals.

Safe Chemicals Used in Carpet Cleaning

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

This is a mild detergent that is typically used to promote foaming throughout the system. As it has no VOCs or solvents, it’s perfectly safe for both humans and the environment.

Carbonated Water

It sounds strange, but this type of H2O contains carbon dioxide. It interacts with dirt particles helping them become loose from your carpets making them easier to remove especially in high-traffic areas.

Alkaline Cleaners

This is usually an environmentally friendly, cost-efficient surfactant-based product that aids in removing soils from fabrics. All while not leaving residual residues after cleanup.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This compound is actually beneficial for your carpets because eliminates odors and lifts deep spots without harming fibres or colors within it in no time. All while still being eco-friendly.

Citrus Oil Extracts

Not just beneficial in the kitchen, citrus-based essential oils are also perfect for any method of cleaning. It costs less when you clean it yourself. Their anti-bacterial and dirt-fighting properties make them ideal for combating tough messes in no time. All while leaving a refreshing scent behind at the same time. Make sure to use a spray bottle when using this.


What is the best carpet cleaning for my home?

It really depends on your own personal needs and preferences. Since some methods have faster turnaround times while others can eliminate tough stains or odors more efficiently than others. It’s probably best to contact a professional carpet cleaner before you make any decisions. So they could explain which one would be most suitable for your carpets.

Are there any dangerous chemicals associated with these methods?

Thankfully not all products used by professionals fall into this category. You should always check what type of detergents or solutions they will be using prior to hiring someone. As most major brands will typically include only safe compounds necessary for an effective job done without causing harm or damage to both humans and our environment.

How often should I clean my carpets?

A good rule of thumb is that it’s recommended to have a full deep-clean with either steam cleaning or encapsulation at least once every 12 months. However, if you suffer from allergies or there are high foot-traffic on your carpets. This is to maintain top performance overnight.


Keeping your carpets in tip-top condition doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

With only a few simple steps, you could hire a professional cleaning company and make sure your cleaners hit all the marks when discussing which carpet cleaning technique should be used for your needs.

Whether that’s dry cleaning, steam cleaning, encapsulation, bonnet cleaning, or carpet shampooing.

Best of all, no matter which one you choose.

So if you’re ever looking for help with those stubborn stains or odors, don’t hesitate and give these professionals a call today.