Carpet Cleaning Methods That Work

Closeup woman vacuum carpet

Carpet cleaning is often the most overlooked tasks in any home or business. For cleaning it yourself at home, it is very time consuming and the home methods may not be too powerful.

For cleaning carpets in offices, one needs professional services that can be very costly if you do not pick the right cleaning method. There are many carpet cleaning companies to select from irrespective of where you stay.

Every company offers different services and uses different methods for carpet cleaning.

Therefore, it becomes important for you to understand the different aspects and types of carpet cleaning.

It is not necessary that every carpet cleaning method will work for you. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Any carpet cleaning method falls into one of the two broad categories of cleaning. Wet cleaning:

Methods that use hot water extraction or cleaning with absorbent pads and Dry cleaning: Methods where dry cleaning powders or foams are used with heavy equipment.

These are the most common methods of carpet cleaning:

Hot water extraction:

Woman washes floor with steam mop

This method is commonly popular as the steam cleaning method for carpets. In this cleaning process, highly pressurized hot water is sprayed on the carpet which dissolves the dirt in the inner fibers.

A cleaning agent is mixed in water which makes the dirt dissolve completely in the sprayed water. The cleaning agent is left on the carpet for a short duration which is then followed by brushing the carpet thoroughly especially in the soiled area.

After brushing, the carpet is rinsed with heavy cleaning equipment to remove the cleaning agent properly. Finally, the rinsed carpet is left for drying at room temperature.

An office with a carpeted area of 3000 sq ft will take two hours for cleaning using this technique.

Carpet Shampoo:

Hand green glove cleaning carpet with shampoo

It will take 4-5 hours for the wet carpet to dry at normal room temperature. If you wish to get the carpet clean with this method you can get it done during the evening so that the carpet can dry throughout the night without being walked over.

This was a very popular cleaning method until the 1970s. In this method, a heavily soiled carpet can be easily cleaned using an appropriate upholstery cleaning shampoo. The major disadvantage of this cleaning method was that it left behind a very huge amount of foam residues on the carpet. Since it stays wet for a longer time the carpet dries in a very long time. Even after drying, the carpet used to get sticky as the shampoo could not be rinsed out completely. This frequently led to re-soiling of the carpet rapidly. Hence this cleaning method soon became unpopular.


Woman washing carpet

This cleaning method makes use of advanced technology for converting liquid into crystals. Synthetic detergents are used as the major ingredient in this form of carpet cleaning method. Foam is created with its base as a synthetic detergent. When the foam dries it crystallizes itself into powdered form. The dust particles that are embedded deep in the carpet fiber are encapsulated in the foam which then turns into powder. This happens as soon as the cleaning foam is applied on the carpet surface and it dries. Later, it is easily vacuumed out or brushed when the carpet is cleaned.

This technique made the carpet shampoo cleaning method obsolete since it made cleaning the carpet easier and quicker. It is also an environment-friendly cleaning method due to two main reasons. One is that it does not need a lot of chemical products for cleaning the carpet. The second is that water isn’t used while removing dirt from the carpet. Another benefit of this upholstery cleaning method is that it does not leave behind a lot of chemical-based residue on the carpet making it safer. The time required to dry the carpet is significantly lower than the other cleaning method as the carpet does not get wet heavily.

This carpet cleaning method offers a lot of advantages, but due to its technological limitations, it does not show good results for cleaning a heavily soiled carpet.

Bonnet Cleaning:

Bonnet carpet cleaning method

This is one of the most widely used carpet cleaning methods in hotels and public areas with carpets that tend to receive a lot of traffic. The Bonnet carpet cleaning method gives a good result for cleaning the surface of the carpet.

This is because the process involves cleaning the top surface of the fiber with a heavy motorized machine.

These heavy-duty machines have a spinning pad which is continuously supplied with a cleaning solution. The cleaning solution absorbs the dirt particles from the surface and the spinning pad makes the cleaning process very quick.

The method is popularly used in hotels as it fixes a dirty carpet quickly. It does not need a lot of time to dry as the cleaning pads do not leave a lot of moisture in the carpet. It does the job quickly and causes no inconvenience to the guests.

The disadvantage of the bonnet cleaning method is that since it works only on the surface of the carpet, the dirt from the bottom of the carpet rises back on the surface within a very short time.

This causes the carpet to look soiled again. Also since there is a lot of pressure exerted from the machine on the carpet, the chemical residue gets accumulated deep in the carpet. Also, the constant movement of the machine may cause damage to the carpet.

Dry Carpet cleaning

Red vacuum cleaner beige carpet

The Dry carpet cleaning or dry cleaning carpet method came into existence in the 1980s and started gaining huge popularity.

Though people still debate on its effectiveness, it is the most common carpet cleaning method used around. This method involves the use of different cleaning compounds and powders that are specifically made for drycleaning.

The reason why carpet cleaning is effective is due to the deep cleaning it provides. The process of this method is that the cleaning powder or compound is inserted deep into the carpet.

This is done using a motorized brush that counter rotates opening the fibres of the carpet and allowing the powder to settle within.

Typically the cleaning powder is made using biodegradable material which works like a micro-sponge.

The powder absorbs the dirt from the carpet and then it can be easily removed.

Karen Saunders

Karen Saunders

Karen Saunders is the content marketing manager at PaintMates. With extensive experience in the home and garden space. Karen researches and writes about home improvement.

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About Carpet Kings

Carpetkings was established on a whim, we were ringing around trying to get mum’s carpets cleaned before guests were coming for Easter, her carpets were riddled with pet waste from Bella (her dog), dirty shoe marks from Dad and let’s face it, they were just super old and dull Read More….

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