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Carpet-Cleaning Methods

by HomeAdvisor

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There are two primary methods of carpet cleaning: dry cleaning and hot water extraction. Consult with a reputable carpet cleaning company to determine which is the best method for your type of carpet. Some brands of carpet may also recommend the best or only method to be used.

Carpet Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning utilizes chemical cleaning solutions to extract dirt. There are three dry-cleaning methods:

  • Dry Foam: A shampoo is applied to your carpet, allowed to dry, then vacuumed up, bringing the dirt with it.
  • Dry Chemical: After a cleaning solution is applied to the carpet, a machine spins a large bonnet from side to side to absorb dirt in the carpet. After the bonnet is saturated with dirt, it is replaced with a new, clean bonnet and the process continues.
  • Dry Compound: An absorbent mixture resembling wet sawdust is spread over the carpet. A machine brushes the mixture into the carpet to absorb the dirt. When the mixture dries, it is vacuumed out, taking the dirt with it.

    Hot Water Extraction

    This carpet-cleaning method is also known as steam cleaning. Hot water extraction forces a hot water based cleaning solution into the carpet under high pressure, then sucks it back out of the carpet along with the dirt.

    • Portable Extraction: The carpet is cleaned by a small machine using hot tap water and powered by the electricity source in the house. Typically rented to do-it-yourselfers, some professionals also use portable units.

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    • Truck Mounted Extraction: This uses a large cleaning machine mounted on a truck or van. The water is heated to a higher temperature and is shot into the carpet at a higher velocity than is possible in portable machines.