When you hire a professional carpet cleaner to come into your home to freshen your carpets, you’ll notice that they use several different methods to generate results. Each method has specific benefits that can help even the dirtiest carpets look brand-new once again.
You can separate these methods into two basic categories: dry vacuuming and wet vacuuming.
With dry cleaning, you would use a reliable vacuum brand, like Dyson or Shark, to use powerful suction that removes embedded dirt and debris for the carpet. Dry carpet cleaning may use certain foams or powders that are ground into the carpet, then removed by suction, to facilitate tough stain removal.
Wet cleaning is a process which introduces hot water into the carpet, which is then extracted by suction. Cold water wet cleaning is also possible, though with reduced results. This type of cleaning can go right down to the pad, removing lingering odors and stains that may be present in the carpet.
Here is an in-depth look at the different methods and their advantages and disadvantages.
Option 1: Dry Cleaning with Powder
By mixing a powder into the carpet, cleaning agents can be spread throughout the room. These agents then mix with the carpet fibers to remove dirt and debris. Most powders require 15-20 minutes of sitting to be effective.
Pro: It requires no training to clean with powders. Just sprinkle the powder onto the carpet, then vacuum it up. Even baking soda can get the job done.
Pro: It is fast. A room can be cleaned with a powder in 30 minutes or less.
Con: Powders can build up over time, especially if the vacuum cleaner being used doesn’t provide strong suction.
Con: Powders can encourage dust to build up in the home because it fails to deliver a deeper clean at the base of the carpet itself.
Option 2: Dry Cleaning with Foams or Shampoos
You can also mix a foam or shampoo to release trapped dirt and debris from the carpet. For difficult stains, a rotary brush can be used to push the cleaning agents deep into the carpet and fibers to have them cleaned. Then the foam or shampoo dries before being extracted by strong suction.
Pro: It applies quickly. Just spray the foam or shampoo onto the specific area that needs to be cleaned, then work it into the carpet. Even though it applies wet, the items dry quickly and produce results.
Pro: No special equipment is needed. You can scrub the foam or shampoo into the carpet with a basic cleaning brush.
Con: This method doesn’t remove deep dirt and stains from the carpet. It removes surface stains most effectively.
Con: It may not dry properly if overly administered. That may create an equipment malfunction with your vacuum cleaner.
Option 3: Wet Cleaning with Absorbent Pads
You might be familiar with this option as “bonnet cleaning.” It is a chemical solution that is sprayed onto the carpet after a strong standard vacuum has been run over it to remove dirt and debris. Then the absorbent pad runs over the carpet surface to push the chemical cleaners deeper into the carpet fibers to remove heavy soils.
Pro: It is a fast method of carpet cleaning. After a standard vacuuming, the chemical solution is sprayed onto the carpet. Then it is worked in and removed.
Pro: It effectively removes stains and soiling that are classified as being light. It works to remove surface stains very effectively.
Con: It doesn’t provide cleaning all the way down into the pad. Many scrubbers make it about halfway down the carpet fiber on medium pile carpets ore greater.
Con: The chemicals can be left in the carpet. They may accumulate at the base of the carpet or move into the carpet pad, which may increase indoor exposure incidents for some homeowners.
Option 4: Wet Cleaning with Steam
For this cleaning method, a carpet should be pre-conditioned with a chemical agent to remove stains and soils. Many carpets have oil-based substances lingering deep in the carpet fibers. Then the hot water is pressurized to create steam, which blasts the soils away while extracting the water from the carpet.
Pro: This is the best method to remove stains that are deep into the carpet.
Pro: It can effectively clean carpet pads, which may be affected by issues like pet urine or food spills, that would leave lingering odors otherwise.
Pro: It can be done at home with standard equipment manufactured by many of today’s top vacuum brands.
Con: This cleaning method leaves the carpet wet for an extended time period. Even with a fan on the carpet, it may take 24-48 hours for it to completely dry.
Con: Professional-quality equipment comes at a high price. The cost to rent a hot water vacuum at a local store may be as much as the cost of a Dyson vacuum or a Shark vacuum.
Con: It may require multiple cleanings to produce the desired result, especially if the carpets have not been cleaned with this method in the past 24 months.
Which Vacuuming Option Is the Right One for You?
With regular maintenance using a standard vacuum, you can easily extend the life of your carpet. Pick up spills right away to reduce odor issues and reduce the risk of staining. Try using a powder or foam on your carpet about once per month, or more often as needed, to keep your home fresh and clean.
Use wet vacuuming methods about once per year with a professional cleaner. Having a home-based wet vacuum can help you clean up spills quickly or eliminate wet stains without much effort to maintain the carpet throughout the rest of the year.
The quality of the vacuum you use will determine the cleaning results you’re able to achieve. Invest into the best vacuum you can afford, no matter which option you prefer to use, and you’ll find that a cleaner carpet will be in your future.
For more vacuuming info check out our Shark v Dyson reviews here.