Carpet Cleaning Methods

Power Based

When we talk about carpet cleaning the first thing most think of is steam cleaning, also known as water extraction. Despite being the most common type of carpet cleaning, steam cleaning is only one of five different methods.

Carpet Cleaning Methods

  • Foam Cleaning
  • Shampoo Method
  • Bonnet Cleaning
  • Dry Methods
  • Steam Cleaning

Foam Cleaning

You can also use foam to clean carpets. Using a machine similar to a buffer, the shampoo is released onto a brush that works its way into the fibers of the carpet. After the application, you must wait an hour or two for it to dry, and then vacuum the entire area to remove the residual dirt that may still be embedded in the carpet. Foam cleaning is not a complicated procedure and can be an excellent choice for hallways and other high foot traffic areas. It is a high process to use as a part of an ongoing maintenance program that keeps high-level foot traffic areas clean. As it is challenging to remove the shampoo with the vacuum cleaner, some of it stays on the carpet. Eventually, that residue attracts dirt and must be removed by water extraction, steam cleaning.

Shampoo Method

This is the oldest method used to “clean” carpets. “Clean” is in quotations because that is absolutely debatable, as described below. This process uses a buffer into which the solution is poured and then worked into the carpet. The cleaning is done one area at a time and must be repeated two or three times just like buffing a floor. Edges and corners must be worked on by hand. This method can cause damage to the carpet, especially if there is a tear, so you should always be careful. The job is again finished by vacuuming. Vacuuming may be the only way in which the carpet actually gets cleaned. In using this method, also called the rotary process, you are in fact just spreading the dirt around. The cleaning solution used has brighteners in it, which makes the carpet look nice but eventually, the dirt will reappear and, just as with the foam method, the shampoo will attract dirt itself.

Bonnet Cleaning

Using a bonnet is, in fact, a much better process to use than the shampoo method. A bonnet is placed at the base of a buffer. The bonnet is first dipped into a shampoo solution and run over the carpet, just like when you buff a floor. The bonnet will start to get soiled. This means it is actually removing the dirt from the carpet. When the bonnet becomes extremely dirty, it must be rinsed out and turned over. You should keep working with the bonnet until it is too soiled to go on. The process is followed up by vacuuming the carpet once it is dry. It usually takes 30 minutes to dry.

Dry Methods

There are split opinions about this method. There are a lot of people in the carpet cleaning business that will state that the dry method is the best one around. The dry system is actually a three-part procedure. First, a powder solvent is sprinkled on the whole carpet. The powder must stay on the carpet for around 15 minutes. Then you go over the carpet using a special buffer with two rotating heads. This rotates the cleaning powder into the carpet. The final step is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. As you vacuum, the powder and the dirt it has accumulated will be removed. The great thing about the dry method is that there is no drying waiting period at all. For schools, offices and 24-hour facilities, it is the best way to go… for a while. However, experience has shown, and experts will probably agree, that eventually, the carpet will need to be steam cleaned. Just as in all the previous methods, not all the powder gets removed from the carpet, and that residue begins to attract dirt.

Steam Cleaning

Lastly, steam cleaning is the most common carpet cleaning method. To really clean a carpet, it needs to be steam cleaned at least once if not twice a year. “Steam” cleaning is not really an accurate name for it since there is no actual steam involved in the process. Hot water with a cleaning solution is extracted via a wand. The carpet is cleaned one section at a time, with an overlap on the last pass. As the hot water is extracted., The wand also vacuums up the water and dirt. As the water is being extracted, you can see the how dirty the water is as it travels through the clear plastic hose. You are able to see that your carpet is really being given a deep clean. The process is most effective if the carpet is vacuumed before the process begins, to pick up the loose surface level dirt. Since it usually takes the carpet 8 hours to dry up, you cannot vacuum it afterward. However, as it dries, the carpet nap rises, and the result is a very clear, fresh and “new-appearing” carpet. Big advances in the water extraction method over the past few years have made this one of the best ways to clean carpets. The machines are now more powerful, and the water extraction power has increased so that the drying time is actually shorter.