If you are not completely satisfied, we will pay for another cleaner of your choice!

Call Now

Carpet Cleaning Methods: Choosing the Right Technique

When it comes to professional carpet cleaning, various methods are employed by professional companies. Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. To make an informed decision about which method is best for your carpets, it’s important to review the pros and cons of each technique.

Broadly speaking, carpet cleaning methods can be categorized into two types: wet cleaning and dry cleaning. Wet cleaning involves hot water extraction, including cleaning with an absorbent pad. On the other hand, dry carpet cleaning utilizes chemical powders or foams applied by special machines with counter-rotating brushes, pads, or cylinders.

Wet Cleaning

How It Works: Hot water extraction, also known as steam cleaning, begins with pre-conditioning the carpet using a chemical reagent. This reagent liquefies soils and oil-based substances present in the carpet fibers. Pressurized water, heated to near-boiling temperatures, is then injected into the carpet. After allowing the solution to dwell for 10 to 15 minutes, it is extracted using a vacuum.


  • Effective in removing deep-down soiling from carpets.
  • Allows for the use of high temperatures, pressures, and chemical concentrates.
  • Extended dwell times enhance the reaction of cleaning solvents.
  • Agitation with grooming tools or extraction wands facilitates chemical reactivity.
  • Widely used and recommended by carpet manufacturers, industry experts, and professionals.


  • Longer drying time, although powerful equipment and skilled technicians can reduce this.
  • Requires expensive equipment for optimal efficiency.
  • Relatively higher cost compared to other methods.

Cleaning with an Absorbent Pad

How It Works: This method, also known as bonnet cleaning, is commonly used for routine light maintenance and regular carpet cleaning. The process involves vacuuming the carpet first, followed by spraying a chemical solution using a hand pump or electric sprayer. The solution is left on the carpet for a suitable dwell time. Then, an absorbent pad resembling a towel is placed on the drive block of a rotary floor machine, which spins at 100 to 300 rpm. This action impregnates the carpet fibers with the solution and picks up the soils afterward.


  • Fast, simple, and cost-effective.
  • Yields excellent results for lightly soiled carpets.


  • Only cleans the top one-third of carpet fibers, unable to reach deeper layers.
  • Leaves dirt and chemicals to accumulate at the bottom of the carpet fibers.

Dry Cleaning with an Absorbent Compound

How It Works: A powder mixed with special solvents and cleaning agents is spread over the carpet and worked into the fibers using a machine with counter-rotating brushes. The powder absorbs soils, and after allowing it to set for 10 to 15 minutes, it is vacuumed up.


  • Simple process without requiring specialized training.
  • Rapid drying time, with carpets ready for use in approximately 20 minutes.


  • Powder may get trapped in plush pile carpets, leading to build-up over time.
  • Excessive dust accumulation in the home.
  • Unable to clean deep down into the carpet.

Dry Foam or Rotary Shampoo Method

How It Works: A cleaning agent is applied to the carpet to suspend dirt and debris. It is then whipped into foam and worked into the carpet fibers using rotating brushes on a special machine. After a short dwell time, the foam is extracted with a vacuum.


  • Fast, simple, and cost-effective.
  • Excellent agitation provided by rotating brushes.
  • Minimal moisture enables quick carpet drying.


  • Inability to achieve thorough soil extraction beneath the carpet’s surface.
  • Usually unable to reach high temperatures.
  • Potential for excessive wetting due to equipment malfunction.

For more information or further assistance, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0800 800 382

Scroll to Top