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If you’re about to have your carpets cleaned the you’ll probably already know that there are two main types of cleaning – steam cleaning and dry cleaning. You may have also heard of the term ‘hot water extraction’, this is just the industry term for steam-cleaning. Don’t be fooled by anyone that claims they’re not the same.

Dry cleaning carpet is not like dry cleaning your clothes. The most common carpet dry cleaning method involves spraying a shampoo onto the carpet and then agitating the shampoo into the carpet and loosening stains with a rotary scrubber, which is much like a floor polisher, except with a carpet cleaning attachment. Once the cleaning pad becomes saturated with soil, it is changed for a clean pad. This method helps to loosen soil from the surface of the carpet but leaves the shampoo in the carpet, along with a lot of the soil as it cannot clean deep into the carpet.

Dirt in your carpet is abrasive, so when you walk on a dirty carpet the dirt and sand wears away your carpet, creating those worthless fibres that fill up your vacuum bag. Any method that leaves dirt behind in the cleaning process will be likely to accelerate wear to your carpet.

The hot water extraction method involves spraying shampoo on the carpet, agitation to loosen soil, followed by the extraction stage. However, agitation is generally only effective for heavily soiled carpet. This is where hot water is sprayed into the carpet under pressure and then immediately sucked out along with the shampoo and soil in the carpet. A good carpet cleaner will also use a rinsing agent in the extraction water to return the carpet to a neutral pH for a safe, soft, fresh feel.

At Adelaide Carpet Fresh we can offer you either method of cleaning, but I recommend the hot water extraction method for a superior clean. When I’m cleaning my own home I only ever choose the hot water extraction method.  It’s also true that the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, recommends the hot water extraction method of carpet cleaning in order to prolong the life of the carpet.

For more detailed information about methods of carpet cleaning just listen to our free audio recording just click on the blue ‘Click to listen’ button on the right hand side of the page.


Posted on 11/3/11 by:  Adrian McGregor