Choosing the Right Carpet Cleaning Method

Carpet cleaning is one of the most important tasks for keeping a home looking beautiful.

Yet, it’s also one of the most confounding.

Choosing among the five major carpet cleaning solution can be tricky.

How do you know which one to choose? Each method comes with pros and cons that you should weigh.

In this article, we’ll explore each method and discuss its advantages and disadvantages.

With these elements combined, you should be able to make an informed decision on how to clean your carpets like a professional carpet cleaner.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning method is a surface-level carpet cleaning technique, which means it goes no deeper than the fibers of your carpet. To clean carpets using a dry process, carpet cleaners use specialised machines. These machines are equipped with rotary brushes. They gently but deeply scrub away dirt and grime from the affected areas of your home.

Dry carpet cleaning is less disruptive and faster drying than other methods. Its ability to access delicate surfaces makes it perfect for more fragile carpets or rugs too. However, it can’t get as deep into fibers as steam cleaning or full shampooing. So any grime that has set below the surface might remain untouched. It also tends to be on the pricier end of cleaning options. The cost varies based on the size of the area you need to clean and how dirty your carpets are.

Steam Cleaning (Hot Water Extraction)

Steam cleaning is a deep form of carpet cleaning. It works with pressurised heated steam to clean carpets from the fibers deep down. Steam wet cleaning is often praised for getting out carpet surface dirt by wet cleaning that have been fought in for some dry time.

Carpet steam cleaning is effective at reaching deeper into carpet fibers than other techniques, leaving your home looking truly spotless. Additionally, it has great sanitising power which can be good for households dealing with dust mites or pet dander.

However, those with breathing difficulties may feel uncomfortable during and after using wet carpet cleaning. This is due to residues released in the air as the machine runs. Not ideal for allergy sufferers.


Encapsulation is a carpet-cleaning technique that uses special cleaning agent to create protective bubbles around the fibers. Restorative cleaning machines activate their counter rotating brushes and vacuum cleaner up the grime inside these bubbles. The benefits of using this effective method are twofold. It quickly removes embedded stain from carpets.

On the plus side, encapsulation is fast. Usually taking only a few minutes to dry afterward. This method also uses minimal cleaning mixture, effectively protecting carpets from further staining or deterioration due to its protective coating. Lastly, it’s good for those on a tight budget.

Encapsulation can leave behind chemical residues which may cause allergic reactions in those with sensitivities to certain ingredients. Also, because this method focuses on surfaces rather than deep-down grime that may have been set into carpets over a period of time, residue often requires pre-treating beforehand for better results.

Bonnet Cleaning

Bonnet cleaning is another fast carpet cleaning that utilises a combination of carbonated cleaning solutions, heavy duty cleaning agent, and specialised cloth bonnet equipment. This technique seeks to lift up soil and grime and debris while also spraying your carpets with antibacterial oils, leaving them soft and spotless afterward.

When it comes to the pros, bonnet method of cleaning takes the least amount of time compared to other methods. Once again making it ideal for tight budgets and cramped homes. The low water usage means that carpets tend to dry more quickly.

On the downside, any grime below the surface might still remain untouched by this method as its focus is basically just on the surface collection and application of fresh steam cleaner. Moreover, extra precaution should be taken regarding potential harsh chemical residue build-up if you opt for overuse with this particular technique.

Carpet Shampooing

Carpet shampooing is a popular professional carpet cleaning method of deep-cleaning carpets that utilises strong cleaning agents and powerful, spray bubbling suds to clean carpets and rugs from the fibers up. This technique often works by first pretreating pet stains with a brush or soft cloth and then using special extraction machines that agitate carpet fibers to release deeply embedded soil dirt or residues.

On the plus side, this method can reach really deep into carpet fibers for comprehensive surface cleaning, unlike other techniques. Furthermore, it’s easy on delicate surfaces too due to its non-abrasive texture.

Carpet shampooing comes with a few drawbacks as well. Lastly, this process can take quite a bit longer than other methods due to both prep work and an extra rinse at the end. Making it unfeasible for those on tight schedules.

Safe to Chemicals in Professional Cleaning

  • Citrus Extracts are often used as a natural degreaser and spot cleaner due to their slightly acidic properties.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is an effective detergent for removing soil dirt and grease residues from carpets or fabrics.
  • Ethanol and Isopropyl Alcohol are commonly added to water to create a more effective solution for breaking down man-made soil dirt and oils.
  • Tea Tree Oil is a naturally derived anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-viral agent often used to sanitise carpets or fabrics instead of chemical formulas.
  • Benzisothiazolinone is a preservative that serves to keep products from harboring bacteria or mould growth.


What are the risks of DIY carpet cleaning?

To start, many store-bought solutions contain dangerous chemicals that can be harsh on the delicate rug or carpet fibers. Additionally, if not done correctly, you may end up causing more harm than good by pushing dirt and residue further into your carpets or leaving behind large amounts of excess water which can lead to mold or mildew growth down the line. Lastly, forgetfulness isn’t an option when regular vacuuming yourself.

What do I do if just one area of my carpet needs cleaning?

If you only need to clean one area of your carpet or rug, consider opting for a popular carpet cleaning method like those offered with dry cleaning kits. Some professional cleaners offer targeted services that specifically remove stains on carpets or rugs. Though always remember to use gloves and keep a safe distance when utilizing these materials.

What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing Between Dry and Steam Carpet Cleaning?

For one thing, steam carpet cleaning penetrates deeper into your carpets than dry cleaning so it may be better for households dealing with stubborn grime or spills that have been down in the fibers for a while. Additionally, drying times can vary drastically with these preferred methods. Dry cleaning usually takes about an hour while steam often takes up to 8 hours or more. This is definitely something to consider if you’re looking to get back into action quickly. Finally, price is always a factor.


Carpet cleaning can be a tricky task to tackle, but by understanding each of the main methods available, you should now be able to choose the best technique for your home.

Some might work better than others depending on your carpet situation and the materials involved.

By doing your research and staying informed about which factors to consider when making a choice, selecting the right cleaning process and professional cleaning company should be much easier from here on out.