What is the best carpet cleaning system for your carpets?




                             HOT WATER EXTRACTION OR "STEAM" CLEANING:



Portable or truck-mounted equipment is used to spray heated detergent solution into the carpet pile at a high pressure and immediately extracted along with the suspended soil particles. The machine may employ rotary brushes or another agitating device to work the solution into the pile and loosen soil.

Factors that affect the results of this method are:

  • operator skill
  • solution temperature
  • spray pressure
  • vacuum power
  • presray: spraying solution some time before extracting

TIP: Some "truck-mounted" units are merely portable units bolted onto the truck. Remember, the most effective machine would be powered by the truck's engine and not your residential electric supply.


In this method, detergent solution is released onto the carpet through openings in a rotary brush, whose rotary action converts the solution into foam and works it into the carpet. Once dry, vacuuming removes the residue containing loose, encapsulated soil. At times, chemicals may be added to the detergent solution to reduce odours, retard soiling, brighten colours and/or speed drying.

Combination of Hot Water Extraction and Shampoo:

As the name implies, this method uses the Hot Water Extraction method and Shampoo. This method is specially effective for cleaning highly soiled carpets, with heavy oil/soil build-up.

The process has two steps::

  • Shampoo using rotary brush to loosen soil
  • Hot Water Extraction using water rather than detergent solution to remove shampoo

Some units may combine both steps. It is usually expensive because of added labour costs.

TIP: For residential cleaning, Hot Water Extraction on it's own is usually powerful enough to clean most carpets and rugs.


This is a variation of 'Shampoo'. Foam is generally applied onto the carpet, usually from aerosol containers, and rubbed in with a dry sponge. Once dry, the residue containg suspended soil is simple vacuumed away. Since foam uses little water, there is no danger of over wetting and the connected complications. But due to the same reason, this method is not as effective as the "wetter" methods!


TIP: Some foams may leave a residue that is difficult to remove and may cause problems with subsequent wet cleaning.

Bonnet Cleaning:

This is another method similar to 'Shampoo'. Bonnet cleaning employs an absorbent pad ('bonnet') attached to the bottom of a rotary machine. Detergent solution is sprayed onto the carpet ad the rotary pad is used to agitate and remove the soil suspended in the solution from the carpet. Once one side of the pad gets soiled, the sides can be reversed. And when both sides get soiled, the pad can be replaced and later cleaned. This method is used in the regular maintainance of commercial buildings.

Absorbent Dry Compound:

TA dry compound containing detergent/ solvent is sprinkled onto the carpet and worked into the pile using machines. The soil particles get encapsulated in the absorbent dry compound and are removed by vacuuming. Since this method does not use any "wet" process, there is no danger of overwetting.

In-Plant Cleaning:

This type of cleaning is ideal for specialised cleaning of loose or valuble rugs. The rugs are sent through a duster which extracts soil more effectively than routine vacuuming. They are then washed and hung to dry in a controlled air environment. The Firm may also offer special service for repair of valuable rugs, using special equipment.


TIP: In-plant cleaning is more expensive but you can save money by at least delivering and picking up the rugs yourself! And before you entrust your precious oriental rug to a carpet cleaner, check out the firm's credentials and reference!


We hope the tips provided are useful in choosing the right cleaning method for you, however, if you would like further advice please call our office to arrange a FREE no obligation carpet audit. call us now on 0800 633 5953