Differences between Steam & Dry Carpet Cleaning


One of the most frequent questions that we have been asked by our customers (who have availed commercial cleaning services) is what the difference is between steam carpet cleaning and dry carpet cleaning.

This may be one of those curious questions that have a lot of misconceptions swirling around them. This is why we decided to set the record straight and explain key differences between the two methods.

Here they are:

Dry Carpet Cleaning Method

There are three kinds of dry carpet cleaning methods but only one of them is actually an authentic one. What we mean is, the other two methods use some sort of moisture to clean carpets but due to the quick-dry cycle, these methods are also considered dry cleaning methods.

Below are generally the three dry carpet cleaning methods:

1. Dry Powder Cleaning

In this method, an absorbent compound is used with a little amount of water, solvent and detergent. This actually helps remove the dirt and soil from the carpet and is one of the quickest ways to clean. In addition, the carpet takes far less time than you would expect to dry itself. However, there are drawbacks to this method too; even though it removes dirt from your carpet, in rare cases, it can also lead to discoloration.

2. Encapsulation

This is a rather complex method but in simple words, polymer detergent encapsulators are used to clean the carpet with a rotatory machine. It takes about half an hour for the carpet to dry and is an effective method to remove dirt and soil. However, it doesn’t clean stubborn stains and doesn’t promise to deep-clean the carpet.

3. Bonnet Cleaning

This is actually the method that people understand as the standard dry cleaning method. A cleaning solution is used with a rotary scrubber that has a bonnet pad attached. This bonnet pad actually absorbs the dirt during the cleaning process. It is good to use it in commercial places like offices and hotels where moving wet carpets around can be problematic. However, it still doesn’t provide a completely satisfactory cleaning job and if stains are very stubborn, they tend to reappear after a while.

Steam Cleaning or Extraction Method

In a steam cleaning process, a cleaning solution is first sprayed on the carpet after which it is agitated with a detergent through a micro fiber pad or brush. After that, an extraction machine is used to clean the carpet. This machine works like a vaccum cleaner but instead of air, it uses hot water. The machine first sprays hot water on the carpet and then sucks it back along with the dirt and cleaning solution.

This method is one of the best ways to clean your carpet as it removes the dirt from the base of the carpet and provides deep cleaning so to speak. It also removes any kind of spills or stains and reduces the chances of stains appearing again. However, you should know that it takes a lot of time to let the carpet dry and you’ll have to keep off from it until it completely dries up, otherwise you’ll stain your carpet right again.

In the end, it all comes down to what you really require. If you look after your carpet properly and give it the delicate care it needs, then a simple bonnet cleaning will do the job. However, if you require a thorough cleaning for your carpet, we’d highly suggest the steam cleaning method.

Consider hiring professionals who have worked in the industry. There are many companies offering residential and office Cleaning in and residential Cleaning in Perth. You need to be careful when picking one. Remember that the size of the equipment used does not guarantee quality cleaning services.

Also, remember that the cost depends on a number of factors. Consider this when asking for quotes:

  • A standard area should not measure more than 12sqm

  • If you live in an apartment, there should be access to lift, otherwise the operator has to carry the equipment thorough the stairs.

  • There should be access to parking

All these factors impact the cost. Additionally, remember that any machinery or equipment takes a long time to set up and may impact the cost.


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T&C of services: All services are subject to verbal or written agreement and approval by the customer during the home inspection, customers are in the right to pick and choose the services that they need and want to pay for. ChaCha will only perform services that are previously agreed, additional charges may apply for additional tasks requested by the customer outside the verbal agreement.