Key Differences between Steam Cleaning and Other Carpet Cleaning Methods


Carpets are one of the dirtiest things in the house. Dirt, grime, dust, grit, pet hair spills – you name it, you can find it on a carpet. Not cleaning it regularly can cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma and allergies. There are several carpet cleaning techniques employed by cleaning service providers. It is essential to know the types of cleaning methods because there are also different types of carpets, and not all cleaning techniques work on all carpet fabric types.

Hot water extraction

This method is more commonly known as steam cleaning. NYC steam cleaning companies use high pressured hot water to get rid of dirt and stains on carpets. They use appropriate cleaning agents on the carpet fibers and agitate the soiling with a brush, and then rinse it with high-pressure hot water. The cleaner will wait for the cleaning agent to settle on the fabric for a bit before rinsing it for best results. You don’t have to dry it with a dryer; room or air-conditioned temperature is sufficient to dry the whole carpet.


This cleaning technique was popular in the past decades when there was no new cleaning technology yet, such as the encapsulation method. Although this cleaning type can get rid of stains and dirt using carpet shampoo, it can leave behind a considerable amount of foam residue, which can become sticky later on because this technique does not involve rinsing. Shampoo residue tends to get sticky after drying, and the drying time takes a lot longer too.

Bonnet cleaning

Bonnet cleaning is a quick and convenient cleaning method, usually employed in hotels where there is heavy foot traffic. This method involves cleaning only the surface of the carpet, so it does not require long drying time. Cleaning service providers use a motorized machine equipped with a cleaning pad soaked in a cleaning agent. Because this method only cleans the carpet surface, dirt from under it can quickly resurface, requiring you to clean the carpet yet again.


This type of carpet cleaning uses synthetic cleaning agents that turn into powder when dry. Dirt becomes encapsulated in the powder, making it easier to get rid of when vacuumed. Encapsulation replaced shampooing in the 1970s. It uses less water than the latter, making carpets dry faster.

Dry cleaning

If the bonnet cleaning only cleans the carpet’s surface, dry cleaning does the opposite. The cleaner applies a cleaning solution deep into the carpet’s fibers using a motorized rotating brush. There is a short waiting time for the cleaning solution to settle before the cleaner vacuums the solution, taking with it the dirt and grime on the carpet.

You can also do some cleaning yourself while you wait for your scheduled carpet cleaning. According to Gemma Tyler from Smart Vacuums, Simple things such as vacuuming and not taking in your outside shoes can significantly help in maintaining the carpet cleaner for longer. You also don’t have to use expensive and harsh cleaners to clean up spills and stains. Common kitchen ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar should be enough.

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