5 Carpet Cleaning Methods Used by Professionals

With an abundance of selection for carpet cleaning companies, the final decision can be a tough one. However, before you decide which company to go with based solely off of reviews and price, you should also consider your carpet and the types of methods that each company uses, as not all methods are suitable for every carpet.

Hot water extraction cleaning.

Also known as steam carpet cleaning, hot water extraction cleaning uses high pressure hot water to disturb carpet fibers and destroy the dirt within it. Typically, this method starts off with the application of a cleaning agent, and then continues with the agitation of carpet fibers. The process finishes off with rinsing. Once the agent has been allowed to sit, it is then thoroughly rinsed using the high pressure hot water and allowed to air dry. On average, to clean a 3000 sq ft carpet this way, it would take approximately 2 hours ro clean and 4 to dry. Most companies will advise that the cleaning  be done in the later afternoon so it has time to dry overnight.


Until the 1970’s, carpet shampooing was the go-to way to clean carpets. After the creation of encapsulation, however, the popularity of shampooing diminished. Shampooing is still used but is less popular, as it uses a foamy shampoo substance that is not rinsed off after application. The substance is applied and allowed to dry, which can take a long time ad leave traces of residue within the carpet fibers.


Encapsulation is a method that utilizes synthetic detergents that crystalize and turn into powder as they dry. When the foam-like cleaning substance is applied, it will trap dirt and turn it into powder as it dries. After the solution has dried, it is then vacuumed or brushed away. Encapsulation took the spotlight away from shampooing as environmental advocates began to see the benefits of encapsulation- less chemical residue left behind.

Bonnet cleaning

Bonnet cleaning, or bonneting, is essentially a quick-fix solution for dirty carpets that receive a lot of foot traffic. Bonneting does a quick and thorough surface clean, but does not penetrate deep into fibers. Boneting involves a machine with a spinning head that is covered in cleaning solution and then applied to the carpet. Bonneting is popular in hotels as it can be done quickly and requires very little moisture, so it dries quickly, as well. Bonneting, although quick, is not efficient as it allows for trapped dirt to be released and often results in chemical buildup, as well as dirt buildup.

Dry carpet cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning is new, effective, and does not require any drying time. A powdered cleaning solution is applied to the carpet and then allowed to penetrate, by the use of a rotating brush machine. Dry carpet cleaning solutions are usually biodegradable, so they are favored by many environmentalists and professional companies.

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