What do professional carpet cleaners use to clean carpets?

vacuum cleaning

Does white wine really get red wine off your carpet? Who cares! When you call in the carpet cleaning company closest to you these days, you’re more likely to hear them discussing the advanced technology they’re using. Because DIY solutions are all well and good.

But when your expensive fabric is on the line, you want proven solutions. Something which is going to protect and care for your fabric. As well as leave it brilliantly clean.

So what will professional cleaners use to clean your carpets?

The most popular techniques used by professional carpet cleaners include:

1) Hot water extraction (also known as “steam cleaning”)

The commonly used “steam cleaning” moniker is a bit of a misnomer. This technique involves a combination of heated water and a specially chosen detergent being injected into your carpet. The choice of detergent will depend on your fabric type. The mixture is then sometimes agitated using the machine’s built-in brushes. Otherwise, this happens as part of the extraction process.

The extraction phase is an important part of this approach. It removes most of the water and detergent mix in order to, amongst other things, reduce drying times. Additional steps featuring dehumidifiers, air fans or air conditioning systems or increased ventilation are sometimes added or recommended to bring this time down still further.

Hot water extraction cleaning has rapidly become a staple of the industry because of the solid results you get when using it.

2) Dry carpet cleaning (via absorbent powder compounds)

Dry cleaning compounds are usually manufactured in the form of small capsules, shards or occasionally powders.

The first thing you’ll see your carpet cleaner do is simply spread them over the whole area of your carpet. They’re then brushed or scrubbed in. They bond with all the dirt in your fabric over the next few minutes, allowing them to be simply vacuumed out. Some advanced systems use a rotating brushing system instead of a vacuum cleaner.

This type of cleaning is safe for both synthetic and natural weaves of carpet as there’s no water involved. There’s no chemical-impregnated water to get rid of post-cleaning either – the compounds are almost always biodegradable.

3) Bonnet cleaning

If you’ve ever seen a maid walking the halls of a hotel cleaning carpets with a machine which looks a little like a floor buffer, you’ve probably seen bonnet cleaning. It’s a popular choice for high-traffic areas such as hotels. Here, its key advantages of being reasonably fast-drying and simple to apply can really shine.

A quick pre-treatment with a spray of water and detergent prefaces a scrub with rotating machine heads. That’s it.

This cleaning technique doesn’t get very deep down into your fabric’s weave. So if you’re not looking for a type of carpet cleaning suitable for a situation like the above, it might not be ideal.

4) Wet shampoo carpet cleaning

Largely outmoded these days, the wet shampoo technique has rather a lot of downsides. Foamy, occasionally glue-like residue being left behind as there was no rinsing involved in the process. Or the fact that dirt would still be able to accumulate while the wet shampoo was drying amongst them.

5) Encapsulation (crystallising compound)

This special cleaning product is a type of detergent which will become powdery when it dries. As it does so, it encapsulates loose dirt in your carpet. This can then be easily removed via vacuum cleaning or brushing, just like dry cleaning powder compounds.

The downside of this type of cleaning is that it can’t usually handle very heavily soiled carpets. But for average or lightly soiled carpets, the results are there to be seen. As are the environmental benefits; there is little-to-no chemical residue left behind.

What’s the best carpet cleaning method?

You’ll usually find that this depends on the type of fabric your carpet is made from. You probably won’t want to expose natural fabrics to any water-based cleansing method, for instance. There’s a serious risk of shrinking.

So, what do professional carpet cleaners use to clean carpets?

Hot water extraction has become something of an industry standard. Especially when paired with specialists who know its clear advantages and few limitations. While dry cleaning and encapsulation provide excellent, eco-friendly alternatives for natural weaves or lightly soiled carpets where having no drying time is a definite advantage.