Should I shampoo or dry clean my carpet? Let’s look at the types of carpet cleaning you can use and circumstances when each type of carpet cleaning is the better choice.
Carpet Dry Cleaning Methods
There are several different methods of dry cleaning carpet. Cleaning the carpet with shampoo can be done with the dry foam method, where the shampoo is applied and then vacuumed up. This method is not as good as the dry-chemical or dry-chem method. The dry-chemical method uses a cotton bonnet on the carpet to try to pull the chemicals out of the carpet. The dry compound method relies on powdered mixes put on the carpet before being vacuumed up. The absorbent pad method of dry cleaning a carpet sprays chemicals onto the carpet that percolate the dirt up to the top which are then pulled up by an absorbent spinning pad.
None of these methods thoroughly clean the root of the carpet or clean the carpet pad.
Carpet Shampooing Methods
Shampooing your carpets can also be called the hot water extraction method of carpet cleaning. Regardless of the method of applying soap or shampoo to the carpet, the hallmark of carpet shampooing is the use of hot water. Many carpet cleaners use high pressure jets to push the hot water into the carpet before vacuuming it out. Most carpet shampooing machines don’t actually use steam, but the jets create a fine mist mistaken for steam.
When to Dry Clean Your Carpets
Dry cleaning is good option for cleaning the surface of the carpet better than a few passes of a standard vacuum cleaner. Dry cleaning can remove fine dirt and dust on the surface of a carpet that many cheap vacuum cleaners can’t pick up, or the fine spray of dander left behind by some high power vacuum cleaners. Dry cleaning your carpet is a good choice for those who have problems getting enough water out of the carpet, already have mold and mildew to worry about or can’t wait a day or two for the carpets to dry.
In short, dry cleaning your carpets only cleans the surface of the carpet unless emulsifiers are used that lift dirt and fine debris up to the surface to be vacuumed up. Dry cleaning won’t remove stains that have soaked into the carpet fibers or carpet pad. If this is the case, you need to consider carpet shampooing.
When to Shampoo Your Carpets
If you need to remove food and drink stains that have stained the base of the carpet, you need to shampoo the carpets. If you are dealing with pet stains that have seeped into the carpet, your floors need a steam cleaning in order to remove the true source of the smell, not a dry cleaning method that removes the visible stains but not the bulk that has soaked into the floors.
If you have very thick carpets, shampooing the carpets may be the only way to get the very base of the carpet clean. And when you have deep pile carpets, the absorbent pad dry cleaning method shouldn’t be used because of the risk it will pull thick pieces out of the carpet. If your carpets have acted as a second air filter, absorbing smoke smells and pollen, carpet cleaning via high pressure jets is the only way to remove these substances from the floor.
True carpet steam cleaners that heat the water to boiling temperatures can damage delicate carpets but will sterilize where the baby spit up so the baby can safely crawl around on those surfaces. Cleaning where the pets threw up will ensure that your floors don’t become a breeding ground for bacteria or permanently smell.