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What Carpet Cleaning Method is the Best

Upset woman tired of cleaning sitting on floor carpet
May 5, 2022

You can occasionally clean and vacuum the carpet to get the dirt off it, but you also need to do a deep cleaning frequently. Any professional carpet cleaning company will have different cleaning methods they use, and if you have little or no knowledge about professional carpet cleaning, you might not know the appropriate cleaning method to use for your carpet.

Many believe in one method or the other as the best carpet cleaning method, however, the fact is that, the best carpet cleaning method varies depending on the type of carpet you use. But the carpet cleaning method that takes the crown is the steam cleaning method, also known as hot water extraction.

At Crystal Carpet Cleaners we use hot water extraction so if you're looking for professional carpet cleaning using this method, don't hesitate to contact us via calling 07557914387 or 02036215221.

What Is the Best Method of Cleaning Carpets?

In general, hot water extraction or steam cleaning is the best carpet cleaning methods for most residential properties. Below we've listed the best cleaning methods and what are they best at.

  1. Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning): This method uses highly pressurized hot water to eject dirt from carpet fibres, combined with a cleaning agent. It’s effective for deep stains and ingrained dirt, ideal for homes with pets, and doesn't leave odours or residue. However, it takes time to dry.
  2. Bonnet Cleaning: Uses a bonnet machine with a rotating towel-like head, focusing on surface cleaning. It’s quick, making it suitable for commercial spaces like hotels but only removes surface dirt and can reintegrate chemicals back into the carpet.
  3. Dry Carpet Cleaning: This involves applying a cleaning powder that absorbs dirt, making it great for commercial use due to no required drying time. Yet, the chemicals used can be harsh, potentially causing allergies.
  4. Encapsulating Cleaning: This low-moisture method uses a speciality foam that captures dirt, which is then vacuumed away. It’s fast drying and leaves minimal chemical residue but may not tackle deep stains as effectively as other methods.
  5. Steam Cleaning: A method that uses actual steam to loosen surface dirt, suitable for lightly soiled carpets or hard surfaces. It doesn’t achieve a deep clean and can only handle light soiling.
  6. Carpet Shampooing: An older method that uses a lot of water and shampoo to clean heavily stained carpets. It's less favoured today due to the excessive drying time and residue that can attract more dirt.

For more in-depth information on each of these methods, including their pros and cons and the types of carpets they are best suited for, you can find detailed discussions in the rest of this article.

What Is the Best Method of Cleaning Carpets?

young cleaning company workers cleaning carpet with vacuum cleaner and detergent spray

Even though the hot water extraction cleaning method is known as the best, we can not limit our carpet cleaning methods to it also, as other cleaning methods are also good and may be more appropriate for different types of carpets or rugs. This section will talk about other good carpet cleaning methods, their pros and cons, and the types of carpets they are suitable for.

Hot Water Extraction

The hot water extraction cleaning method uses hot water and high pressure to get the dirt and debris out of the carpet. Highly pressurised hot water is rushed through the carpet fibres, this forces out the built-up dirt particles from the carpet.

Before the hot water passes through the carpet, the cleaning agent is applied to the carpet surface, and it is left for a while so that it can settle into the carpet fibres. After a while, the carpet cleaning equipment injects the pressurized hot water into the carpet and the dirt particles come up.

Then, a vacuum cleaner is used to clean the dirt. After that, wait a few hours till the carpet is dry before walking on it. All the while, the dirty water would have been sucked back into the equipment.

Steam cleaning is good for ingrained dirt, dust mites, allergens, thick dirt, deep stains, and mud. And this method is preferred because it does not cause any damage to the carpet. It also does not leave any odour or residue on the carpet. If you have pets, it is the best cleaning method you can try out. Another signification advantage of the hot water extraction method is that its cleaning solution lasts longer than that of other cleaning methods.

Some of the cons of steam cleaning are that it costs more than some other cleaning methods, it is a little noisy, and like any other method that uses water, it will take a while before it finally dries off. This seems like a small sacrifice to pay for what you receive in return.

Bonnet Cleaning

Bonnet cleaning involves carpet cleaning using a bonnet machine. The bonnet machine has a rotating towel-like head called the bonnet. The bonnet cleaning process is similar to carpet shampooing but it instead focuses on the surface of the carpet.

The bonnet machine immerses the rotating bonnet in a cleaning solution, rubs the solution on the carpet surface, and then extracts the solution alongside the dirt and debris off the carpet fibres. This carpet cleaning method is a surface cleaning process, it takes the dirt off the carpet temporarily because the dirt under the carpet's surface will still remain after the cleaning process.

Bonnet cleaning is mostly used in hotels and places where they want to clean the carpet without disturbing the customer's convenience. This is because it takes very little time for it to dry.

However, because it only cleans the carpet's surface, it does not take long before it gets soiled. Also, bonnet cleaning causes carpet cleaning chemicals to be integrated into the carpet because of its high power machine which makes this cleaning method not safe for households with pets.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning is one of the most popular carpet cleaning methods in London, which gained recognition because of its cleaning effectiveness and fast drying time. It is still relatively new to the market so many do not trust it yet.

For the dry carpet cleaning method, you apply carpet cleaning powder underneath the carpet with the equipment's rotating brush, this opens up the carpet fibres and allows the cleaning compound to penetrate. The cleaning compound is biodegradable so it absorbs the dirt under the carpet and the mixture will be cleaned afterwards.

The dry carpet cleaning manufacturers do not only make the equipment function and design but also make the cleaning compound formula.

The dry cleaning method is good for all including commercial use because it does not need any drying time and it does a deep clean of the carpet. It is also suitable for the different flooring types that get damaged when they get wet.

However, the cleaning compound contains harsh chemicals which can be harmful to pets especially if you use it on plush pile carpeting which traps the powder mixture. And the cleaning powder build-up can cause allergy triggers.

Encapsulating Cleaning

The foam Encapsulating cleaning method is similar to dry cleaning because it requires very low moisture and they have similar methods. It also has its own special cleaning agents.

The speciality foam is distributed across the carpet where it whips into foam and bubbles, and the brush works on the carpet. After a while, all the dirt, pet stains, and other stubborn stains on the carpet will be removed. Then you can use a powerful vacuum cleaner with counter-rotating brushes to lift the carpet fibres and remove them.

The method has a fast drying process which is one of its advantages, and it leaves little chemicals behind after the cleaning.

But this method might not be able to do a deep cleaning like the hot water extraction cleaning, and it can not thoroughly heavy stains.

Steam cleaning

Even though the hot water extraction method is also known as steam cleaning, there is another type of cleaning that actually uses steam to clean the carpet. The steam cleaner releases steam on the carpet and it helps to loosen dirt.

You can not use the steam cleaning method on the ordinary carpet because it works best on hard surfaces. However, if the carpet is soiled, it is suitable. The steam only dissolves surface dirt so t does not do a deep clean. If you pay for the hot water extraction cleaning, ensure the cleaning companies do not do only light steaming.

Carpet Shampooing

If you do not know much about carpet cleaning methods, you might ask for carpet shampooing when you actually want hot water extraction cleaning. Carpet shampooing is an outdated method used to clean carpets with thick stains and soiling. It was replaced with the hot water cleaning method.

Shampoo carpet cleaning involves the use of a machine with a rotating brush, specialty shampoo, and lots of water. It is similar to shampooing your hair, you still have to rinse off the soap afterward.

The shampoo cleaning method became outdated because of its many cons. Many see it as too much work so went to a better method as soon as they got one. Also, it leaves behind a lot of water and you are left to remove excess moisture, thereby taking a long time before it gets completely dry.

Another disadvantage is that it leaves residue on the carpet which when it dries off, becomes sticky and soils the carpet. However, it cleans the carpet better than regular vacuuming.

Pros and Cons of Common Carpet Cleaning Methods

woman vacuum cleaning carpet

Hot Water extraction


  • The heat sterilizes the carpet and also gives it a deep cleaning.
  • It leaves behind little or no residue.


Longer drying time when compared to some other methods

Dry cleaning


  • Quick-drying time
  • Costs less


  • It might leave behind residues.
  • Best only for a small area.

Wet cleaning


  • Cleans the carpet deep and it gives the cleaning solution enough time to react and work.
  • It is the recommended and preferred method professionally.


It costs more than the dry method. And it might take a lot of time before it dries up.

Choosing A Commercial Carpet Cleaning Method / Which Carpet Cleaning Method Should You Choose?


The method of cleaning to use when you are cleaning your home's carpets is different from that of professional cleaning. For example, if you have a pet, you should use a method that does not leave behind any chemical residue. And in a professional setting, you have to consider the foot traffic and people's comfort and go for a method that leaves little or no moisture and dries quickly.

Type of Carpet

Some carpets do not work well with moisture while some might need frequent vacuuming with or without moisture. And the method you use for rug cleaning might not work for light carpet cleaning.

Cleaning Product

Dry cleaners manufacturers produce their carpet cleaners solutions, some of their ingredients might not be safe if you have a pet. If you are cleaning carpets with any carpet cleaner and it leaves residues, you have to know the type of cleaning product it supports to ensure your and your pet's safety.

Ease of Use

If a cleaning method requires you to use a motorized brush that you do not know how to use, it is best to use another easier method than create more dirt and damage to the carpet in the process. If you do not know how to use a method yet you prefer it, you can call a professional cleaning company to help you out.


Some methods are cheaper than others. If you can only afford bonnet cleaning, there is no need to pay for the hot method extracting method. As long as the cleaning method you choose is effective and cleans your carpet. Stick to it and get professional cleaners over once in a year or two.

In conclusion

The best method depends on your preference and the factors stated above. Even though most carpets are suitable for the hot extraction method, it might not be the best method considering the environment. Instead of having to worry about what method and materials to use to get a clean carpet, employ the services of professional cleaners.

We offer commercial, office, hotel, and residential carpet cleanings at affordable prices. We can help you determine the right cleaning method and we use a suitable professional machine to give you a professional clean and damage-free carpet. Reach out to us today to clean your carpets.

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London, Barnet EN4 8HU
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