Cleaning carpets are recommended on a regular basis to help ensure a healthy home or office environment. Carpet fibers trap in pet dander, dust, dirt, and germs. Especially for people with allergies, getting rid of these elements is imperative to maintain a clean environment as well as to remove difficult stains. Carpet cleaning is also often a requirement for selling a home or upon ending a lease.
Methods of carpet cleaning
There are two primary methods to professionally clean a carpet:
- Wet cleaning
- Dry cleaning
There are benefits of each which need to be understood in order to make an informed decision on which is needed for your purposes.
Wet cleaning is the process of spraying hot water and chemicals onto the carpet fibers and then vacuuming them up. Steam normally isn’t used, though some industrial applications actually use steam instead of just hot water.
Benefits of wet cleaning
Most carpet manufacturers recommend wet cleaning for their carpet products. Wet cleaning gives a thorough, deep clean. More abrasive dirt or dirt that is below the top level of the carpet can only be extracted with wet cleaning methods.
Downsides of wet cleaning
After wet cleaning a carpet, the carpet must be given time to dry. This can be a slow process, especially if temperatures and/or humidity is high and if there isn’t’ good airflow. The drying time can be reduced with fans or by opening doors and windows, but there will still be a drying time no matter what.
Dry cleaning is the process of putting chemicals on the carpet and then scrubbing them with a pad. The dirt is lifted onto the pad or crystalized then vacuumed up.
Benefits of dry cleaning
Unlike wet cleaning, dry cleaning a carpet does not require any additional time for the carpet to dry after the cleaning is completed. Dry cleaning is also a faster process which involves less labor, making it often less expensive than wet cleaning. The equipment used for dry cleaning is also smaller and more manageable.
Downsides of dry cleaning
Not recommended by many carpet manufacturers, dry cleaning offers a less thorough clean. Only the top layer is impacted, leaving dirt on lower layers of the carpet. Dry cleaning may also not be as effective on more difficult stains.
Some final considerations to think about. Consider who is performing the carpet cleaning. What method do they recommend? What equipment do you have available? Is their equipment maintained well?
In summary, both cleaning methods will make your carpets cleaner, but depending on your needs, one may be a better option than the other.