What Are the Differences Between Dry and Steam Cleaning Carpets?


Quick Answer

There is no definitive answer whether dry or steam cleaning carpets is better, as the processes are different, with steam cleaning using hot water to clean carpet and dry cleaning using chemical compounds to remove dirt and stains. Despite the name, dry cleaning still uses a small amount of moisture to clean the carpet, which is an important consideration when choosing a method.

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  1. Benefits of steam cleaning
  2. Steam cleaning is a bit of a misnomer, as hot water, rather than steam, cleans the carpet. Carpet cleaners come in a variety of models, with buying, renting and professional options available. Buying or renting steam cleaners is an easy process, as most models use hot tap water or a heating element and a cleaning solution to clean the carpet. The machine then sucks up the excess water, and the carpet is typically dry within 12 to 24 hours. Professional cleaning services use powerful machines that are able to spray more detergent and suck up more moisture, allowing for faster drying times.

  3. Benefits of dry cleaning
  4. Dry cleaning, such as the process offered by Chem-Dry, utilizes an active cleaning solution that does not use soap or detergent to clean the carpet. The process is similar to steam cleaning, as a machine applies the cleaning solution and sucks up the remaining moisture, but the dry time is typically within 1 to 2 hours, rather than 12 to 24 hours. The cleaning solutions vary, so it is advisable to consult a professional regarding the safety of the products and the potential odors they emit.

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