What is the difference between carpet dry cleaning and steam cleaning?


So what is the difference between carpet dry cleaning and steam cleaning and which is better? Both systems of carpet cleaning can achieve great results but the main difference is the amount of water used in the cleaning process. Ultimately, the results achieved by both carpet cleaning systems depend more on the technician, the chemicals and the equipment than the system used.

Steam cleaning, or how water extraction cleaning, works by injecting hot water into carpet under high pressure and extracting the water out. When the water is extracted, the dirt and soiling will be extracted with the water to clean the carpet. Effective steam cleaners will pre-treat stains to remove with the appropriate cleaning agents and use a pre-spray to break down surface tension in the carpet to allow the water to penetrate deeply into the carpet before extraction.


With carpet dry cleaning, the carpets are firstly pre-vacuumed to remove the dry soil . A pre-vacuum should be performed before steam cleaning as well as when dry soils become wet they turn to mud and are harder to extract. The carpet is then treated with a carpet dry cleaning solution which is a combination of dry cleaning solvents carried in water. The carpet dry cleaning solution breaks down the oily residue in the carpet which holds the dirt to the carpet fibres so that the soils and stains can be easily removed. Cotton absorbent pads are immersed in hot water with a conditioning rinse and placed on the carpet under a rotary machine (like a modified high speed floor polisher). The pads are spun around on the carpet at high speed and the dirt is released from the carpet on the pads and the pads are continually changed in the cleaning process.

Steam cleaning can achieve excellent results if the technician performing the cleaning uses effective cleaning pre-sprays, agitates the carpet and takes the time to extract as much water as possible from the carpet. Unfortunately, steam cleaning can leave the carpet very wet and it will usually take 4 to 24 hours for the carpet to be totally dry. In some cases it can take days to dry. Also, without effective pre-treatment, steam cleaning is often ineffective at removing oily stains (the dark spots we see on the carpet). If the oily residue is not totally removed then the stain may remain, or it will quickly re-appear as dirt sticks to the oily residue.

Carpet dry cleaning leaves the carpet walk on dry and the carpet will usually be totally dry in an hour or 2. The carpet dry cleaning solutions are the most important part of the dry cleaning process. Effective dry cleaning solutions will remove more stains than other cleaning process and deliver excellent results, Electrodry carpet dry cleaning manufactures its’ exclusive carpet dry cleaning solution which delivers amazing stain removal results. The Electrodry system also restores the natural chemical balance in the carpet to give the carpet back its’ natural brightness.

As steam cleaning and dry cleaning have different benefits, Electrodry offers customers a “dual clean” service incorporating steam cleaning and dry cleaning. This service is offered for very dirty carpets where the rinsing of steam cleaning and the stain removal benefits of dry cleaning may give a superior result. A dual clean will usually cost 80% more than a standard cleaning process.
In summary, both systems of carpet cleaning can be effective, however steam cleaning will have a much longer drying time and may not be as effective as dry cleaning with stain removal. With minimal moisture, carpet dry cleaning will leave the carpet ready to walk on straight away and totally dry in an hour to 2 hours.
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