Carpets have to endure a great deal of activity day in and day out, calling for considerable effort to keep dirt, dust, and grime at bay. A quick search for carpet cleaning options will likely direct you to the two most popular methods, steam cleaning and dry cleaning. Since both methods have distinct pros and cons, choosing between steam cleaning vs. dry cleaning carpet can be daunting.
To help you make the right choice, this guide outlines the key differences between the two. Consider how dry carpet cleaning vs. steam cleaning compare in these aspects to determine which one suits your needs best.
Range of Options Available
Both approaches offer multiple cleaning methods, but the options available for dry cleaning far outnumber steam cleaning options. Dry cleaning options include the use of oscillating pads, dry foam, dry compounds, and bonnet pads. On the other hand, the main steam cleaning options are truck mount, which is the most common, and portable extraction, which is popular in industrial settings.
Steam cleaning reaches far deeper into the fibers allowing for more effective deep cleaning than dry cleaning. It involves the injection of hot water at high pressure into the carpet and the subsequent extraction of the water together with the dirt.
The dry cleaning process involves treating your carpet with a cleaning compound to break down any oily residues. Oil is the glue that keeps dirt stuck to carpet fibers, so breaking it down loosens the dirt for removal. After this step, cotton pads dipped in hot water are attached to a rotating machine, which then removes the loose dirt.
When it comes to stain removal, dry cleaning is typically more effective than steam cleaning. It makes use of chemicals specifically designed to break down compounds that cause staining and effectively handles most household stains. However, without pre-treating your carpet, steam cleaning is unable to eliminate dark spots and oily stains.
Moisture Levels and Dry Out Time
While the steam cleaning method is preferable for deep-cleaning, it leaves your carpet wet. It may take up to 24 hours for it to dry up completely, and in poor weather conditions, it may even take days. Some carpet materials cannot handle the high moisture levels associated with this option and could start to rot or develop mold if not handled properly. Comparatively, dry cleaning usually leaves a carpet dry enough to step on almost immediately and completely dry in a span of about two hours. It is therefore suitable for use with moisture-sensitive materials and in high-traffic areas.
Chemical Exposure and Residue Problems
When not done properly, dry cleaning could leave chemical residue attached to carpet fibers. This residue makes your carpet appear dingy within a short span of time after cleaning as it provides the right conditions for dirt to stick to fibers. For persons with allergies and certain respiratory conditions, the residue could trigger adverse reactions. By comparison, steam cleaning does not leave any chemicals or residue behind, as these are thoroughly rinsed out.
How to Make the Best of Both Worlds
At the end of the day, the choice you make between carpet dry cleaning vs. steam cleaning boils down to personal preference. If you appreciate the merits of both methods and your carpet can handle it, you can alternate between the two during your periodic deep-cleaning exercises. No matter what method you choose, letting an expert handle your carpet cleaning will yield the most benefits. Well-trained professionals will ensure that your carpet dries out thoroughly with steam cleaning and dry cleaning, so no residue will remain behind.