Which carpet cleaning method is the best?

Carpet cleaning, carpet shampooing, hot water extraction, dry steam cleaning, dry compound cleaning…. there are so many different names used for basically getting dirt out of your carpet, it’s easy to get confused about what they all mean. To make matters worse, these words are often used incorrectly, sometimes deliberately to mislead the customer, and some, shall we say, less reputable companies will take advantage if you use a generic term, such as steam cleaning.

If you don’t specify hot water extraction cleaning, you might end up with a  carpet cleaning company simply using a steam mop on your floors, which will not produce the same results. If in doubt, ask for a precise description of how your carpet is going to be cleaned, so you know exactly what carpet cleaning method you are getting.

steam carpet cleaning in HarrowThere are several methods used for cleaning carpets, with the most popular being hot water extraction cleaning. This is the method we usually recommend here at Cleaner Cleaner, as it gives you (well, your carpets) that real deep clean, getting rid of not just dirt but allergens, dust mites and more.

However, the best method of carpet cleaning also depends on the type of carpet to be cleaned. Most carpets benefit from the really thorough clean you get from hot water extraction, but it could spell disaster for carpets made from fibres such as sisal or jute. A jute carpet may look hard wearing, but the fibres are actually delicate, and should never be saturated, otherwise your carpet may never be the same again.

What is hot water extraction cleaning?

Highly pressurised water, combined with a cleaning solution, is pumped onto the carpet. The used liquid is then extracted using a powerful vacuum and deposited into a separate tank, and the process is repeated. The use of pressurised water agitates the carpet fibres and dislodges dirt from deep within the carpet and the vacuum immediately draws the waste out, leaving your carpet thoroughly clean. For the removal of stubborn stains and ingrained dirt, hot water extraction really is the best method of cleaning. Other advantages of the hot water extraction cleaning process are that it leaves no residue on your carpet and odours absorbed by your carpet are eliminated more effectively than with any other cleaning method. The deep carpet cleaning helps to get rid of allergens, mildew, fungi and dust mites in your carpet, so this is the ideal method if anyone in your household has a reaction to these things. A clean carpet means a healthier home.

Other carpet cleaning methods

Carpet Steam cleaning

steam carpet cleaning methodA steam cleaner produces a mist of steam on the carpet, which helps to loosen dirt. However, the dirt is not easily wiped off a soft surface such as carpet. Steam carpet cleaning works really well on hard surfaces, and may be suitable for a quick refresh for carpets which are only lightly soiled, but it cannot give the same depth of cleaning as the hot water extraction carpet cleaning method, and if you’re paying for the full hot water extraction clean, you don’t want to end up with a light steam.

Dry carpet cleaning

Our dry carpet cleaning method consists of applying specialist powder onto the carpet and agitating the fibres. The particles of the powder work like tiny sponges to absorb the dirt, and after 15 minutes they are vacuumed out, leaving your carpet clean and fresh. This method of carpet cleaning works well when you need a very quick process, for example, in a hotel, where most carpets need to be accessible 24 hours a day.

carpet shampooingDry carpet cleaning methods are also the only solution for dealing with jute, coir or seagrass flooring. These types of carpet are prone to fibre damage, colour loss and shrinkage if they get wet, so they must never be cleaned using a liquid saturation method.

Carpet shampooing

Most customers who ask for this method, actually want hot water extraction. Conventional carpet shampooing does not have the same effect as hot water extraction, as it uses rotating brushes, which can damage the fibres of the carpet, and if it is not done professionally, it can leave a residue on the carpet.


We regularly get asked questions about our hot water extraction carpet cleaning. Here are some of the most frequent enquiries:

pets carpets and childrenAre carpet cleaning chemicals safe for pets and children?

Yes. At Cleaner Cleaner we use only eco friendly carpet cleaning methods and solutions in our hot water extraction process. We recognise that you don’t want to be worried about chemical residue in your carpets which might be harmful to anyone in your household. Children and pets are particularly vulnerable to being exposed to chemicals in carpets, since they tend to spend more time on the floor than adults. Of course, if you have children or pets, your carpets are likely to gather more dirt, with the inevitable spillages, accidents and muddy paws, so strong cleaning products are all the more essential.

We use the very latest eco-friendly cleaning products because they deliver powerful cleaning performance as well as being completely safe for all the family, including your four-legged friends. Our eco carpet cleaning fluids are also perfectly safe for allergy sufferers or people with asthma who need to avoid the use of toxic chemicals.

How quickly does the carpet dry after hot water extraction cleaning?

This will depend on a number of factors, such as the temperature, air flow and humidity in the room, and also the type of carpet. If you are able to open up windows and turn up the thermostat on your heating, it will help to speed up the drying process. If you happen to have under-floor heating, that’s a real plus when it comes to drying your carpet out after a professional clean. Some carpets will be dry in as little as 1-2 hours, while others will take 3-4 hours. You can walk on your carpets straight after we’ve finished cleaning them, because we’ll leave you some free plastic overshoes to use – not necessarily the height of fashion, but perfect for keeping your carpet clean while it’s still damp. Remember not to put any heavy furniture back onto your carpet until it is completely dry.

What size carpets do you clean?

We can do carpet cleaning for one room or an entire house. We also provide carpet cleaning services for a range of commercial buildings, from offices to hotels.

At Cleaner Cleaner we offer several carpet cleaning methods, but wherever suitable we will recommend the use of the hot water extraction method, because we are passionate about making your carpets as clean as possible. Call us to find out more about our Carpet Cleaning London services at Cleaner Cleaner, and how we can help to get your carpets looking as good as new.