Best Carpet Cleaning Method

Ever since throwing a rug over a rope and beating it with a stick no longer sufficed for carpet cleaning, different cleaning techniques have evolved in the carpet cleaning industry.

Carpet Shampooing

The carpet shampoo method involves working foam into the carpet, allow the foam to dry, with the residue soaking up the soil.  The residue and soil are then vacuumed the next day.

Besides the problem of taking 2 days to clean a carpet, this method also has other issues.  The foam must be sticky enough to absorb dirt and any residue left will quickly absorb new dirt causing the carpet to be quickly resoiled.  Repeated use can cause the carpet to yellow.  The foam is agitated into the carpet fiber and the machinery used to do this can damage the carpet fibers, especially cut pile.  Carpet manufacturers discourage the use of this method.

Bonnet Method

This cleaning method uses rotary or oscillating brushes that have absorbent pads on them.  A cleaning solution is sprayed on the carpet and the pads which are then brushed against the carpet and absorb dirt and stains.  This method cleans the surface of the carpet but not the underlying carpet fibers.  For cut pile carpets it can damage the carpet fibers and the spinning bonnet could leave swirl marks and fuzzing.  Since it does not extract the cleaning solution is leaves solution in the carpet.


Sometimes called dry cleaning, this method uses chemical polymers to encapsulate or crystallize soil particles into dry residues on contact.  The dry residue can then be vacuumed up.  This leaves carpets looking clean as even if some dirt does not get vacuumed, it is encapsulated by the chemicals and it not visible.  This method is very effective for high traffic commercial carpet as it uses very little water resulting in a dry time of an hour or so.  This method is now used for residential customers as well.

Hot Water Extraction

This method, sometimes called steam cleaning, uses a chemical pre-spray and hot water to extract the spray and dirt.  This is the only method that carpet manufacturers recommend and is required to be used every 18 months to maintain carpet warranties.  Hot water extraction is considered “deep cleaning” as it is the only method that removes soil from deep within the pile.

New Again Carpet Cleaning of Charlotte uses the hot water extraction method.  We spray a solution on the carpet which breaks down stains and soil.  This is left for approximately 10 minutes.  We then use a wand that sprays hot water mixed with a rinse which gets vacuumed up immediately.  The water gets extracted or vacuumed so that the carpet is left damp and usually dries in 4 hours.  Contrary to what some competitors say, there is not enough water to promote mold and it does not damage the carpet.

We think hot water extraction is the best carpet cleaning method.  Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer, agrees as this is the only method they recommend to keep your carpet clean..

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