Van outside of customer's home


Choosing The Best
Carpet Cleaning Method

There are essentially 3 different methods that professionals use to cleaning carpets. Here they are listed from least to most effective. You will better understand the pros and cons of each.

1) Shampooing

2) Dry Cleaning

3) Hot Water Extraction

1) The Shampooing Method

 While carpet shampooing was well-known in the earlier years of carpet cleaning, it for the most part has now been replaced with more advanced methods. This technology had its drawbacks – a considerable amount of wet soap that required long periods of time to dry was left in the carpet. Once dry, this soap would revert back to a sticky residue. Since there was no rinsing process, rapid re-soiling of carpets did occur. This is the least effective of the 3 cleaning methods because it not only left dirt in the carpet, the carpet became more “sicky”, potentially attracting more dirt over time. This method was the predecessor to the Dry Cleaning Method.

Carpet Shampooing Method

2) The “Dry” Cleaning Method

Otherwise known as the encapsulation method or VLM (Very Low Moisture), this method is widely used in commercial applications. The main difference between this method and the shampooing method is that this process dries much faster and the VLM chemicals don’t attract nearly as much dirt after the cleaning. The downside is that there is still no rinsing process. In other words, companies who use this process are leaving the dirt, chemicals and other nasties in the carpet! With this method, the encapsulated dirt needs to be vacuumed up after it dries, usually by the customer at a later date.

2a) Dry Cleaning with a Bonnet

Bonnet carpet cleaning is a popular VLM method that many companies use due to its affordability and ease of application. It is a good alternative for office space where truck-mounts can’t reach. It involves the use of a rotary machine, cleansing pads made from materials such as cotton or rayon, and an approved carpet-cleaning solution designed to aggressively agitate dirt out from carpets. Bonnet cleaning is only recommended for commercial applications as the friction generated by this machine (between the pad and carpet) will destroy most residential-grade carpets.

Bonnet Cleaning

Bonnet Cleaning Machine
Designed for Commercial
Glue-down Carpets

2b) Dry Cleaning with an Encap Counter Rotating Brush Machine

Some companies perform the dry cleaning method with an Encap Machine. This carpet cleaning method was also designed for commercial glue-down carpets in office buildings where truck-mounts can’t reach. This is a step above the bonnet cleaning method because the brushes are counter-rotating and there is not as much friction to potentially damage the commercial carpet. Since these machines don’t extract dirt, the carpet must be vacuumed after the chemical has dried. Oxy Fresh Carpet Cleaning is a well-known user of this type of cleaning.

Encapsulation Method

Encapsulation Machine
Designed for Commercial
Glue-down Carpets

2c) Dry Cleaning with a Cimex Machine

Using the Cimex Machine is the preferred method for cleaning commercial glue-down carpets that a truck-mounted system is unable to reach. It has counter-rotating pads that are evenly balanced and the cleaning solution can be applied without concern for premature drying. The author has first-hand experience with this machine, and even though this is the best of the dry cleaning methods, it still falls far short of the hot water extraction method. Dirt is still left in the carpet, and the carpet must be vacuumed after the cleaning in order to be removed.

oe cimex19p ea 2

3) The Hot Water Extraction Method (Steam Cleaning)

Hot water extraction (steam cleaning) is the best carpet cleaning method. It introduces an incredibly deep clean to the carpet cleaning category. This is the method that carpet manufacturers not only recommend, but require in order to maintain a new carpet’s warranty. High-pressured hot water works on tough set-in dirt, liquid spills, food spills, pet dander, pet urine, pet feces, viruses, bacteria, and a host of other contaminants that are left behind had the dry cleaning method been used. The hot water extraction method flushes various debris from deep within any carpeting. Those who promote the dry cleaning method claim that the hot water extraction method can cause moldy carpets. This is true, but only if the carpet cleaning technician didn’t know what he was doing or had faulty equipment. With over 17 years of cleaning experience and over 6,000,000 square feet of carpets cleaned, ALL CLEAN!, LLC has never caused our customer’s carpets to become moldy. With that said, please read further as we briefly explain the 3 levels of Hot Water Extraction.

3a) Hot Water Extraction with a Portable Machine

Some carpet cleaners use portable machines, similar to those you would rent from a store such as the Rug Doctor. Used properly, this is a much better method than any of the dry cleaning methods. The problem is, they have relatively low water temperature, low water pressure, and low suction power. The result… compared to truck-mounted systems, a relatively small amount of dirt is extracted from within your carpet.

Portable Carpet Cleaning Machine

Portable Machine
Recommended for Apartments
and some hard to reach Condos.

Stanley Steemer Type Van

Franchise Steam Cleaning
Better Than The Other Two Methods,
but Not as Good as it Could Be.

3b) Hot Water Extraction Using the “Old-Style” Steam Cleaning Method

Most professional carpet cleaners these days use the hot water extraction method with a truck-mounted system and a manual cleaning wand. You can’t go wrong with this method as long as their equipment is in good condition and their technician takes his time. Though this is a much better method than the previously mentioned, it usually only provides one cleaning pass in one direction. There is a better way!

Carpet Cleaning Wand

3c) Hot Water Extraction With a Truck-mounted System and a Roto-Vac Power Wand

Using a powerful truck-mount along with a RotoVac Power Wand povides far better cleaning results than any other method. Here’s why…

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning Van Outside of Customer's Home

ALL CLEAN!, LLC uses a high-end truck-mounted system that gives us higher heat and greater suction power than some of the franchises’ truck-mounts. The hotter the water, the higher the water pressure, and the higher the suction power, the cleaner and dryer your carpets will be. Dirt, grease, and grime are all flushed out from way down deep within your carpet fibers. At over 200 deg. F., our process is hot enough to effectively kill bacteria, dust-mites, and just about any other pathogen that might be lurking inside your carpets.  The suction power of our equipment is such that you can expect your carpets to be dry within just a few hours.

Most Steam Cleaning companies out there (like Stanley) use a “push/pull” manual wand. Unless the technician is highly motivated, this method will only clean an area one time – in one direction. ALL CLEAN!, LLC uses the RotoVac Power Wand to give our customers multiple cleaning passes in multiple directions. We offer this survice for about the same price as as do others for the old standard one-pass manual-wand carpet cleaning method. The slower we go, the MORE times an area is cleaned! So instead of cleaning one time in one direction, we clean approximately 50 times omnidirectionally. The end result is that we clean every square foot of your carpet multiple times in many directions. Your carpets will be as clean as they possibly can be.  We’re often told that we’re the best carpet cleaners around. We hope you’ll agree!

steam cleaning carpet with the rotovac power wand

Yes! We would love to hear from you.