The majority of carpet cleaners only have the skills or equipment to provide one, not both forms of carpet cleaning systems so would always recommend the cleaning system that the offer which can lead people to sometimes have an incomplete idea of what is best for their carpets.
The truth is that both methods have their place and can be used when appropriate.
The word steam is a little bit of a misnomer – there is no steam involved. In this method, hot water is sprayed onto the carpet and vacuumed up immediately. This method relies on the dirt being suspended by the water being sprayed on before being extracted. Chemicals are sprayed onto the carpet beforehand to loosen the dirt. Some carpet cleaners put these chemicals into the water being sprayed but this is not ideal because the chemicals take time to work and the chemicals are not flushed out leaving a sticky residue which can attract dirt after the carpet has dried.
Steam cleaning is a more thorough clean and is often recommended carpet manufacturers as the preferred method of cleaning. The main drawback of using this method is that the carpet takes a number of hours to dry. Factors which influence the drying time are air temperature, humidity, airflow and of cause the amount of water used. If the carpet is taking days to dry, way too much water has been used.
Dry Carpet cleaning, also sometimes called bonnet cleaning is more of a chemical clean but still uses some moisture. The chemical is sprayed onto the carpet and then scrubbed using what is called a pad. The dirt is then either lifted directly onto the pads or encapsulated into crystals formed as the chemicals dry and vacuumed up later.
Dry carpet cleaning is good if the carpet needs to be used right away or only a light (maintenance) clean is required. Also, good steam cleaning equipment is heavy, sometimes it difficult getting the equipment in place, like in some high-rise buildings.
In looking at carpet dry cleaning vs steam cleaning, if you have a few hours to let the carpet dry and want a deep clean, steam cleaning is the way to go. If you need to use the carpet right away or just need a light clean, dry cleaning may be better.
The chemicals used in both processes can also make a difference in the result. Because a lot woollen carpet in Australia and New Zealand, milder chemicals need to be used that won’t damage the fibre which also needs to be taken into consideration.
It is also important to use a carpet cleaner who knows how to get results regardless of the method being used.
So, if you would like either steam or dry carpet cleaning call 1300 778 104 for our pricing or to book. We are a Melbourne based cleaning company and all suburbs are within the metro area and have a cleaner based near you.
This information applies to rug cleaning as well but rug cleaning requires more than what is needed for carpet cleaning to ensure that rugs look great without damaging them. Have a look at our article on rug cleaning vs carpet cleaning.