Visit our

Carpet Cleaning Methods

The selection of a carpet cleaning method can be confusing. Each retailer, carpet cleaner, and salesperson may have a different recommendation regarding the best carpet cleaning method available. The carpet industry recognizes five (5) professional carpet-cleaning methods: dry absorbent compound, dry foam extraction, hot water extraction, rotary bonnet, and rotary shampoo.

Typically, environmental conditions, degree of soiling, and cost influence the selection of a cleaning method, but the fiber system should be the primary factor in selecting a cleaning method. While the majority of carpet manufactured today is constructed with synthetic fibers which may be cleaned with most cleaning methods, natural fibers may require specialized care. Following are general guidelines for some of these fiber systems:

Wool - Wool fibers may be cleaned using all cleaning methods, although excessive agitation and excessive heat should be avoided. It is easily damaged by bleaches and alkalis. Wool should be cleaned with neutral detergents (pH 5.0 - 8.0) and dried quickly to limit yellowing or browning. Cleaning wool carpet requires special care and proper knowledge.

Cotton/Rayon - Cotton and rayon are each cellulosic fiber and may be cleaned using all cleaning methods depending upon carpet or rug construction. Most cellulosic fibers are subject to browning if prolonged drying occurs or if alkaline solutions are used. Shrinking may occur if these fibers are overwet. Avoid excessive agitation.

Silk - Silk is a natural fiber that is used for many carpet applications. Silk fibers should be cleaned using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by high temperatures, high pH (>9), sunlight, and looses strength when wet. The cleaning of silk fibers is best left to the carpet cleaner.

Sisal and other plant fibers - Sisal and other plant fibers have characteristics similar to cotton. A number of plant fibers are used in carpet construction including sisal, cotton, jute, coconut (coir), pineapple, ramie, hemp, and many others. These fibers may be cleaned with all cleaning methods but dry extraction and dry foam extraction are most often recommended. These fibers are subject to browning if cleaned with a high pH (>7.5) and may release color during cleaning. If using a wet method, utilize accessories to accelerate drying. The cleaning of plant fibers is best left to the carpet cleaner.

The carpet manufacturer should be consulted to determine the preferred method. For more detailed information on cleaning carpet fibers visit our Cleaning Carpet Fibers section

Did you know?

Carpet manufacturers recommend carpetcleaning be performed by a professional carpet cleaner every 12 to 18 months but 42% of all carpet cleaning is performed by consumers. The section of the carpetbuyershandbook.com explains all methods of carpet cleaning including steam cleaning, Host dry extraction carpet cleaning, rotary bonnet carpet cleaning, rotary shampoo carpet cleaning, and dry foam extraction carpet cleaning.

In This Section
3 Types of Carpet Cleaning Tools
An Introduction to Carpet Cleaning Basics
Steam Cleaning
Dry Extraction Carpet Cleaning
Dry Foam Carpet Cleaning
Bonnet Carpet Cleaning
Rotary Shampoo
Cleaning Your Carpets the Green Way
THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITH NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE AUTHOR, THE SITE OWNER AND ITS AFFILIATES ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED THEREIN OR FOR ANY USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT. The article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.