Different Carpet Cleaning Methods – Pros and Cons

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There are many different methods of cleaning your carpet professionally. Anyone who thinks that a carpet can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner and nothing else needs to reassess the health of their carpet.

There are four major methods for cleaning your carpet. These methods work well with certain stains as well as to clean out your carpet in general. However, each of them works well in some ways and not in others.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each carpet cleaning method. After you’ve finished reading this, you should be able to determine which of these methods is best for your carpet and your current situation. Read on to find out more!

Hot Water Extraction


using hot water extraction for carpet cleaning


The process of hot water extraction begins with carpet conditioning through a chemical reagent. The purpose of this reagent is to melt any debris left inside the carpet, such as oils or wax. Boiling water is then injected inside the carpet so that it spread through the entire thing. After about fifteen minutes, the solution gets vacuumed out and the carpet is rinsed out with hot water.


The first advantage of hot water extraction involves the depth of the carpet. A regular vacuum cleaner can only remove debris from the surface and center of the carpet. Hot water extraction allows you to inject the boiling water directly into the carpet. The process reaches the base of the carpet and is quite effective at melting out any debris that has been sitting there for a while. The hot water also kills and bacteria living in the carpet.

The hot temperatures improve the efficiency of the solution. Obviously, you can’t walk on the carpet for some time due to the heat but it does increase the ability of the solution to remove hard, trapped oils and soils underneath the carpet.

It’s extremely quick, a carpet technician can be in and out of your home within a couple of hours.

It’s also one of the easiest and most advised methods to date. Most carpet manufacturers recommend it as the method has the lowest risk factor of all the options. Lakefront Carpet Cleaning in Cleveland uses this technique as we believe it’s the safest and most effective method to clean your carpet!


You will need to wait typically 6-10 hours for your carpet to dry. This depends on your type of carpet, the humidity, airflow etc. Here at Lakefront Carpet Cleaning we have powerful truck mount motors which are able to suck up more moisture to reduce dry time.


Absorbent Bonnet

Instead of using water directly in the carpet, the absorbent bonnet looks more like a towel placed on a spinning mechanism. The bonnet contains chemicals that are designed to pick up the soil and other debris from the carpet surface.

The bonnet will be spun around by the mechanism, picking up debris as it goes. It takes some time to complete the process but you won’t need to wait long before using your carpet again.


The absorbent bonnet method is easy to perform and doesn’t cost much. You can be done in just a few hours and go about your day.


The absorbent bonnet is primarily used to clean mildly soiled carpets. It can only reach the top third of carpet fibers. Those below that range won’t be affected, which may mean your carpet isn’t fully cleaned up. On top of that, the chemicals from the bonnet tend to remain in the carpet which can shorten its lifespan further.

Absorbent Powder

Solvents and cleaning agents get mixed together to create an absorbent powder. The powder is then placed on a machine with small brushes and gently brushed into the carpet. After a mere fifteen minutes, you can vacuum the powder up and take the loosened debris along with it!


The main advantage for the absorbent powder is the ease and swiftness of use. Not only do you not need to learn any tricks to perform the task yourself, but you can also be done within twenty minutes!


Again, this method doesn’t clean the lowest portions of your carpet. The powder also doesn’t take dust with it, meaning you may have dust problems after some time. The worst disadvantage is that the powder can sometimes get trapped in the carpet fibers and build up over time.

Dry Foam/Shampoo

A simple cleaning agent is spun into a foam-like, shampoo substance. The shampoo is then whipped into the carpet and left to work its magic for a short period. After waiting a while, you simply vacuum up the foam and the loosened debris should go with it.


The dry foam method is also quite easy and inexpensive compared to the others. The nicest part about it is that the foam is damp enough to spread throughout your entire carpet, reaching even the lowest fibers at the base. On top of that, your carpet will dry up on its own after an hour or less.


Unfortunately, even if the foam reaches the base of your carpet, it isn’t wet enough or hot enough to break down the tougher debris down there. While it is more convenient than the hot water extraction method, it doesn’t do as thorough a job.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If you’re still unsure which of these to use, consult a professional carpet clean up company or an expert that you’re familiar with!

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