Carpet Cleaning Methods

What are the main methods of carpet cleaning?

Carpets can be cleaned by

  • Dry cleaning
  • Low moisture cleaning
  • Very low moisture cleaning
  • Cold water extraction
  • Hot water extraction
  • Steam Cleaning

Dry Carpet Cleaning
Dry cleaning normally involves the use of a dry cleaning compound. This is usually a mix of microscopic sponges saturated in carpet cleaning solutions.
Dry carpet cleaning is the only way to clean carpets made from natural materials like natural grasses etc.


Low moisture cleaning
LMC involves the use of a carpet-cleaning chemical which is applied to the carpet by a spray. The spray is applied lightly to avoid over wetting the carpets, once the cleaner is applied a machine is normally used to clean the dirt from the carpet, this involves using a scrubbing machine to physically scrub the dirt from the surface of the carpet.


Very low moisture cleaning
VLM cleaning is a combination of Low moisture cleaning and dry cleaning. The same dry cleaning compound is used on the carpet. A pre spray of cleaning solution is also applied to the carpet to strengthen the effectiveness of the dry cleaning compound. Again the dry cleaning crystals provide the main cleaning action.


Cold water extraction

Cold water Extraction.
This type of carpet cleaning requires no hot water at the extraction process but hot water is normally used to mix the pre spray. The pre spray is a carpet cleaning chemical which, when applied, actually works to break down the dirt trapped in the carpet fibers. Dirt becomes trapped by constant traffic across the carpet. Cold water extraction uses an industrial machine fixed with a powerful pump and a normally twin vacuum units. This machine squirts water onto the carpet and sucks it back out again. While it is squirting the water and sucking it back out, it removes all the dirt from the carpet fibres that has been trodden in deep.


Hot Water Extraction
Hot water extraction is always the preferred method of carpet cleaning. All the main carpet manufacturers of wool carpets and synthetic carpets in the United Kingdom suggest the cleaning method best suited to these carpets is hot water extraction. This is due to the cleaning power of hot water.

The National carpet cleaners association suggests that hot water extraction is also the best method of cleaning your carpet.


Steam cleaning is not really suitable for cleaning domestic synthetic carpets. Due to the high levels of heat generated by steam, damage to your carpet can occur, high heat can damage synthetic carpet fibres.