The carpet cleaning methods that are right for a home will depend on the amount of traffic the carpet or rugs endure, whether or not children and pets live in the home, and whether anyone in the home has allergies. It is also very important for the life of the carpet to choose a cleaning method that is compatible with the materials that it is made of. This is why it is often better for people to hire a service staffed by professionals than to attempt to deep clean a carpets themselves. These services generally offer five methods of cleaning: shampooing, dry cleaning, foam cleaning, bonnet cleaning, and steam cleaning. Regardless of which method is used, all carpets that are to be deep cleaned will be will first thoroughly vacuumed first.
Carpet cleaning that involves shampooing is probably the least effective method. Special detergents are applied to the carpet or rug and agitated with a machine. The shampoo is then extracted from the carpet by vacuuming. The detergents used contain brighteners and deodorizers that leave the carpet looking nice and smelling good, but much of the dirt and microbes stay in the carpet and later reappear.
The dry cleaning method is often considered preferable because there is no need to wait for the carpets to dry. This method is performed by covering the carpet with a special cleaning powder that is designed to attract dirt like a magnet. Once the powder is worked into the carpet, it is thoroughly vacuumed away.
The foam carpet cleaning method is a cross between shampooing and dry cleaning. It uses a minimal amount of water and foam detergent that attracts and adheres to the soil. After the foam is worked into the carpet, it is thoroughly vacuumed, extracting most of the water, detergent, and dirt.
The bonnet method is usually preformed only in commercial buildings. It does not work as well in residential homes, because it is designed mainly to maintain or restore the appearance of industrial carpeting rather than to provide deep cleaning. This method also has the potential of damaging the fibers that most home carpets are composed of. Bonnet cleaning is performed by applying a chemical detergent to the carpet and using an absorbent pad on a rotary shampoo machine to extract the dirt.
Steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction, is the most effective method of carpet cleaning. Professional services use a powerful machine that injects a solution of hot water and detergent into the carpet or rug. The mixture is then powerfully extracted by the machine, leaving the carpets looking and smelling like new, but most importantly, removing as much of the soil and microbes as possible.