Pros and cons of steam cleaning and low moisture cleaning of carpets
Updated: Nov 23, 2019
Steam cleaning is the most common method to remove the unwanted dirt, urine, etc. from ones carpet. Steam cleaning is a little of a misnomer. Although the water can get really hot, we aren't spraying steam on the carpet. Steam cleaning has a couple drawbacks, but the pluses far out weigh the minuses.
Nothing removes more dirt and other contaminants faster from the carpet than steam cleaning. There are a few disadvantages though. Firstly, the dry time. Fans can reduce the drying time significantly. Secondly, sometimes stains will come back because the drying process can pull up spills that get down in the backing of the carpet. This doesn't happen often with normal residential carpet, but is more common with glued down commercial carpet. Thirdly, the hoses can't always access the carpeted areas in commercial buildings.
I use a low moisture method of cleaning carpets called encapsulation. I seldom use encapsulation on residential carpet. Although there is very little drying time, steam cleaning is preferred by most customers. There isn't much extraction with any low moisture cleaning. Most people have kids and/or pets so a more deep cleaning is needed. The encapsulation method can be ideal for commercial carpets. Some commercial carpets are so thin that the wet carpet can't be properly extracted. I will usually run a cotton bonnet over glue down carpet to help prevent stains from coming off the slab.