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Posted on March 21, 2024

The debate over dry cleaning versus steam cleaning has been ongoing since the beginning of the professional carpet treatment industry. Both carpet cleaning methods are effective, but they work in different ways to get rid of stains, odors, and other household unpleasantries.

It’s hard to decipher which of these popular cleaning methods is better, mainly because all carpets are unique with different needs. The decision comes down to a few factors, like the soil level, type of carpet, and personal preferences for drying time.

Want to know which carpet cleaning is best for you? Keep reading to learn more about dry vs steam cleaning for carpets.

Key Differences Between Dry vs Steam Cleaning

The main difference between steam and dry carpet cleaning is the amount of water used during treatment.

As you can probably guess, the dry cleaning method uses very little water, so your carpets are safe to walk on almost immediately after the treatment. With steam cleaning, hot water is the main ingredient in the cleaning process; the drying time can take as long as 24 hours.

Because heavy equipment is needed for steam cleaning, the overall process is much more labor-intensive. The good news is that it doesn’t require the use of chemicals, whereas dry cleaning uses powdered detergents to activate the cleaning cycle.

Carpet steam cleaning home

Steam Cleaning: The Process

Steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction, is considered the best option for cleaning carpets. That’s why professionals, including Mint technicians, turn to steam cleaning above all other methods.

With this method, your Mint professional starts by using a high-pressure machine to inject hot water into the carpets. Then, the hot water is extracted using a suction device, lifting dirt and grime from the carpet fibers.

If your carpets are heavily soiled or stained, your technician might recommend pretreatment with a chemical spray to loosen stains and soil before the hot water extraction begins.

Advantages of Steam Cleaning

  • The most effective method for deep cleaning carpets
  • The use of hot water kills bacteria
  • Leaves minimal residue
  • No harsh chemicals are needed (unless your carpets are heavily soiled/stained)

Disadvantages of Steam Cleaning

  • Drying time can take as long as 24 hours
  • A more expensive cleaning method
  • Time-consuming and labor-intensive for technicians

Clean Home Living Room

Dry Cleaning: The Process

Dry carpet cleaning is a newer technique used by carpet cleaning companies. It’s not known to be as effective as steam cleaning, but the upside is that carpets take essentially no time to dry.

With dry cleaning, carpets are covered in a dry detergent compound that works to open carpet fibers. Once this compound has set, an industrial vacuum removes the mixture along with dirt, debris, and stains.

This is called “dry” cleaning because only a small amount of water is used. For this reason, drying time is only about 20 minutes, but don’t expect to get the same brand-new look for your carpets that you would with steam cleaning.

Advantages of Dry Cleaning

  • Less expensive option for homeowners
  • Rapid drying time in 20-30 minutes
  • A great choice for spot-cleaning

Disadvantages of Dry Cleaning

  • Uses powdered chemicals, so not ideal for homes with children or pets
  • Not optimal for some carpet types
  • Can be harsh on carpets over time
  • Not capable of the deep clean that is possible with steam cleaning

Ready for Professional Carpet Cleaning? Get In Touch Today!

If you’re looking for a DIY spot-cleaning option that’s easy and affordable, give dry carpet cleaning a shot. But if you’re seeking a deep clean from professionals that’s safe on carpets and extremely effective, get in touch today for a free quote!