Carpet Cleaning Basics, Machine to Green

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Carpet cleaning is a vital component of carpet maintenance. Learn about carpet cleaning basics to determine which carpet cleaning method is best for you.

Types of Carpet Cleaning

You should deep clean your carpet at least once every 18 months, once a year is preferable, to keep it looking and performing its best. Five main types of carpet cleaning techniques are available, based on your space needs and preferences:

  • Bonnet Cleaning: As an alternative to shampooing, a bonnet (cotton or rayon pad) is dipped into shampoo and placed at the base of the buffer on carpet cleaning machines. As the bonnet gets soiled with dirt, it is rinsed out, turned over, and used again until it becomes too soiled to be beneficial. Carpet is vacuumed after it dries, which takes about 30 minutes.
  • Dry Carpet Cleaning: A three-part procedure, dry cleaning involves the use a powder solvent sprinkled on the carpet, which sits for 15 minutes. Next, a special carpet cleaning machine with two heads buffs the powder into the carpet. Afterwards, the carpet is thoroughly vacuumed. The carpet doesn't have to dry after dry carpet cleaning, but powder residue can lead to dirt buildup.
  • Foam Carpet Cleaning: Carpet cleaning machines release shampoo onto a brush that scrubs the carpet fibers. Carpet is vacuumed after it dries, usually after a couple of hours. It can be difficult to get all of the shampoo out of the carpet and the residue can attract dirt.
  • Shampooing Carpet: A buffer brush works shampoo into the carpet. Only small sections can be shampooed at a time and the buffer must cover each section several times, which can cause damage to the carpet. Shampoos have brighteners, which are activated during the final vacuuming of the carpet, but like foam cleaning, shampoo residue can cause dirt buildup.
  • Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning is the most common carpet cleaning method. This method extracts hot water and carpet cleaner through a wand that goes over the carpet a section at a time, overlapping. The wand vacuums as it cleans, though vacuuming before steam cleaning is recommended. The carpet then dries for about eight hours. Carpet cleaning machines today are very powerful, especially in their ability to extract water and cut down on drying time.

Green carpet cleaning can be applied to any of the methods, using eco-friendly carpet cleaner solutions.

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