If your floors are carpeted, dry carpet cleaning and steam cleaning are both superior cleaning methods to vacuuming. But deciding between the two can be difficult—each has a number of advantages and disadvantages.
What is Dry Carpet Cleaning?
This process involves the use of chemicals, either in a foam or a powder form, which are either worked into carpets using a specially designed brush or simply allowed to seep into the carpet. The chemical is left to settle for a short period of time before being removed again. The powder form is completely dry whereas the foam is 90 percent dry and classified as dry foam.
What is Steam Cleaning?
Steam cleaning is an alternative cleaning method that makes use of moisture evaporation to penetrate carpets and fabrics. This is usually accomplished using a special piece of equipment called a steam cleaner.
Dry Carpet Cleaning—Pros
The technique of dry carpet cleaning has a number of positive points. Firstly, the area to be cleaned won’t be saturated with water which means that it will be able to be walked on a short period of time after cleaning is complete. Secondly, this method allows a greater area of carpet to be cleaned in a shorter period of time with relatively little effort.
This makes the process user-friendly and practical and because dry carpet cleaning doesn’t involve the use of large quantities of water, the potential for mildew or other long term damaging effects to take hold in the carpet are minimal.
Dry Carpet Cleaning—Cons
The negative aspects of dry carpet cleaning center around the use of chemicals. It can be a little more expensive than traditional steam cleaning because of the cost of the chemical solutions themselves. In addition, residue from the chemicals may well be left in the carpet, affecting pets and people who suffer from breathing-related conditions such as asthma.
Dry carpet cleaning also requires the use of special machinery that sucks up the chemical foam or powder. If the cleaning machine isn't powerful enough or is not working at full efficiency, residue may be left behind. The final disadvantage is that this chemical process does not clean carpets completely as the chemicals cannot get all the way through the fibers.
Steam cleaning is an inexpensive method of cleaning carpets. The equipment can cost little to buy and even less to rent. Since it only requires the addition of water, it costs very little to run. Steam cleaning also works with sufficient force so that the water, mostly in vapor form, can penetrate directly into the fibers and force dirt out.
Steam cleaning a whole carpet can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Additionally, it uses large quantities of water and the area will remain saturated for a long time after the process is complete. It may not be possible to walk on the area for a day or so. Water saturation may also cause long-term damage and there is the possibility of a damp smell remaining if the carpet isn't allowed to dry thoroughly.