Professional cleaning services advice on the advantages of, and differences between, steam cleaning and chemical cleaning your carpet.
Cleaning Services Comparison of Steam Vs. Chemical Carpet Cleaning
First and foremost, we need to dispell a commonly misheld belief regarding steam vs. chemical carpet cleaning services.
Steam cleaning is not chemical free and typically requires the use of detergents activated by hot water to remove dirt and stains.
As green cleaning services grow in popularity, more and more green steaming carpet cleaning solutions have become available on the market.
The Carpet and Rug Institute maintains a regularly updated list here:
Conversely chemical, sometimes referred to as Dry Chemical Carpet Cleaning, is not water-free and is more appropriately called Very Low Moisture (VLM) cleaning.
Steam Carpet Cleaning Services
Steam carpet cleaning is the most commonly used technique for DIY home and office carpet cleaning.
Carpet steamers are readily available on the consumer market, and lower-end commercial models are available for rental from local hardware and grocery stores.
The concept of ‘steam’ cleaning, however, is often misunderstood.
The cleaning apparatus uses hot water, heated to a steam point, to activate the cleaning chemical solution.
Advantages of Steam Carpet Cleaning
There are several advantages to steam carpet cleaning.
- Relatively inexpensive total cost of ownership from a consumer perspective.
- Easily accessible, consumer grade, green cleaning chemicals.
- Readily available attachments for upholstery cleaning, and;
- Uses a simple, two-stage application and removal process.
Disadvantages of Steam Carpet Cleaning
Despite its consumer friendly cost and availability, steam carpet cleaning has some distinct disadvantages.
- Heavy water usage.
- Requires multiple passes to absorb leftover water.
- Can leave a soap residue.
- Relatively ineffective at removing pet stains.
- Often requires pre-treaters for heavily trafficked areas.
- Slow dry times, resulting in;
- Delayed re-entry times, and;
- Ground-in stains often return in a few days.
Dry Chemical Carpet Cleaning Services
Dry Chemical or VLM carpet cleaning uses a dry chemical compound, often applied as a vapor, to remove dirt and stains.
The dry mixture is sprayed onto the carpet and allowed to stand for approximately 15 minutes.
The compound acts as an emulsifier, chemically breaking up dirt and bacteria, separating it from the carpet fibers.
A cleaning apparatus, resembling a floor buffer, referred to as a bonnet, using a highly absorbent disk, is then ran over the floor to further agitate the cleaning compound and absorb dirt while removing stains.
After completing the pass with the bonnet, the solution is allowed to sit for another ten to fifteen minutes and is then removed with a hot water dirt extractor.
For More Information:
- Wikipedia – Dry carpet cleaning
Advantages of Dry Chemical Carpet Cleaning
Despite its limited consumer availability, dry chemical carpet cleaning has several advantages.
- Significant reduction in water consumption and use when compared to steam cleaning.
- Very short drying times.
- Very short re-entry times, making it the ideal solution for 24/7 establishments.
- More effective on short fiber carpets than steam cleaning.
- Longer lasting effect than steam cleaning.
Disadvantages of Dry Chemical Carpet Cleaning
VLM cleaning has several disadvantages as well.
- Requires specialized equipment not readily accessible to the consumer market.
- Requires the use of concentrated chemical compounds that could potentially cause reactions within sensitive groups.
- Requires special training for professional application, handling, and use.
- Requires a somewhat complicated, multi-step process to fully remove all dirt and cleaning chemicals.
Both steam and dry chemical carpet cleaning services have their place in homes and businesses.
Depending on your work or home environment, one solution may be significantly more appropriate than the other.
A key factor in determining the best solution for you and your business are the standards and practices of the carpet cleaning company.
If the cleaning company is going to employ VLM/bonnet cleaning, verify they are using green cleaning compounds or provide a list of the chemicals they will be using, as well as possible side-effects.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of professional cleaning services for your business, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790