Top 5 Most Effective Carpet Cleaning Methods – Steam Vs. Dry Vs. Foam

By April 1, 2024Cleaning
5 Most Effective Carpet Cleaning Methods

Keeping your carpet clean helps keep your business looking great—and it removes allergens that could make your staff and visitors sick. From getting rid of dust mites to removing trapped dirt, the best carpet cleaning methods can make your business a more pleasant place to work and visit.

There’s more than one way to clean a carpet, and in this article, we’ll go over the 5 most effective carpet cleaning methods:

  • Steam Cleaning
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Bonnet Cleaning
  • Foam Cleaning
  • Shampoo Cleaning

We’re going to give you a detailed look at each of these cleaning methods and their pros and cons so that you know which carpet cleaning method is right for your business. Let’s get started! 

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is the most well-known of all the carpet cleaning methods—but most people don’t know exactly how it works. Surprisingly, it’s not as simple as blasting steam onto your carpet—the technical term for the method is hot water extraction cleaning.

Here’s how it works: Your carpet is pre-sprayed with an environmentally friendly cleaning solution. From there, a cleaning machine is used to blast high-temperature water into your carpet. At the same time, high-pressure extraction is used to remove that water. This allows the carpet cleaning company to rapidly remove dirt particles and other stains, all while quickly removing excess moisture.

Hot water extraction cleaning is one of the most effective carpet cleaning methods, and it’s often the best choice for cleaning a heavily soiled carpet. The carpet will, however, stay moist for some time, so it’s important to limit foot traffic after treatment, which may not be ideal for some businesses. 

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning involves applying a cleaning solution to the carpet, which breaks down dirt and other particles; the cleaning solution is scrubbed into the carpet’s fibres using powerful rotating brushes. After allowing some time for the cleaning solution to work its way into any stains or dirt, the carpet is then vacuumed, and the cleaning solution and contaminants are removed.

This is a very effective carpet cleaning method for carpets that may be sensitive to moisture—it’s also a great fit if you have little downtime. Dry cleaning is not, however, as effective at cleaning carpets as steam cleaning, and the compound used may build up over time, triggering allergies. As such, it’s best to use this method once in a while but to use steam cleaning on occasion to remove the compound.

Bonnet Cleaning

In bonnet cleaning, a rotary machine with a cleaning pad called a bonnet is used to clean the carpet. A cleaning agent is applied to the bonnet, and the rotary machine rubs the bonnet against the carpet, removing dirt and grime.

This technique is what we would call a “light cleaning”—it’s quick and efficient, but it won’t fully clean more deeply soiled carpets. The bonnet needs to be changed regularly to avoid re-soiling the carpet, and in most cases, it will be wet but not soaked. Use this technique for regular light cleaning, but be sure to deep clean using steam cleaning or other techniques to draw dirt from deep within carpet fibres. 

 Foam Cleaning

Foam cleaning—also known as encapsulant cleaning—is similar to dry cleaning; there’s no water used. The cleaning chemicals used are different, however, and foam cleaning uses a dry foam that encapsulates dirt. The floor is pre-vacuumed, the foam is applied, and the carpet is brushed by a machine to open the carpet fibres.

Once this process is complete, the floor is vacuumed several times to remove all of the foam and dirt. This is a low-moisture method that’s appropriate for businesses that can’t wait for their carpets to dry—but you’ll want to do a deeper clean every few sessions to tackle deep stains. 

Shampoo Cleaning

Shampoo cleaning has fallen out of favour, but it’s still used in some settings. Cleaning shampoo is scrubbed into the carpet, and then a wet vacuum is used to remove the foam. The wet vacuuming process must be quite thorough, or shampoo residue will be left behind.


When you work with Anago, you won’t have to worry about choosing a carpet cleaning method—we’ll select the best method based on your needs and your carpet. That’s the advantage of hiring a professional carpet cleaning company like ours—we have the tools and skills to use any and all carpet cleaning methods, giving us the opportunity to choose the best one for you!