Which Is Best for Deep Carpet Cleaning: Steam Cleaning, Shampooing, or HCE?

February 14, 2024

family sitting on carpet after deep carpet cleaningEven the whitest or most vibrant carpets will begin to dull with time. Everything from foot traffic to accidental stains and mysterious spots can make your carpets look a little worse for wear. To help protect the lifespan of this important investment in your home and make your living environment look brighter and cleaner, deep cleaning your carpets is a must. 

Understanding Options for Deep Carpet Cleaning

Effective cleaning goes well beyond vacuuming and the occasional spot treatment. Deep carpet cleaning removes the deep-set dust and dirt that has accumulated at the base of carpet fibers over time. In addition to removing dirt build-up, deep cleaning should also be able to reduce or completely remove the appearance of stubborn stains.

There’s more than one way to go about deep cleaning your carpets. In fact, a quick search online will show that there are numerous methods for freeing your carpets of deep-set soil and getting rid of stains. However, these methods are not equally effective, nor are they all safe for your carpet.

Here’s a closer look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of three of the most popular deep cleaning techniques. 

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning makes use of high-pressure water vapor heated to high temperatures. Sending steam into the carpet helps dislodge the soil and oils clinging to carpet fibers that result in a dingy appearance. A hose is then used to suck up the soil-containing water vapor and any loose particles.

While steam cleaning is a common choice for many homeowners, it often does not produce the desired results. That’s because steam alone can fail to effectively clean carpets deep down, providing only surface-level results. 

Without additional agitation, many layers of dust and dirt can remain in the carpets, preventing them from looking like new despite significant cleaning efforts. Furthermore, the excessive temperatures used in the steam cleaning process, which often range between 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, can weaken carpet fibers.

Carpet Shampooing

In contrast to steam cleaning, carpet shampooing relies on a detergent-based cleaning solution and agitating machinery to loosen and remove dirt from carpets. After creating a lather within the carpet, carpet shampooers must fully rinse the solution and any remaining soil from the carpet. 

Many assume that carpet shampooing is more effective than other options because of the detergent. After all, you use soap, detergent, or shampoo to wash just about everything else in your home, including your clothes, dishes, and hair. However, this technique is much less effective when it comes to your carpets. 

Shampooing uses large volumes of water to rinse the shampoo away. That means this type of deep cleaning will leave your carpet soaking wet and can create the ideal environment for the growth of mold or mildew. Additionally, when an inadequate amount of water is used during the rinsing process, a sticky residue is left behind. This residue will quickly attract dirt and can create a crunchy feel on your carpets. 

Hot Carbonating Extraction

At Chem-Dry, we knew that there must be a better way to go about deep carpet cleaning without the compromises required by carpet shampooing and steam cleaning. As a result, we developed our proprietary Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) process.

The HCE process does not rely on steam or a detergent-based cleaner to separate dirt and grime from carpet fibers. Instead, we use a soap-free carbonated cleaning solution called The Natural®. The microscopic bubbles within this solution reach all the way to the carpet backing, where they can easily dislodge dirt, soil, and oils and propel these contaminants to the surface to be whisked away.

Our deep carpet cleaning process only uses a fraction of the water required by steam cleaning and carpet shampooing, meaning carpets dry faster. Plus, since there’s no lather-inducing detergent involved, homeowners don’t have to worry about a soapy, sticky residue being left behind in their carpets. All in all, HCE represents one of the easiest, and most effective ways to deep clean your carpets.

Get started with effective deep carpet cleaning today! Reach out to us at (800) CHEM-DRY for more information.