Dry v Steam Carpet Cleaning – What to do?

Do you steam clean or dry clean? The choice is yours. But how do you choose? You need to know the pros and cons of the different types of cleaning processes.

We are talking about cleaning your carpets, of course. Vacuuming is the basic method of cleaning carpets, but every so often a deeper cleaning is required. If you want to dry clean the carpet, this is what you should consider.


Whatever cleaning method you use, start with a good vacuuming to remove surface dirt. There are generic products in powder form to be sprinkled onto the carpet, then agitate with a brush, and vacuumed up. An expert carpet cleaner will use specialised solvents, mixed with a small amount of water, and apply to the carpet with their professional cleaning machine. The solution will dissolve oily residue, dirt and gunk in the carpet, making it easy for the machine to suck up all the undesirable contaminants.

Dry cleaning leaves your carpet more or less dry, so that it can be walked on before too long. This is important in office areas, or high traffic areas. But for deep down cleaning of more stubborn stains, steam cleaning is a better option.


Steam, of course, must be applied by a “steam cleaner” machine. You can hire a steam cleaner each time you want to perform this particular task. “Steam” also means “Hot”. The hot water jet is sprayed into the carpet. The steam cleaner will suck up the water, along with the dirt and other contaminants that were hiding in the depths of the carpet pile. Think vacuuming with extra hot water. This does give the carpets a more substantial clean, and deals with all the nasty things that you didn’t know were living down there.

However, steam cleaning leaves the carpet wet. Doing it yourself for the first time, you might just be administering more water than necessary, thinking that more is better. But this can be damaging to your carpet. So be careful about that. The steam cleaning process needs more time to dry, so think about administering this cleaning process at a time when the area does not need to be used. In office areas, it could be done at the weekend. At home, it could be done in areas that can be shut off for an appropriate time.

Steam cleaning will probably give the best result, but if it disturbs the members of the household or office too much, it is counter productive. Dry cleaning would be the best answer in this case, but it may need to be done more often.  So there are benefits and negatives for both types of cleaning. Even the type of carpet you have will dictate which cleaning process works best. In this case an expert’s advice would lead you to the right method. You will find many expert carpet cleaners in your area by searching the internet.