Dry Cleaning versus Steam Cleaning: Which is Best for You?
The world of carpet cleaning is a complex yet important one. Carpets are staples in every home or commercial venue. This feature offers both functional and aesthetic values. Keeping the quality and condition of your carpet is of utmost importance. The good news is that you can now find numerous carpet cleaning specialists with varied cleaning methods. Dry cleaning and steam cleaning are 2 types of carpet cleaning solutions available. There are distinct features for these respective cleaning methods that are utilized for different types of carpet. Which one works best for your rug?
Basic Difference: Dry Cleaning vs. Steam Cleaning
Professional carpet cleaning is more than just normal vacuuming in order to clean your carpet. Carpet cleaning methods, particularly dry cleaning and steam cleaning, are the most common processes used for remarkable output. There are, however, obvious differences with these two methods, making one entirely distinct from the other.
Difference in Machines Used
The carpet cleaning process which utilizes different methods basically needs different machines to begin with. In the case of dry cleaning, the machine required functions to rub the cleaning chemicals into the rug or carpet. The machine also vacuums out the chemical product from the carpet as well as the dirt, once the cleaning process is complete. Steam cleaning machines on the other hand are hot and highly pressurized. Thus, the machine is distinctly more powerful compared to that used in dry cleaning.
Difference in Cleaning Chemicals
The process of dry and steam cleaning requires different cleaning chemicals with distinct dosage of powerful substance or content. For instance, steam cleaning utilizes hot water at a much higher pressure level. The cleaning solution or chemical does not need to be concentrated since the hot water and high pressure used are enough to get rid of the carpet impurities. Dry cleaning is the total opposite when it comes to chemicals used. For instance, a strong and concentrated chemical content is necessary in order to interact with the stains or dirt in the rug. Stronger solutions are important in order to break down the carpet impurities. Most carpet cleaners that use dry cleaning methods require carpet owners to leave the house. This is a preventive measure so that you do not risk inhaling the powerful and hazardous chemical fumes.
Difference in Use of Water
One of the distinctions between dry and steam cleaning is the use of water and level of wetness after the cleaning process. In the case of steam cleaning, there is substantial amount of hot water used for the cleaning, combined with cleaning solution. Hot water and cleaning chemicals are used with high pressure and blended deep into the rug or carpet. After the hot water and cleaning solution is pushed into the carpet, it is eventually suctioned out. For dry cleaning, there is very minimal use of water with appropriate chemical compounds and solvent.
Difference in Timeframe
Due to the huge difference in the wetness of the carpet, there is also a distinction in the timeframe, particularly when you can use your rug again after the cleaning. For instance, carpets that have undergone steam cleaning are significantly wetter than those that are dry-cleaned. Your carpet is quite damp after steam cleaning and it would be more preferable if you refrain from using or stepping on the carpet for at least 24 hours or longer. Dry cleaned carpets are essentially ready to use after a few hours of getting cleaned. You will not worry about marks or soaking your feet wet when you step on your rug.
In order to further understand the different carpet cleaning processes, it is important to delve deeper into the processes used.
Overview of Carpet Dry Cleaning
The dry cleaning process for rugs and carpets follow 3 steps. First, the carpet fabric is washed with the use of solvent. Second, the carpet is undergoes a spinning process for the extraction of excess solvent. Third, the carpet is finally dried through tumbling in hot air steam.
General Cleaning Solutions
There are 2 general cleaning fluids commonly used in the dry cleaning industry namely synthetic and petroleum solvents. Synthetic solvents are expensive yet nonflammable halogenated hydrocarbons. Petroleum solvents on the other hand are cheaper yet combustible mixtures of hydrocarbons, quite similar to kerosene. These cleaning solutions are basically powerful fluids that could be hazardous when inhaled.
Basic Dry Cleaning Machines
The 2 main types of dry cleaning machines are the dry-to-dry and transfer. For instance, transfer machines accomplish the cleaning process through separate units intended for the washing and drying. The washer primarily extracts the excess solvent from the carpet and eventually transferred to the dryer unit. Dry-to-dry machines on the other hand are single units where the washing, extraction, and drying operations all take place. Transfer machines are the sole equipment used for petroleum solvent. Synthetic solvents work for either transfer or dry-to-dry machines.
Top Benefits of Dry Cleaning your Carpet
Dry carpet cleaning is a particular type of cleaning method that requires minimal to almost zero moisture application. The cleaning treatment mainly uses encapsulated or compound cleaning technology, especially in the case of advanced carpet cleaners. Dry carpet cleaning is highly preferred among offices, F&B’s, hotels, and other commercial establishments.
Here are some of the proven advantages of dry cleaning your rug or carpet:
- Shorter Dry Times. Dry cleaning needs low moisture for the cleaning treatment. This means there is also shorter dry times. Carpet owners and occupants can immediately get back to business after a few hours. The carpet is less damp thus it can be walked or stepped on almost immediately after the dry cleaning process is completed. Businesses or offices need not be disrupted or shut down for a long period of time due to carpet cleaning. It is a good cleaning treatment choice for establishments or houses with steady and heavy flow of human traffic.
- Fast yet Deep Cleaning. Contrary to misconceptions, dry carpet cleaning offers deep cleaning as well. The speed of cleaning is a given upside, and so is comprehensive and deep extraction of embedded dirt and stain. Take note that dry cleaning is not equivalent to surface cleaning. Spots do not reappear and deep-seated dust, odor, and stain are extensively eliminated. The counter rotating brushes and powerful cleaning solutions work together to clean impurities within the carpet pile.
- Reduced Risk due to Wet Carpet Cleaning. Carpet cleaning treatments that result to damp or wet carpets after the cleaning process have certain risks. Wet carpet cleaning results to unpleasant smell especially when the rug or carpet did not sufficiently dry. damp carpets stimulate mould and mildew infestation. Carpet shrinkage and saturation of chemical residue are also known risks which could damage the carpet and affect its lifespan and quality.
- Longer Quality and Life. The dry cleaning process does not affect or damage the looks and conditions of your carpet pile. In fact, the treatment mainly rehabilitates the rug, especially when it is loaded with soil residues, dirt, and stain. The undamaging yet comprehensive cleaning treatment of dry carpet cleaning makes your rug stay cleaner for a longer period of time.
Dry carpet cleaning has proven performance with extremely minimal risks. Major carpet manufacturers also highly recommend the use of dry cleaning treatment for extensive cleaning and longer maintenance period.
Overview of Carpet Steam Cleaning
Steam carpet cleaning uses equipment that basically shoots a combination of hot water and chemical solutions into the carpet pile or fiber. The process is intended to remove all dirt and debris buildup. The process includes heating the water to high temperatures and eventually applying that ho water to the rug or carpet for penetration. According to experts, the high temperature of the water when applied to the carpet prevents it from being soaked.
Upsides of Steam Carpet Cleaning
Steam cleaning is a carpet cleaning treatment that gains popularity due to its effect at getting rid of dirt, bacteria, and allergen from the carpet with minimal cleaning agents or chemicals. Here are more benefits when you use steam cleaning for your rug cleanup and maintenance:
- Human and Pet Friendly. Unlike dry cleaning that requires concentrated and powerful cleaning fluids, deep steam cleaning needs minimal amount of cleaning solutions. Thus, occupants are not at risk of inhaling hazardous chemicals which could have adverse health effects. It is the ideal carpet cleaning treatment to avoid respiratory problems and other related allergies or even life-threatening health problems.
- Hot Water Deep Cleaning. The application of hot water basically kills the bacteria and every impurity present in the rug or carpet. Pressurized hot water and cleaning solution application likewise destroy fungus, mold, mildew, dust mite, and other allergen. You are guaranteed 100% deep and comprehensive cleaning of your carpet with remarkable results.
- Easy Moisture Management. Although steam carpet cleaning may result to a damp carpet after the process is complete, managing the carpet moisture is easy. For instance, the excess water could be eliminated with the use of a suction component. Steam carpet cleaners use special equipment in order to dissipate the excess water as well as the dislodged dirt.
- Improve the Carpet’s Appearance. Aesthetics is one of the top benefits of using steam carpet cleaning. The treatment not only makes an in-depth cleansing and removal of harmful allergens accumulated in the rug pile or fiber. It also enhances the overall appearance of the carpet and lengthens its lifespan.
- Minimal Discoloration. Most carpets result to the yellowing of the carpet and any other discoloration as a result of using brighteners. In the case of steaming carpet cleaning, hot water and steam are mainly employed with extremely little chemical solutions. The steaming technique dries rather quickly with hot water application and steaming treatment compared to water-based carpet shampooing. Re-soiling the carpet is reduced as the steamed materials are initially dried before use.
Before Hiring a Dry or Steam Carpet Cleaner
Day to day carpet cleaning may include vacuuming as a regular maintenance. However, steam cleaning or dry cleaning your carpet keeps its pristine condition and peak performance. Thus, you need professional carpet cleaners in order to have the best results possible. Why hire carpet cleaners rather than doing the task on your own? Carpet cleaning companies are fully equipped with the latest technology and have teams of trained carpet cleaning crew. You need not lift a finger to have your carpet cleaned, whether for residential or commercial applications.
What to consider when looking for carpet cleaning specialists?
- Research Carpet Cleaning Prospects
Research and investigate all the prospective service providers in the carpet cleaning niche. You can check online reviews or ask for referrals from family and friends before hiring a carpet cleaner. You can make a shortlist of these companies and request for references so that you can get feedback from previous customers. You will see how customers are satisfied or not with the work and service of the carpet cleaners.
- Look for Seal of Approval
It is always safe and efficient to hire SOA-certified carpet cleaning companies. These carpet cleaners usually have industry-approved equipment, products, and carpet cleaning processes. Reputable and licensed companies that are members of certified carpet cleaning organizations also maintain their standard of quality and warranty. You can also look for certificate of license and proof of insurance of the carpet cleaning service provider.
- Consider the Cleaning Process
Different carpet cleaners specialize in specific cleaning treatments such as dry cleaning or steam cleaning. Some use wet methods while others are experts in dry cleaning where you can use the cleaned carpet in just a matter of hours. Different cleaning processes may also differ in the comprehensiveness of their method. For instance, some may vacuum the carpet before proceeding to deep cleaning.
- Choose the Most Competitive Pricing
Pricing is one of the most important components of a carpet cleaning service. make sure you ask your prospect regarding their pricing structure and rate. How much will the carpet cleaning project cost? You can initially get a quote and if you are amenable to their first estimate, schedule an onsite visit. It is imperative to measure your carpeted area so that you can provide that information when you get on the phone with the carpet cleaning customer support. It is important to remember that cleaning prices should not be quoted by the room because room sizes basically vary. Avoid the lowest price which could be shady and questionable. Low price should always come with quality service and result. Your decision must be based on trusted recommendation and quality. Price is a secondary criterion in hiring a carpet cleaner.
- Ask about the Length of Business
One of the most important questions you need to ask about the company is the length of years they have been in the business. the answer to your question can reflect a lot about the reputation and experience of the carpet cleaning company. The longer they have been in the trade of cleaning carpets, the more experience and expertise they have. You can also check customer reviews regarding the prospective carpet cleaner to put in more weight in your decision. Although there are new promising companies, it’s much safer to choose an established service provider.
- Look into the Employees
The team of carpet cleaners also reflects the overall quality of the company. Consider their employees and make sure they are trained and certified. The company should hire workers that have clean records and profile backgrounds. Take note that you are basically letting strangers into the house or commercial establishment. Reputable companies conduct background checks on their employees. They also take responsibility for their carpet cleaners. The company must also have insurance coverage in case there are carpets and belongings that get damaged during the cleaning process.
Where to Find Carpet Cleaning Companies
Carpet cleaners that specialize in dry cleaning or steam cleaning are overflowing. Thus, it is not hard to find the company to include in your shortlist. You can start online with your search. The Internet is a vast and free resource for those searching for top notch carpet cleaners. Use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many others. Search the services you are looking for in major search engines such as Google. You can find carpet cleaning websites that offer the dry cleaning or steam cleaning services you need.
Word of mouth is also a reliable and effective marketing tool. You can find quality carpet cleaners based on the recommendation and referral of others. There are online forums or group discussions where you can find reviews and ratings of the carpet cleaning company. Make sure you also read unbiased customer testimonials and use them as basis for your decision.
What is the ideal carpet cleaning service for you? Do you think dry cleaning is the best process or steam carpet cleaning will do? Both cleaning treatments have their own strengths and weaknesses. Consult with a carpet cleaning specialist today to know more about available options.