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Which is the best professional carpet cleaning method?

You may be aware that there are several methods of carpet cleaning that professionals use for homes and businesses.

But is there a "best" method?

When you hire a professional cleaner for your home, it's important to know which method the cleaner uses. Some methods only clean the surface, and may leave residues which can cause rapid re-soiling. For your home, this would defeat the purpose of having your carpets cleaned.

If you want to have the deepest and most thorough carpet cleaning possible — one that prevents sticky residues and rapid re-soiling, and you want to keep your carpet manufacturer’s warranty coverage intact — then there is a clear winner:

"Hot Water Extraction" (HWE).

This method is the preferred choice of most of the major carpet manufacturers.

But first, we'd like to briefly explain the other methods you may have heard about. Then we will explain why One Of A Kind Pros™ Carpet Cleaning has chosen Hot Water Extraction for our professional services.

There are five major methods used today by carpet cleaners with varying levels of effectiveness:

  • Shampooing
  • Encapsulation
  • Bonnet Dry Cleaning
  • Dry Powder Cleaning
  • Hot Water Extraction


The shampoo methods of cleaning were the most popular until the encapsulation method (explained next) was introduced in the 1970s. This method uses a sudsy detergent mixed with water, then scrubbed into carpet fibers, and then a wet-vacuum is used to remove the suds and dirt from the carpet.

The problem with method is that it leaves behind high amounts of residue, and the residue becomes sticky — which ends up attracting more dust and dirt, so your carpets get dirty faster.

This is the high-residue method that many commercials warn you about.


This method uses the application of a foam detergent with polymers that dries and “encapsulates” loosened dirt particles that are worked into the carpet using rotary brushes before it is then vacuumed up.

This method is a step up from shampooing, because it uses less water during the cleaning process which results in shorter drying times and less harmful shampoo residues. But this method is also limited — it’s not capable of thoroughly deep cleaning carpet.


Some franchises love to promote this method for everybody — a dry-cleaning / low-moisture job is quick to perform, the cleaners need very little training, and the equipment is inexpensive.

They spread a dry chemical compound evenly over the carpet, and then use a machine to work it into the fibers. The chemical uses carbonation to bring dirt and grime to the surface. After the solvent sets in, they vacuum up the solvent and the dirt.

Unfortunately, this method is only suitable for removing surface dirt, and it's not capable of deep cleaning a carpet. This method can also leave behind a powdery residue which can cause dust and dirt buildup over time.

The main benefit is that it dries quickly - less than an hour - which makes it suitable for facilities that can't afford down-time, like commercial facilities that operate 24 hours a day, or restaurants.


This method was designed for quick, superficial (surface level only) fast-drying commercial applications. It’s a maintenance method for high-traffic commercial spaces to be performed every few weeks.

This method will only produce good results on the top surface of a carpet by using a machine with a spinning pad that has been soaked in cleaning solutions to absorb dirt from the surface fibers of the carpet. Because bonneting does not deep-clean carpet, dirt and other contaminants will still accumulate under the surface.

Professional cleaners that use this method for quick maintenance jobs must still follow up every couple of months with a hot water extraction method to remove the residues left behind by bonnet cleaning methods.

Needless to say, this is not meant for regular residential carpet cleaning.


Out of all the carpet cleaning methods available, research indicates that truck-mounted Hot Water Extraction — when performed by a a skilled and experienced technician — is the safest, and most thorough cleaning method available. This system is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning” — however, no steam is actually generated.

At One Of A Kind Pros™ Carpet Cleaning we clean carpet exclusively using the Hot Water Extraction (HWE) method, using powerful state-of-the-art truck-mounted equipment that uses high pressure, hot water, and safe & effective cleaning agents. The water, cleaning agents, dirt and other contaminants are immediately and thoroughly "extracted” from the carpet with powerful suction, leaving your carpets deeply cleaned, soft, fresh, and free from soil-attracting residues.

The Hot Water Extraction method takes highly-trained and skilled professionals. It takes more time to clean the carpets, the powerful equipment is more expensive, and it costs more to perform the best possible job. Our cleaning equipment extracts virtually all water used in the cleaning process, however it may take several hours to become completely dry. Hot water extraction can be more expensive compared to the above methods, but our clients have a more healthy, deep-clean result that will far outlast the other methods.

Correctly performed, Hot Water Extraction is absolutely safe for your carpet. In fact, it's the method recommended by the top carpet manufacturers including Shaw, Mohawk, Dupont, and others. Shaw Industries is one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers with over $4 billion in carpet sales annually — and Shaw actually requires proof of periodic Hot Water Extraction method cleaning, specifically, to maintain the warranty on new carpets.


At One Of A Kind Pros™ Carpet Cleaning, we're dedicated to helping you keep your carpets and upholstery in the optimal condition. We carefully invest in the most powerful equipment — and the safest, most effective solutions — to provide our clients with the best possible results available — soft, thoroughly clean, beautiful carpets with virtually no soil-attracting residues left behind.

If you have any questions about this article, or anything related to cleaning carpet, upholstery, tile and grout, and maintaining a healthy home, please feel free to give us a call, and let's talk!

To your healthy home,

~ Your Friends at One Of A Kind Pros™ Carpet Cleaning

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