Considering a professional carpet cleaning? Chances are, you should. According to The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, most households should have their carpets cleaned at least once per year. Households that include pets or smokers should have their carpets professionally cleaned at least twice per year.

When the time comes to select a professional carpet cleaner, you will likely want to know more about the cleaning methods they use, including the safety, effectiveness and environmental impact of each. A quick search of the Internet will probably yield a multitude of local carpet cleaners, each offering their own spin on one of three basic carpet cleaning methods – shampooing, “dry cleaning” (using a dry cleaning solution or powder), and hot water extraction.

Here at Pristine Carpet Cleaning we use the hot water extraction system using a high powered truckmount.

Sometimes incorrectly referred to as “steam cleaning” (no steam is actually used), hot water extraction involves the use of a stream of highly heated water to force dirt and soil out of the carpet while a vacuum whisks it away. First, excess soil is removed with a dry vacuum. Next, a pressurized, heated, water-based cleaning solution is injected into the carpet. As the injected solution pushes dirt to the surface of the carpet, it is removed by a wet vacuum.

So is hot water extraction the best choice for your carpet? Here’s what you need to know about this popular carpet cleaning method.

Recommended by Manufacturers

Most major carpet manufacturers recommend hot water extraction as the most effective way to clean their carpets. And for some types of carpet, hot water extraction is the only safe method. Unless you’re sure that your carpet will not be damaged by alternate methods, opt for hot water extraction – better safe than sorry!

Deeper Clean

Hot water extraction offers a much deeper clean than its alternatives, namely shampooing and dry cleaning, which only provide a surface clean. Hot water extraction is also much more effective at removing stains and odors than surface cleaners.

Less Residue

Other carpet cleaning methods—those that involve the use of shampoo, a dry cleaning solution or powder—can leave behind large amounts of residue. When performed properly, hot water extraction leaves your carpets virtually residue-free.