The starting point should always be understanding the different methods that you can use to clean your carpet before scheduling a service appointment. That helps you to understand the kind of service you’re getting and its effectiveness in cleaning your carpet. The different carpet cleaning methods homeowners can choose from include bonnet cleaning, dry cleaning, shampooing, and foam cleaning.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning involves the use of a special cleaning powder which attracts dirt when applied to a carpet. Unlike shampooing, dry cleaning doesn’t wait for the carpet to dry. The carpet is vacuumed as soon as the cleaning powder has been applied and has worked into the carpet.


Shampooing is considered to be the least effective when it comes to cleaning a carpet. It usually involves applying special detergents to a carpet before it is “scrubbed” and vacuumed. That explains why it’s not as effective as the other methods of carpet cleaning.

Despite the fact that the special detergents used tend to have deodorizers and brighteners which leave a good smell in your house and the carpet will also be looking brighter dirt still remains trapped in your carpet. The carpet cleaning method can be compared to when a person shampoos her hair without using water and hopes that the dirt and the dried shampoo will all be taken away by a breeze. It doesn’t work that ways. Don’t be surprised when you see the dirt and stains reappearing after some time.

Bonnet Cleaning

Bonnet cleaning is not recommended for cleaning home carpets since it may damage the carpet. It’s mostly used in cleaning industrial or commercial grade carpeting. A chemical detergent is usually applied on the carpeting before an absorbent pad on a rotary shampoo machine is used to remove the dirt.

Hot Water Extraction/ Steam Cleaning

Although there are portable machines that one can use for hot water extraction, the industry, truck-mounted systems are considered to be more effective. This method of carpet cleaning involves injecting a solution of cleaning detergent and very hot water into a carpet using a powerful machine before the mixture is extracted. This method leaves your carpet smelling good and looking like it’s new.

Hot water extraction is more effective when it comes to removing as much stains, dirt, bacteria, and soil as possible. Before hiring a company, make sure their equipment are current and they have well-trained carpet cleaning technicians. You don’t want to work with someone who will over-saturate your carpet thereby leading to mold growth as a result of the remaining moisture.

It’s always a good idea to understand the cleaning method being used and its effectiveness on cleaning your soiled carpet. Although hot water extraction or steam cleaning might cost you a few more dollars, you can be sure the quality of the cleaning will be much higher.