What is the best carpet cleaning method?

With multiple carpet cleaning methods to choose from and even more carpet cleaning companies after your business, the decision of who to hire and why can be confusing! Even the carpet cleaning machines themselves vary greatly. So how do you know which carpet cleaner is right for your home, and just what is the best carpet cleaning method? To help you answer these questions AND provide you with some carpet cleaning tips, we’ve outlined below the pros and cons of the most popular carpet cleaning methods. These include steam cleaning, soap/shampoo cleaning, and carpet absorbent cleaning (very low moisture, or “dry” cleaning).

If you didn’t know already, we atCitrusolution Carpet Cleaning of Athens use and advocate for the low-moisture method. It is our goal that by the end of this post you will have an idea of why we believe so strongly in this approach, and recommend it vs. the competition.

We our proud that our to our product and service has made us the#1 carpet cleaning company in Athens GA. So before you call ANYONE to come clean your carpet, please read the below so you’ll be better informed of your choices. If you do, we are confident the decision of who to call will be an easy one!

Steam Cleaning

With the steam cleaning method, saturated carpets typically taking 12-24 hours to dry, so you’ll want to leave windows open and keep your furniture up off the floor. Most steam cleaners use a truck-mounted carpet cleaning machine to perform the cleaning. Typically, a large truck or van is parked outside your home and the technicians run a thick hose through your front door. This hose is used to pump your carpet full of hot water, at which point technicians will attempt to extract the water.

Pumping scalding hot water into your carpets comes with many risks, including the potential of burning your carpets. While burning is a concern, extraction is by far the most important step in this process. Since the hot-water extraction method uses much more water than other methods like bonnet or shampoo cleaning, proper extraction and air flow are critical to avoid drying issues.

Older surfaces, such as double jute-backed carpets and loose rugs with natural foundation yarns, can shrink and occasionally tear after a wet treatment. Wet-cleaning methods also lead to customer fears and concerns about very slow drying, the risk of discoloration returning during drying, and odors, bacteria, fungi, molds, and mildews.

Soap or Shampoo Cleaning

A soap-based cleaner is just that – soap. Just as you use shampoo to wash your hair, carpet cleaners who use this method infuse your carpets with a chemical foam to literally wash your carpets. Sounds good in theory; however, the major disadvantage to this method is the difficulty to remove all of the soap after it is pumped into your carpets. This can results in the process leaving behind a sticky, chemical residue that actually works to attract dirt right back to your carpets. Shampoos also include high levels of optical brighteners, which take invisible ultraviolet light and convert it to visible light making the carpets look brighter than they really are. Once these brighteners wear off, they leave you with a yellow cast on your carpets that cannot be removed. Make sure you are not being scammed into the illusion of clean carpets by ensuring your technicians aren’t using these enhancing chemicals. Another tip is to consider using instead an entirely different method, known as Carpet Absorbent Cleaners (see below).

Carpet Absorbent Cleaners (Powder):

This method is often called “dry cleaning” or “Very Low Moisture (VLM)” since virtually no water is used.

In this method, dry absorbent compound (containing small amounts of water, detergent, and solvent) is sprinkled over carpet or worked into the carpet with a machine. This purpose of this cleaner is to attract and absorb dirt. A brush is then used to work the cleaner through the carpet.The low-moisture liquids work to dissolve the soil and other dirt. This soil/detergent/solvent mixture is then absorbed into the carrier and is then vacuumed up.

The absorbent carpet cleaner is typically organic, but may also be polymers. The compound is used to absorb the soil and is then vacuumed away. We recommend that the carpet must also be thoroughly vacuumed before and after cleaning. With the extremely fine powder types, indoor air quality can be compromised. Many times, white powder can be left behind if not thoroughly cleaned up. Another common problem is for this white powder to reappear after wet extraction cleaning, another reason to try and avoid soaking your carpets.


We use aproprietarynatural, citrus-based solution comprised of oranges, lemons and grapefruits. The solution is not only chemical-free but is low-moisture, leaving your carpets dry in about 1 hour. Our exclusive brush and rotary cleaning method activates our solution and neutralizes dirt in your carpets while the brush wicks up dirt, dander, pet hair and other particles deep down up to the surface. For our final step, we vacuum the carpets with a HEPA certified, or hospital grade, vacuum cleaner with 3 filters so no particles are released back into the air. No truck-mounted hoses, scalding hot water, soap or powder needed. It cleans better, dries faster, smells great and is safe for your pets and children!

At Citrusolution we only give exactimates! We charge a flat fee, by the room, so you never have to worry about additional stain fees, fuel charges or upsells! Call Ryan at 706.207.5433 to learn more about the advantages of using Citrusolution as opposed to the other guys! Learned more about our pricing and ready for a free exactimate? Use our handy form on the side of this page and we’ll reply with a quote ASAP!