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Carpet cleaning – steam or wet?

Probably the most asked questions regarding steam cleaning carpets are whether to use wet or dry steam cleaning. There is no simple answer to this question but let’s find out the difference between these two.

Dry steam cleaning is a great addition to domestic or commercial cleaning. There has been some confusion about whether dry steam cleaners can clean carpets. According to customer research, many feel misled by these claims.

All dry steam cleaners are virtually working on the same principle and at similar temperatures.

The difference between dry and wet steam cleaners:

  • steam pressure (the capacity of water they hold),
  • the power and quality of the heating element
  • the control of the output
  • the range and quality of the accessories.

When choosing a steam cleaner you need to consider also the reputation of the supplier, how easy you can obtain spares, consumables and how good the product support is.

It’s also good to know how steam cleaners work to really see the difference between cleaning hard surfaces (tiles, vinyl floors, kitchen, bathroom) and carpet fibres.

On hard surfaces the dirt doesn’t penetrate the surface. The steam loosens the dirt and then it’s easy to remove with a cloth.

Carpets are different because the dirt penetrates deep down between the fibres. The steam may loosen the dirt on the surface but the steam cleaner is not build to extract the penetrated dirt

Purpose built carpet cleaning machines use large volumes of water to flush the penetrated dirt out of the carpet fibres which is extracted using a powerful vacuum system. Because the steam cleaner removes the dirt from the surface only the carpets will look clean, for a while. But the penetrated dirt that is still left in the carpet is brought back up the fibres as the carpet is used and the carpet will be dirty again.

People who say “The carpets seem to get dirtier quicker after I had my carpet cleaned” – that’s probably because the carpet was cleaned by a steam cleaner not carpet cleaner that uses water.

However, it’s not all bad for steam cleaning and carpets because steam cleaning your carpets kills dust mites and can reduce household allergens due to the extreme heat. Steam cleaning is also great for small carpet stains and spills, killing bacteria and fighting bad odours. You can also remove creases from curtains and clothing using a steam cleaner. But steam cleaner is not a good investment if you want your carpets deep cleaned.

 

Quick Tips:

  • Steam cleaners are to be used on hard surfaces
  • Steam cleaners are great for killing dust mites, getting rid of bad odours and killing bacteria
  • Steam cleaners do not deep clean carpets, they can clean dirt from the suface but the carpet will get dirty again quickly
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