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Dry Carpet Cleaning vs Steam Carpet Cleaning

The Debate Ends Here!

Dry Carpet Cleaning VS Steam Cleaning

Which carpet cleaning method is better? Dry carpet cleaning or steam carpet cleaning?

The debate ends here! Although we are a dry carpet cleaning service company, this will be an unbiased article on the question.

The purpose of this article is to help you make the best logical decision on which carpet cleaning method to choose for your home’s carpet. As carpet cleaning experts, our service begins here.

We’ve collected information from dozens of websites and studies on the dry carpet cleaning versus steam cleaning debate and summarized them in this article.

If you’d like our obvious biased opinion, you can read it here. This article is strictly objective and informative.

Let’s begin!

Which Carpet Cleaning Method Is Better?

Advantages Of Dry Carpet Cleaning

Deep Cleaning – Dry carpet cleaning (very low moisture carpet cleaning) offers deep cleansing power. 

This method utilizes compound cleaning agents to pre-treat fibers, break down dirt, oil, sediments, and other contaminants before the actual machine cleaning.

A brushing machine or buffer brushes and distributes the cleaning agent into the carpet. It is then removed with a vacuum along with the dirt and contaminants that loosen when the cleanser is applied. 

Protects – Some carpet dry cleaning cleansers contain carpet protection elements that protect and prevent your carpet fibers from stains.

This method is used commonly for spot treatments and high traffic areas such as hallways or entryways. 

Affordable – It is also less expensive than steam cleaning. And because it uses less moisture, that means little to no drying time. So, when time is money, dry carpet cleaning is your sensible choice as it only takes about 30 minutes to an hour of downtime.

No Equipment Rentals Needed – There are store-bought dry carpet cleaning powders, dry compounds, and dry foams that simulate the dry cleaning process. So, if renting heavy machinery is not for you, you can purchase these products. Just spread it on your carpet and vacuum it up. It’ll absorb odors and cleanse your carpet fibers. 

Now, the advantages listed above common and referenced by multiple sources such as HGTV.com, Angie’s List, and ohsospotless.com.

But, there is one advantage that no one is talking about – dry carpet cleaning does not risk mold, germs, bacteria, virus growth, and spread. Hence it…

Keeps Your Carpet Sanitary – Mold, germs, bacteria, and viruses, thrive and fester in damp, dark areas. Since steam carpet cleaning leaves your carpet wet to dry, it’s the perfect environment for these nasty things to live, grow, and spread. 

According to FEMA, “Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They reproduce by spores – tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air. Molds digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage, molds can cause in your home; they can also cause mild to severe health problems….” (¹)

Since dry carpet cleaning uses little to no moisture, no drying time is needed. It eliminates the risk of mold, germs, and bacteria developing, keeping your carpet safe and sanitary.

Dry Carpet Cleaning Advantages Summary

Advantages Of Carpet Steam Cleaning

Carpet steam cleaning is great for families who struggle with allergies or sensitive to scents. Steam carpet cleaning is suitable for deep cleaning or spot cleaning.

The water vapor produced usually contains no smell. Unlike dry cleaners, steam cleaning won’t leave residue on your carpet fibers.

Steam carpet cleaning is effective at lifting build-up from your carpet fibers, including mold and pet odors.

Now, some state that carpet steam cleaning kills bacteria and germs. Yes, it does – BUT only upon the initial cleaning. We’ll explain this in the “Disadvantages Of Carpet Steam Cleaning” below.

Steam Carpet Cleaning Advantages Summary

Disadvantages Of Dry Carpet Cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning systems do work well. But, if you need a deep rejuvenation of your carpet, it’s usually not powerful as powerful compared to steam carpet cleaning.

Some dry carpet cleaning cleaners contains chemicals that may leave residues on your carpet fibers. It may leave an undesirable texture. It can also trigger allergies for some people.

Residue build-up could also cause the carpet to age over time as it’s more likely to collect dust if it’s not vacuumed and maintained regularly.

Dry Carpet Cleaning Disadvantages Summary

Disadvantages Of Steam Carpet Cleaning

Other than the need for powerful machinery to steam clean your carpets effectively, there are a few other disadvantages to this carpet cleaning method.

If you steam clean your carpet, you’ll inevitably have to wait for your carpets to dry. It may take up to 24-48+ hours to dry, depending on the climate the carpet is in. If you’re steam cleaning your business’s carpet, you may have downtime, and that’s never good.

Re-emerges of stains and dirt can occur with steam cleaning as it’s not always totally effective at removing deep, tough spots.

You should not do steam cleaning too often. It can wear down your carpet and deteriorate its underlying padding.

As mentioned above, steam cleaning your carpets does initially kill bacteria and germs. BUT, because steam cleaning requires a drying period, bacteria, germs, mold, etc., start to develop soon after the completed steam cleaning. (Refer to the FEMA article cited above).

So, the sanitation benefit of carpet steam cleaning doesn’t hold up to what some may think or claim to be.

Steam Carpet Cleaning Disadvantages Summary

Is Dry Cleaning or Steam Cleaning Carpet Better?

The true answer to this question is “it depends.” It depends on your needs, budget, the amount of time you have, allergy risks, etc.

Dry carpet cleaning is better if you’re looking to spot clean or remove stains. If wet carpets will be a hassle in your home or place of business, then dry carpet cleaning is preferable. It’s also the cheaper choice if you’re on a budget.

If you’re looking for a deep clean without possible lingering chemical residue, or if you have thick carpets, steam carpet cleaning may be the better choice.

Steam cleaning is preferable if your family has allergies or sensitivities to chemical cleaners. But, do know that some steam cleaners use chemicals too.

So, it all depends on your needs and your situation. 

We hope we have provided you with an in-depth comparison of these two cleaning methods to help you make your decision.

Here at SaniClean Dry Carpet Cleaning, we understand the pros and cons of both carpet cleaning methods. We’ve actually addressed some of each method’s pros and cons to better our carpet cleaning product and service. 

To learn more about our dry carpet cleaning service, you may read our biased reasons why you should choose SaniClean’s carpet dry cleaning method for your carpet cleaning needs.

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