Carpet cleaning, carpet steam cleaning, dry cleaning? With so many options to choose from – ones that sound too similar to one another, it isn’t easy to decide which option is best for you. 

There are so many different types of cleaning methods because – as far as carpets go – there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

From the types of stains, dirt and debris to your carpet’s material, different methods and solutions are employed.

You can find plenty of DIY tricks to get your carpet cleaned, but to skip the hard part and get a thorough cleaning done, you can always entrust the job to professional cleaners.

To help you decide which way to go, we’re here to break down the best carpet cleaning methods.

1. Dry cleaning 

  • This method uses powder chemicals and a minimal amount of water. Specialised equipment is used to ensure that all traces of the cleaning products are removed. 
  • Here’s how it goes: 
  • First, the cleaners will use a vacuum to remove dirt, dust, or loose debris. In case of very tough stains, your carpet may need a pre-treatment first. 
  • Then they will apply a powder mixture to the carpet. The components in these chemicals break down the greasy residue that binds dirt to carpet fibres. 
  • Then rotary brushes buff the carpet releasing all this remaining debris.  
  • Finally, the cleaners will vacuum your carpet again to remove all traces of chemicals and moisture. 


  • This method has a very short drying time, which is the best option for the busiest areas of your home.
  • You can use this method to spot clean your carpet.
  • Dry cleaning leaves your carpet free of bacteria and dust. 


  • These compounds are hard to clean, so hire a reputable company to perform this service for you. 
  • Any amount of the compound left behind could cause allergic reactions & discolouration.
  • It uses chemicals and perfumes that may not be safe for children, pets and people with allergies.
  • It may not provide a truly deep clean for carpets requiring intensive cleaning.

2. Shampoo carpet cleaning

Shampoo cleaning is – you guessed it – a method that uses detergents and high foam levels to clean a carpet. 

Much like shampooing your hair, this method uses water and cleaning solutions to remove dirt and grime from your carpet. This method requires heavy machinery that injects the carpet with foam cleaner. Once scrubbed, hot water and a powerful vacuum are used to rinse and dry the carpet.


  • This method removes a lot of dirt build-up on the carpet, making it the deepest cleaning method available.
  • The components present in carpet shampoos will make your carpet appear cleaner and brighter.
  • This method applies a low amount of moisture and shows results very quickly.


  • If left in the carpet fibres, moisture and sticky detergent residue can leave a stale odour and cause re-soiling soon after the cleaning. 
  • The brushes used during cleaning could easily damage the carpet. 
  • Components of the shampoo could build up over time and leave a yellow cast on the carpet that is practically impossible to remove. 
  • Carpet shampooing uses a lot of water (compared to other methods). 

3. Steam carpet cleaning 

Carpet steam cleaning is a popular choice for people who don’t want to use any chemicals or solutions on their carpets for their health, environment, or other reasons. This method relies on steam to loosen dirt and debris from carpet fibres. The combination of high pressure and temperature makes this method effective. 

A specialised carpet steam cleaning machine injects hot water under high pressure into the carpet. This machine extracts moisture and dirt through powerful suction. Since this method uses steam, the carpet stays fairly dry.

Depending on the ventilation and temperature, a steam-cleaned carpet may take 2 to 4 hours to dry entirely.


  • It’s a safe and natural cleaning method that kills bacteria and removes grime.
  • Since no chemicals are used, it’s safe for children, pets and people with allergies.
  • Due to the high temperature employed, this process removes dust mites, allergens, mould, pet scents, etc.
  • It doesn’t leave any residue or use any harsh chemicals.


  • It is a time-intensive process.
  • Moisture can cause a stale smell if not properly removed.
  • This method is not the most effective in removing stubborn stains.

Tips on keeping carpets clean

To reduce how much time carpet cleaning takes and to increase the lifespan of your carpet, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep your pet’s nails and paws trimmed and clean to reduce the dirt they could leave on your carpet, and avoid pulling on delicate carpet threads. 
  2. Use an air purifier in your home to prevent airborne debris from settling onto your carpeting.
  3. Invest in window screens with smaller mesh to keep airborne dust and other debris from your home.
  4. Try getting your home’s exterior surfaces washed to reduce the amount of built-up dirt entering your home. 
  5. Change your furnace filter regularly since dust settles into ducts and gets blown onto carpeting.
  6. Change the filter bags of your vacuum regularly since dust collected can sediment and be blown back onto your carpet. 
  7. Clean spills that occur immediately to avoid seepage into your carpet. 

And while we’re at it, here are a few tips on what not to do! 

  1. If you choose to scrub your carpet yourself, do not use too much pressure since that could cause damage to your carpet’s fibres and leave it looking frizzy and unkempt. 
  2. After cleaning, do not walk on damp carpets or place any furniture on your carpet since this could crush the carpet fibres. Always allow it to dry completely. 
  3. While drying, make sure you leave windows open to ensure that your room gets proper ventilation. If there is any residual moisture, it could lead to mould or mildew development.

In case you decide to hire a professional cleaning service, remember to let them know specific areas of concern so you get the most out of your carpet cleaning!