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Wet vs. Dry Cleaning for Your Wall-to-Wall Carpets

Carpets give our room a warm and cozy accent and definitely brighten up any area in the house. But since our carpets, especially if they are wall-to-wall, get in contact with all the dust and dirt that we bring into our home, they collect a lot of deep-seated dirt through their fibers and this can be tough to clean. Depending on your carpet fiber structures, carpet cleaning methods are up for debate: should we use wet or dry cleaning? Let’s break down the differences and benefits of both methods so you can find the perfect option to clean your carpets.

Wet Carpet Cleaning

Also known as carpet steam cleaning or hot water extraction, this is one of the most popular methods of cleaning your carpets. Detergent or cleaning solution is sprayed onto your carpets, which is then activated by hot water to remove any stubborn dirt and stain. Afterwards, a wet-vac is used to suck up all the excess water. If you aim for deep cleaning on your carpets, this is an effective method. This method works perfectly if you have pets; you have not cleaned your carpet for a long time; or if your carpet has sticky, stubborn stains that cannot be removed by normal vacuuming.

However, wet cleaning also posits some disadvantages. Here are some:

  • Longer drying time, as they use hot water to deep clean wall-to-wall carpets. When done correctly, it can last up to 8 hours depending on the temperature of your surroundings.
  • They are not entirely chemical-free, as they use cleaning chemicals on your carpets. Make sure that you ask your carpet cleaner about what they use to clean your carpets if you do not want harsh and harmful cleaning agents on your wall-to-wall carpet.
  • When the carpet is not properly cleaned, you risk the growth of mold and mildew on your carpets. Since wet cleaning requires your carpets to be vacuumed thoroughly to remove excess water and soap residue, if your vacuum did not suck it all up, the residue will attract more dirt and mold, which means you’ll have to clean more often.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

With dry cleaning method, dry cleaning compounds and solutions are used to attract and absorb dirt and grime in the carpets. It has lesser drying time and is not as labor-intensive as wet cleaning. It is perfect for cleaning area rugs wherein using water is strictly discouraged, such as silk, rayon and rugs with fragile fibers. Of course, like the steam cleaner, it also has disadvantages:

  • It is not as effective in deep cleaning carpets. It cannot absorb and remove as much stain and deep-seated dirt that can only be loosened through hot water extraction.
  • It is not meant to be used on carpets with a busy traffic area, as it cannot extract as much as steam cleaners.
  • It uses more chemicals with the cleaning agents and solutions needed in the cleaning compounds.

So what method should we use?

Depending on your carpets, you may either use dry method or wet method, or you can also use both! After doing a wet method, you can immediately follow through the dry method to efficiently remove all the dirt stuck in your carpet fibers. This is because a carpet acts like a 'wick' and any spills still under the surface can 'wick' up. When this phenomenon appears, a dry method can be used which involves lightly buffing the area with a dry cleaning solution to remove the stain from the surface. If your carpet is in the office area and you need it to be used almost instantly after cleaning, do the dry method since you do not have enough time for drying. If you want a thorough, deep clean and can have some time to wait, go for the dry method!

But of course, there are expert cleaners who you can run to when you feel stuck on what to do with your carpets! They know exactly how to handle your carpet dilemma and you can expect them as clean and fresh as you want it to be.