Steam cleaning is a common method used to clean a carpet. Hot water can loosen dirt to make it easier for the vacuum to extract it. However, this also creates the problem of introducing moisture to the carpet, which can increase the risk of mold developing. As a result, it is usually a better idea to look to other methods, such as chem-dry. There is a small amount of moisture used in this method as well, but the amount of moisture used is much less.
How Chem-Dry Works
Chem-dry uses microscopic bubbles that are designed to explode the dirt that is trapped within carpet fibers. The dirt is lifted up and then a vacuum or specialized device can be used to lift the dirt up. There is no soapy residue that is left behind, so the carpets remain cleaner for longer. Machines usually need to be used to scrub the dirt out of the carpet because hand scrubbing typically only removes dirt from the top layer of the carpeting.
Chem-Dry Is Drier
Chem-dry is placed on a carpet. The chemical breaks down dirt and debris that has accumulated on the carpet. The floor can be used shortly after using the chem-dry method. In contrast, with the steam cleaning method, the floor will be damp and will need to dry before it should be used again.
Steam Cleaning Is Less Effective
Steam cleaning is not effective at removing stains that are ground-in, such as stains caused by pet defecation. The stains may seem to disappear initially, but will return after a few days. Instead, a chemical solution should be applied that allows for these stains to break down and will be more easy to remove.
Chem-Dry Is Easier
Using a hot water extraction device can require some practice to use. The water and cleaning chemicals need to be applied and then the extractor is run over the areas where the water is applied until the stain is removed. Those who are not as skilled at using a hot water extractor may not achieve consistent results. On the other hand, chem-dry is easy to use. It simply needs to be spread all throughout the carpeting and does not require special training. However, whichever option you choose, it is important to make sure that you keep your carpet clean. Carpets that are not cleaned regularly will possibly become permanently stained and even ruined.