Carpet Cleaning: Hot Water Extraction or Low Moisture Cleaning: Which is Best?

Carpets make your house feel warm and cozy. The beauty and comfort of carpets aren’t permanent. Over time and with much use, carpets can become dusty, stained with oil or mud, and also house bacteria, viruses, and dust mites can spoil your carpet. There are many different carpet cleaning methods. When comparing hot water extraction and low moisture cleaning, a large difference can be seen.


Hot Water Extraction: With this method, water is injected into the carpet through spray jets. The water is then immediately recovered using a vacuum as it is applied. This process can be compared to that of the rinse cycle of a wash machine. To help clean, a detergent pre-spray is applied to the carpet before cleaning. Then some level of agitation is applied to the carpet. After this, the carpet is rinsed using the hot water extraction method.
Low Moisture Cleaning: This carpet cleaning method is a variation of the old shampooing method. The carpet is scrubbed with a rotary machine. As it is scrubbed, the soil that was attached to the fiber is released from the carpet fiber into the encapsulation solution.

Pile Lifting

Hot Water Extraction: This method of carpet cleaning tends to push carpets down when it is being cleaned. This happens much more often with the use of the Spinning Bonnet method. This compresses the carpet pile and prevents the machines from completely cleaning the carpet.
– Low Moisture Cleaning: This type of carpet cleaning does the exact opposite of the hot water extraction method. Instead of compressing, it lifts the carpet pile, allowing for it to be completely cleaned. This method ensures that the entire pile if fully scrubbed and also that the carpet dries upright and soft.


Fast Drying

– Hot Water Extraction: When a steam carpet cleaner comes in, carpets can take anywhere from 12 to 36 hours to dry. This is bad for the carpet and an inconvenience to the customer. /
– Low Moisture Cleaning: Rather that completely soaking the carpet, a low moisture carpet cleaner only uses around 2 gallons of water to keep a carpet looking and feeling fresh.

Impact on the Environment

Hot Water Extraction: This method of carpet cleaning can consume a very high volume of water. In a commercial job, hundreds of gallons might have to be used. The water that is extracted from the carpet cleaning is laden with many chemicals and contaminants. If the cleaning company uses a truckmount unit, the engine will be left running during the cleaning which consumes fuel and discharges pollutants into the air.
Low Moisture Cleaning: With this method, there is a minimal amount of water that needs to be used. Also, there is no discharge water that goes to sewage water treatment. The encapsulated soil is recovered from the carpet as dry-soil during post-vacuuming. A good encapsulation detergent can be formulated without requiring potentially hazardous chemicals and ingredients.

Author Bio

Kurt Harris is a writer and one very enthusiastic environmentalist. Apart from writing DIY guides and home improvement tips, he is very much concerned about creating awareness about environment, living green and Carpet cleaning. When he’s is not educating her readers with his writings, he’s most likely educating himself by reading his favorite stuff.

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