Should You Steam-Clean or Dry-Clean Your Carpet?

No matter what type of industry you work in, your commercial property needs clean carpets. But you have several methods at your disposal to keep them clean, including both steam cleaning and dry cleaning. Which method gets your carpets cleaner, and which one is the right choice for your business?

Below, we’ll tell you about the steam cleaning and dry cleaning processes, along with their pros and cons. At the end of this blog, you should be able to make an informed decision about which type of cleaning you want for your property and which type of equipment you’d rather invest in.

Steam Cleaning

Because of the name, you might assume that steam cleaning uses steam to clean your carpets-it’s only logical. Actually, steam cleaning combines cleaning chemicals with water to remove dirt and grime from your carpets.

First, a steam cleaner sprays carpet-cleaning detergent mixed with hot (though not steamy) water. After the entire carpet is covered with both detergent and water, you or your carpet cleaner use a wet-vacuum to remove the remaining moisture.

Pros of Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is probably the best deep-cleaning method you can use on your carpets. Because it combines hot water with chemicals, it cleans much more than just the surface of your carpet-it can remove dirt and debris that have sunk deep into your carpet. The spray from the water also helps jostle difficult-to-remove particles loose.

If you use a steam cleaner on your carpets, you can expect nearly pristine results. The process should deal effectively with most stains, dirt, and debris and can remove allergens and pests.

Cons of Steam Cleaning

Some business owners worry that the chemicals used in steam cleaning can damage carpet or harm employees. However, most steam cleaning companies use safe, tried-and-true chemicals that won’t damage your carpet or destroy your building’s air quality. If you’re worried about chemicals, talk to your cleaning supplies supplier or carpet cleaning company to learn more about the products’ safety.

Others worry that because steam cleaning uses water, it could cause mold and mildew to grow in the carpet.

In general, if you let the water sit on the carpet for too long, use too much water, or don’t properly vacuum the carpet with a wet-vac, the water could seep deeper into your carpet and cause mold. However, if you make sure to vacuum properly and not let the water completely soak your carpets, you should dodge this problem.

Steam cleaning can take a little more time than other forms of cleaning. You’ll have to set aside several hours for your carpet cleaning company or janitorial staff to work. You should stay off the carpets for at least 12 hours-though preferably 24 hours-to let the carpet dry properly.

Since steam cleaning takes longer than dry cleaning, most business owners steam-clean after regular business hours. It’s also best to clean over weekends instead of on a weeknight to give the carpet several days to dry.

Dry Cleaning

Like steam cleaning, dry cleaning also has a slightly misleading name. Although dry cleaning uses more chemicals than water, you usually have to use a little bit of moisture to thoroughly remove the chemicals from the carpet.

To dry-clean your carpets, you or a cleaning company will place dry, powdered cleaning chemicals on your carpet. The chemicals should seep into the carpet fibers and break apart debris and hard-to-remove stains. A mild spray of water helps the chemicals break down the particles even more thoroughly. You can then vacuum up the particles that have bonded with the chemicals.

Pros of Dry Cleaning

Unlike steam cleaning, dry cleaning lets you walk on your carpets soon after the process is complete. Many business owners choose dry cleaning over steam cleaning because it doesn’t interrupt business operations or require as much time to perform.

Dry cleaning also offers you a fairly thorough clean. The rigorous chemicals can dismantle most stains, including difficult ones that some steam cleaners can’t combat.

Cons of Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning usually uses more abrasive chemicals than steam cleaning. If someone in your building has allergies or asthma, they might not be able to come to work or enter your building. If you’re worried about dry cleaning chemicals, you should talk to your cleaning company or supply company to find effective, safe cleaning chemicals.

What Else Should You Know About Carpet Cleaning?

Every business needs effective, regular carpet cleaning. However, you can take steps to protect your carpet and ensure that you don’t need to clean your carpets more often than necessary:

  • Vacuum your carpets at least every week, though preferably you should vacuum twice a week. Vacuum hightraffic areas even more frequently.
  • Use mats near doorways to keep muddy boots and abrasive snow-melting salts off of your carpets.
  • Clean up stains immediately-don’t let them sink into your carpet.

If you need to rent or purchase carpet cleaning equipment and chemicals, including steam cleaners, get in touch with our company. We’re happy to talk to you about the right cleaning options for your company.

Rest assured that no matter which method you choose, we can provide you with high-quality equipment that helps you get the job done.