Carpet Cleaning Methods

Which Carpet Cleaning method is the best for your home or office?

There are several approaches to cleaning carpets for soil removal, sanitisation, stain removal or reduction.

Modern Carpet cleaning methods

Dry Cleaning or Wet Cleaning. All carpet cleaning and maintenance styles can be divided into one of two groups. Wet cleaning such as Hot water extraction, Steam extraction, carpet shampooing. Then there is Dry cleaning methods such as Bonnet cleaning and Micro Encapsulation cleaning. Although some methods overlap the two divisions such as shampooing, this may be applied in a drier fashion or with more water to encourage extra soil removal.

The Australian / New Zealand joint industry standard supervised by the two Governments [AS/NZS 3733:2018] is a comprehensive reference and guide to acceptable maintenance of residential and commercial floor coverings.
The AS/NZS 3733:2018 standard separates all carpet cleaning method into these two categories…

Surface cleaning

Surface cleaning methods include, The Foam aerosol spray system, Bonnet cleaning system, Absorbent compound system , Liquid shampoo [followed by wet vacuum] and finally the Dry Foam [followed by wet vacuum]

Corrective or restorative cleaning

Restorative cleaning methods include, Liquid shampoo and dry foam systems [followed by hot water extraction] and The Hot water injection and extraction systems [commonly referred to as Steam Cleaning]

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes and No. Steam cleaning physically extracts more soils and has a better foundation for stain removal. Depending on how Steam cleaning is used, it will leave less chemicals in the carpets or potentially none at all.  Dry cleaning always leaves chemistry in the carpets but much of these products are beneficial and prevent re-soiling. From a purest soil removal perspective, Steam cleaning carpets is superior.

Yes. Encapsulation Cleaning [Dry Cleaning] carpets can remove or reduce stains. There are lots of different products which have been developed for this carpet cleaning method, some are very good at removing soils from carpet and also have stain reducing qualities which can remove stains such as tannin from coffee, tea, red wine etc. Other dry cleaning methods can be used to remove stains when using the encapsulation method.

No. Carpets will re-soil more slowly after cleaning because professional carpet cleaning in Auckland removes sticky residues like greases and oils from foot traffic, and sugars and other substances from spills which are sticky and attract soils and bacteria.

Steam cleaning does not use chemicals which attract soils so there is no risk the carpet will need cleaning more regularly.

Dry Cleaning chemicals are designed to retard soil or make soil easier to remove and these instead keep carpets looking cleaner longer.

Generally there are two causes of traffic lanes looking more soiled or dirty than the other areas of carpet.

  1. Extra soiling from foot traffic such as oils and greases from the kitchen or soils and sands from the entry points from outside.
  2. Wear and discolouration on the fiber due to abrasion over time from soils and chemicals in the carpets and the particles that act like sandpaper

One way to improve the appearance of traffic lanes on carpets is to professionally clean them to remove the soils which make them look dirty. However no carpet cleaning method can reverse the wear caused by soils and traffic.

So the best way to make traffic areas look like new is prevention, by cleaning carpets regularly. This removes the soils and pollutants that discolour carpets and wear them prematurely.

Yes. Carpets come in many varieties and some are made very strong and durable other types will have a shorter life. 20 year old carpets are very common and cleaning these carpets is not only beneficial for their appearance but improves the health of the indoor air quality.

6 -18/ months. According to the New Zealand/ Australian industry standard AS/NZS 3733-2018 residential and commercial carpet should be cleaned between every 6 and 18 months. The right frequency for your carpets will depend on factors such as indoor pets, children and the external environment. Leaving carpets longer than the suggested period will expose your carpets to conditions which lead to premature wear and discolouration.

The Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning Method

Encapsulation cleaning is dryer. Faster drying times mean less inconvenience. The area treated can be used quickly after cleaning. It looks great. The deep and persistent agitation of the rotary machine which gently scrubs the carpet pile with its soft brushes and slow action works in the foam which is imbibed with highly active soil dispersing emulsifiers and solvents. These pull soils adhered to the carpet fibres and suspend them in space for easy removal by vacuum or extraction. The result is the carpets appears cleaner, brighter and dry quickly.

Carpet Cleaning encapsulation method

How does it work?

Micro encapsulate shampoo is a purpose built light, foam which will become crystallised when dry and is easily vacuumed. It is laced with several active components which are not evident to the naked eye. Encapsulate resin with ionic charge this formulation clings to soils, surrounds it and isolates it in suspension away from the carpets fibres. Additional resin also adheres to the fibres on your carpets protecting them from abrasive and discolouring activity of foreign soils. Embedded stain resistance qualities in the resin now coating the fibres provides a stain and soil shield. This continues to protect the flooring between cleans. The carpets look cleaner longer and next interval cleaning will respond better.

The Steam Extraction Carpet Cleaning method

Steam injection and extraction increased hugely in the early eighties in New Zealand. It became and has remained the staple of carpets maintenance in New Zealand and across Australia. Steam extraction cleaning has been proven to be unsurpassed in its ability to remove the majority of foreign soils hosted in carpets and fabrics. Stain removal is much more efficient with this method as the extraction process facilitates the use of a wider range of chemical formulations.

New Zealand carpets are unique in the sense we have a much larger proportion of wool carpets in residential and executive offices. Although many new synthetic carpets with attractive easy maintenance qualities have entered the market, many kiwis prefer the higher quality resilient natural woolen flooring at home.

Woolen carpets often have a dense pile which can host a lot of soils. The Steam extraction method is very well suited to emulsifying and flushing the soils out very effectively.

This is a key reason Hot water extraction is still the dominant method here in New Zealand.

Drying time

Drying time after a steam clean can vary depending on the fibre cleaned and the drying conditions in the building. Many synthetic fibres absorb very little water where as a wool can hold the dominant percentage of its weight in water.
Some buildings and homes have excellent drying conditions due to air conditioning and other factors even in wet weather or high humidity, carpets will dry quickly. Drying times are however a concern of yesteryear when steam cleaning technology was in its early stages. Modern vehicle mounted and portable extraction machines are now much more efficient with new technology and better understanding of physics it is not unusual to have a carpet which has been steam cleaned to dry faster than one which has been dry cleaned.

How is it done?

According to the AS/NZS 3733:2018 the Steam injection and extraction method should comprise of four stages.


Steam cleaning involves the injection of hot water and steam into the fibers of your carpets, followed by the vacuuming up of the hot water and moisture. This process is not only efficient but also versatile, offering various approaches to meet your specific needs.

Dry cleaning involves several different methods.

All dry cleaning methods are generally intended to use less water resulting in faster drying and all dry cleaning methods are generally faster, more quiet operating machines. Dry cleaning methods are universal and can be used in all Carpet cleaning sectors including commercial offices, gyms and residential properties.

Check out the Steam Extraction VS Dry Cleaning of Carpets

Cleaning Nylon Carpets

First and foremost, nylon is a robust and resilient fiber that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, even with its durable qualities, regular cleaning and maintenance are still necessary to keep it looking and feeling its best Professional carpet cleaning services are also essential for nylon carpets to remove deep-seated dirt and stubborn stains that cannot be removed with regular vacuuming.
Learn More about Nylon carpet Cleaning

Woolen Carpets

Hot water extraction is considered the best cleaning method for wool carpets because it is a deep-cleaning process that effectively removes dirt, dust, and other debris from the carpet fibers without causing damage. Wool is a delicate fiber that requires gentle cleaning methods, and hot water extraction provides a thorough clean without using harsh chemicals or abrasive techniques. Additionally, this method uses hot water to extract dirt and stains from the carpet, which is then immediately vacuumed up, leaving the carpet clean and dry. This technique is also known to improve the overall appearance of wool carpets and extend their lifespan.
Check out our article here on the Woolen carpet Cleaning method

Triexta Carpet Cleaning Method

Triexta is a new synthetic fiber used in carpeting that has gained popularity in recent years. Triexta is a modified polyester that has been designed to offer improved durability and stain resistance. In the past, polyester was marketed as an inexpensive substitute for more expensive nylons and wools. However, early carpets made with polyester fibers were problematic due to their high static attraction, which would attract pill and fluff from other fabrics and adhere to the fibers.

Check out our info on the triexta carpet Cleaning method

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