All You Need to Know about Hot Water Extraction vs Steam Cleaning

Written by
Jessica Hockman

Two of the most popular methods of carpet cleaning are the hot water extraction method and the steam cleaning method. More often than not, these methods are used interchangeably. But are they similar?

Hot Water Extraction vs Steam Cleaning

There are several differences between hot water extraction and steam cleaning basic being the usage of steam.

While steam cleaning deploys steam to clean carpets thereby consuming less water, hot water extraction uses steaming hot water to clean carpets.

What Is Hot Water Extraction Cleaning?

Hot water extraction is basically used by carpet cleaners to treat stained fabrics. This is essentially done by injecting hot water under very high pressure into the stained carpet in order to get rid of the stains.

How Is Hot Water Extraction Performed?

To clean carpets using hot water extraction, water is mixed with detergents and the mixture is heated in the extractor’s compartment.

Usually, carpet cleaners use materials that don’t release toxins as children and pets usually roam around on carpeted surfaces unsupervised.

The high-pressure liquid which is injected into the surface makes sure that tough stains and spots are removed from the carpet.

Advantages of Hot Water Extraction Cleaning

There are a few advantages of hot water extraction for cleaning carpets.

Suitable For People with Allergies

Hot water extraction uses only water and mild detergent to clean carpets, making it suitable for people with dust allergies or asthma.

Deep Cleaning

As opposed to steam cleaning and other methods of carpet cleaning, this method gives your carpet a complete rinse.

At the same time, this method ensures that the fibers do not shrink and the carpet remains in its pristine form.

Long Lasting

Since hot water extraction involves cleaning all elements of the carpet thoroughly, you can expect the results to last longer.

Disadvantages of Hot Water Extraction Cleaning

There are a few disadvantages of hot water extraction for cleaning carpets.

Lower Drying Power

Hot water extraction sometimes leaves the carpet visibly damp because of the low power in the machine. This can lead to an unpleasant odor and the growth of molds. This is generally true of rented equipment which many dry cleaners use.

Needs Skilled Professionals

This is a method that is only recommended for skilled professionals. You cannot expect people with low technical expertise to clean your carpet effectively using hot water extraction.

What Is Steam Carpet Cleaning?

Steam cleaning is a method of cleaning carpets that uses steam to remove stains. It works best for ornate carpets which are not suitable for deep cleaning, washing and rinsing.

Advantages of Steam Carpet Cleaning

Here are the advantages of steam carpet cleaning.

No Residue

Steam cleaning is an effective method of carpet cleaning and doesn’t leave behind any residues on the carpet.

It is also the most efficient way of picking up accumulated residue in your carpets such as animal fur, mold and bacteria.

Disadvantages of Steam Cleaning

There are certain downsides to using steam cleaning.

Heavy-Duty Equipment

Steam cleaning requires the use of powerful often heavy equipment which is difficult to transport.

Requires Regular Cleaning

Steam cleaning, though effective, demands consistency. You may have to repeat the process more often as opposed to other methods.

Steam cleaning is not very efficient in removing oil stains and soil stains.

Hot Water Extraction vs Steam Cleaning: Which Is Better?

hot water extraction vs steam cleaning

This depends on the carpet and how badly it is soiled. While carpets that do not have visual stains may be cleaned with the steam cleaning method, dirty carpets will be better off with hot water extraction.

Steam cleaning does not rinse the carpet thereby not providing deep cleaning. Carpets in the living room must be cleaned using hot water extraction for thorough cleaning.

Though both methods have their own merits and demerits, it is advised that you don’t rent out cleaning equipment to do the work yourself. Instead, go for a professional who knows all the tricks of the trade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hot Water Extraction the Same As Steam Cleaning?

No, hot water extraction and steam cleaning are not similar. Though they are both ways of cleaning carpets, one uses hot water while the other converts water to steam before cleaning.

Can You Steam Clean the Carpet with Just Hot Water?

You can steam carpet with just hot water. However, this won’t be of any use. This is why the hot water extraction method often uses a mild detergent to remove stains.

How Hot Is the Water in a Steam Cleaner?

Most professional cleaners who use the hot water extraction method for cleaning like to keep the water temperature between 180 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.

Do Professional Carpet Cleaners Use Steam?

Professional cleaners use several methods for cleaning carpets, each of which requires different skills and expertise. Some methods use steam for carpet cleaning.

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