Dry vs Wet Carpet Cleaning

If you have carpets in your home, you may be familiar with the headache they bring when it’s time to give them a good clean. But, how do you know if which method is more effective – dry or wet carpet cleaning?
This ongoing debate is a hot topic amongst those in the cleaning community. Each method has its own pros and cons leaving much for you to consider. Before choosing sides on the dry vs wet carpet cleaning argument, start by getting know each option a little better to help you decide which method is best.

Dog on Carpet

What You Need to Know About Dry Carpet Cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning methods aren’t just about vacuuming up common debris. In fact, a dry carpet clean offers a much more thorough approach than what you’d see from a simple vacuuming. Due to the little amount of water used in this cleaning method, it makes for an easy and convenient carpet cleaning solution. For its convenience and fast drying capabilities, it’s often the preferred route for high traffic areas.

The process of dry cleaning involves sprinkling a powdered mixture across the area. This powdered mixture is made up of cleaning agents and solvents that work into the carpet’s fibers. Once this has been done, most cleaners will use a counter-rotating, vacuum-like machine that is equipped with brushes at the bottom. This will help the powder absorb any soil and debris that was in your carpet. After a few minutes, the powder and the remnants of dirt are easily vacuumed up.
The best part about this carpet cleaning method is that the effects are instantaneous. Unlike wet carpet cleaning, you won’t have to wait until the area is dry to start seeing results. You will also be able to access the area straight away as little water has been used in the process. An added bonus to this dry method is that without the need for damp carpets, there won’t be the chance for any bacteria to start growing.
To give you a better understanding of dry cleaning, we have summarized a few pros and cons to help you make your decision.


  • It tends to be the more inexpensive choice
  • The process is quick to complete
  • You can almost immediately use your carpets again after they’ve been cleaned


  • The powder may build up over the years
  • You run the risk of the powder adding to a build-up of dust
  • It only provides a surface clean

What You Need to Know About Wet Carpet Cleaning

On the other hand, there’s wet carpet cleaning to consider. Wet cleaning is also known as steam cleaning where the focus is on a hot water extraction method. This method helps liquefy the soil and any stains that are found on your carpets.
This process works by using a machine to spray cleaning solvent onto your carpets. Once your carpets have been covered, it will suck up any dirt and oil-based stains that are embedded deep down into your carpet fibers. A key benefit to this cleaning method is that it provides a great deep cleaning effect which leaves your carpets almost looking brand new.
However, despite the benefits, there are some areas of concern. With the use of water, it may take hours or even days for your carpets to dry. During this period, if too much water has been used, it may cause bacteria to grow and prompt unwanted houseguests to take residence. It’s best to leave this job up to the professionals as they have received the suitable training to perform wet carpet cleaning properly.

  • Removes any stubborn stains and deep soil that’s lodged into your carpet’s fibers
  • Doesn’t rely on chemicals to get the job done


  • It will take a while to properly dry
  • The best jobs are achieved with more expensive equipment
  • You run the risk of bacteria growth

Carpet Cleaning

Dry vs Wet Carpet Cleaning: Overall Report

So, with all of this in mind, which cleaning method wins in the dry vs wet carpet cleaning debate? Unfortunately, it all boils down to the circumstance at hand. If your carpets are in a filthy state, it’s wet carpet cleaning all the way. However, if you just need a quick sprucing up of your carpets, dry cleaning would be best. The good news is that when you hire professional cleaners, they will know exactly which method is best for your needs.

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