Is Steam Cleaning or Dry Cleaning Better for Carpets?

Carpets make our homes feel nice and look good. 

They keep our feet warm and make our rooms cosy. 

But keeping them clean can be hard work, especially in places where people walk a lot.

In this blog, we'll talk about two ways to clean carpets: steam cleaning and dry cleaning. 

Learning about them can help you pick the best one for your carpets.

What is Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning, also called hot water extraction, is a method for cleaning carpets deeply. 

Here's how it works:

  • Hot water mixed with detergent is sprayed onto the carpet.
  • The hot water helps break down stains and loosen dirt.
  • Immediately, a vacuum sucks up the water along with any dirt and debris from the carpet fibres.
  • You can rent steam cleaning machines or hire professional cleaning services to do it for you.

Pros of Steam Cleaning

Effective Deep Cleaning

Steam cleaning reaches deep into the carpet fibres, getting rid of dirt, allergens, and bacteria hiding deep down.

Environmentally Friendly

It usually uses fewer chemicals than dry cleaning, which is better for the environment.

Safe for Most Carpets

Since it mainly uses hot water and detergent, it's usually safe for most types of carpets and won't harm or shrink them.

Cons of Steam Cleaning

Drying Time

One downside is that it takes longer for carpets to dry after steam cleaning compared to dry cleaning. It can take several hours, which might be inconvenient.

Risk of Mould and Mildew

If carpets don't dry completely after steam cleaning, there's a chance mould and mildew could grow, especially in humid areas.

Requires Special Equipment

Steam cleaning machines can be big and expensive, which might not be practical for some homeowners who prefer to clean their carpets themselves.

Steam cleaning is a great way to deeply clean your carpets, reaching deep into the fibres to remove dirt and allergens. 

It's environmentally friendly and safe for most carpets, but it does have downsides like longer drying times and the potential for mould growth if not dried properly.

How Often Should You Steam Clean Your Carpet?

Carpets not only add warmth and comfort to our homes but also accumulate dirt, allergens, and stains over time, especially in high-traffic areas. 

Regular steam cleaning is essential to maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your carpets. 

Here's a guide to help you determine how often you should steam clean your carpet.

Factors to Consider

Foot Traffic

Carpets in high-traffic areas may require more frequent steam cleaning compared to those in less-used spaces.

Pets and Children

Homes with pets and children may accumulate more dirt, dander, and spills, necessitating more frequent cleaning.


Individuals with allergies may benefit from more frequent steam cleaning to remove allergens trapped in the carpet fibres.

General Recommendation

It's generally recommended to steam clean your carpet every 6 to 12 months to maintain its appearance and remove accumulated dirt and allergens.

Professional Advice

Consider consulting with professional carpet cleaners for personalised recommendations based on your specific circumstances and the condition of your carpets.

Visual Inspection

Regularly inspect your carpets for signs of soiling, stains, or odours. If they appear dirty or have noticeable stains, it may be time for a steam cleaning session.

Preventive Maintenance

Implement preventive measures such as regular vacuuming, prompt stain removal, and using entrance mats to minimise dirt and debris tracked onto carpets, extending the time between steam cleanings.

Regular steam cleaning is essential for maintaining the cleanliness and health of your carpets. 

Considering factors such as foot traffic, pets, and allergies, you can determine the optimal frequency for steam cleaning your carpets. 

Consult with professionals for personalised advice and implement preventive maintenance measures to keep your carpets looking fresh and hygienic for years to come.

What is Dry Cleaning?

Dry cleaning, also known as low-moisture cleaning, is a carpet cleaning method that doesn't use water. 

Instead, specialised cleaning solutions and machines are used to clean carpets.

  • Dry cleaning solutions are applied to the carpet.
  • They're agitated to loosen dirt and stains.
  • Then, a vacuum sucks up the solutions along with the dirt, leaving the carpet clean and dry.

Pros of Dry Cleaning

Quick Drying Time

Since no water is used, carpets dry much faster than steam cleaning, usually within one to two hours.


Dry cleaning is often more convenient for homeowners because carpets can be used soon after cleaning.

Less Risk of Mould and Mildew

Carpets dry quickly after dry cleaning, reducing the risk of mould and mildew growth, especially in humid environments.

Cons of Dry Cleaning

Less Deep Cleaning

Dry cleaning may not clean as deeply as steam cleaning, so it might not remove stubborn stains and embedded dirt as effectively.

Chemical Residue

Some dry cleaning solutions leave behind a chemical residue on the carpet, which can attract dirt and make carpets look dull over time.

Not Suitable for All Carpets

Dry cleaning may not be suitable for heavily soiled carpets or those needing deep cleaning, and it might not work well on all types of carpets.

Dry cleaning offers a quick and convenient way to clean carpets without using water. 

It's great for those who need their carpets to dry fast and want to avoid the risk of mould and mildew. 

However, it may not clean as deeply as steam cleaning and could leave behind chemical residues. 

Plus, it might not be suitable for all carpets, especially heavily soiled ones. 

Overall, dry cleaning is a good option for regular maintenance but may not be the best choice for deep cleaning needs.

Which Method is Best for Your Carpets?

When it comes to choosing between steam cleaning and dry cleaning for your carpets, it all boils down to what suits your needs and preferences best. 

Here's a breakdown to help you decide

Steam Cleaning

  • Best for heavily soiled carpets or when you need a deep, thorough clean.
  • The hot water and detergent penetrate deep into the fibres, removing dirt, allergens, and bacteria.
  • Ideal for those who prioritise deep cleaning and don't mind the longer drying time.

Dry Cleaning

  • Ideal for those seeking a quick and convenient cleaning solution with minimal downtime.
  • Carpets dry faster compared to steam cleaning, usually within one to two hours.
  • Great for regular maintenance and for those living in humid environments to reduce the risk of mould and mildew growth.

Regardless of the method you choose, here are some general tips to keep your carpets in tip-top shape.

  • Vacuum regularly to remove surface dirt and debris.
  • Address stains promptly to prevent them from setting in.
  • Consider hiring professional cleaning services for periodic deep cleaning to prolong your carpet's lifespan.

Both steam cleaning and dry cleaning have their merits and drawbacks. 

Considering your specific needs and weighing the pros and cons of each method, you can make an informed decision that will keep your carpets looking fresh and clean for years to come.

Your Pathway to a Healthy Living Environment

Clean carpets are vital for a healthy home. Whether you prefer steam cleaning or dry cleaning, both methods have pros and cons. 

Consider factors like foot traffic and allergies when choosing. Regular maintenance, including vacuuming and stain removal, is crucial for carpet longevity.

If unsure, seek professional advice
Call us now or fill out the form, and we'll contact you within a day to schedule your cleaning. Enjoy fresh-smelling, cosy carpets again.

Get a FREE quote

Contact Img