Difference Between Carpet Steam Cleaning and Hot Water Extraction

Today’s market offers many carpet and upholstery cleaning solutions. However, two of them tend to get mixed up quite a lot by your everyday consumer.

We are talking about the carpet steam cleaning and hot water extraction methods.

It’s a common misconception that both cleaning methods mean the same thing, but believe us, they don’t. That’s why In this article, we are going to cover the main differences between these two cleaning methods, so you can decide which one is better for your carpet.

But, What Exactly Is Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning is a method that requires heating up water to 100 °C or said more simply – to a boiling point. This process results in the production of steam, which is then used to disinfect the fibers of your rug or upholstery against bacteria.

Also, steam cleaning is a good solution when your rugs or furniture have developed a stale smell from not being aired on a regular basis.

What is Hot Water Extraction?

Hot water extraction is the most popular carpet cleaning method these days. This requires both hot water and cleaning solutions to be injected directly into the carpet fibers at a higher pressure.

Unlike steam cleaning techniques, this produces no actual steam. However, you may notice a little amount of steam coming out of the machine, which actually the natural steam of the warm water. Before starting the method, you must clean the carpet thoroughly with a good vacuum cleaner.

What’s the Difference Between Steam Cleaning and HWE?

One of the biggest differences between the steam cleaning method and the hot water extraction cleaning technique is the temperature of the water. As you can guess, with steam cleaning, steam is used, in order to get a carpet disinfected. Disinfection of the carpet is just as important as keeping it clean, professionals say.

And like we mentioned earlier, the water inside the machine is heated up to a boiling point, so steam can be created.

In contrast, hot water extraction doesn’t require boiling water. The water inside the machine is still very hot and a small amount of steam can be seen during the actual cleaning process.

However, unlike the other method, the steam doesn’t have any disinfecting qualities and its release doesn’t play any role.

Another important difference between these two popular carpet cleaning techniques, we need to point out, is that when hot water extraction is used, the carpets are also rinsed, while the same doesn’t apply for steam cleaning.

Why HWE is a Better Option than Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning comes with a long list of benefits like it’s great for removing stale odors, bacteria has a zero chance against it, and of course, it doesn’t require a drop of detergent. But if we compare it to the hot water extraction method, steam cleaning loses the battle.

Here are a few of the advantages that HWE has over steam cleaning:

  • If you have a non-removable water stain on your carpet, for example, and you opt for the steam cleaning method, the steam will only set the spot further in.
  • Hot water extraction is a cleaning solution that uses a small amount of detergent, meaning that your carpet will be cleaned a lot better. Plus, this method can remove stains, while steam cleaning cannot.
  • If you have a carpet made from a natural material, steam cleaning can actually shrink or damage it. With that being said, HWE is perfect for most delicate or natural fabrics. Those that can’t handle dampness should be treated with dry cleaning powder.
  • Another great benefit, which the hot water extraction technique offers, is that it leaves your carpet or soft furniture almost dry. Why? The equipment is designed to extract nearly 95% of the moisture, unlike a standard steam cleaner. To sum up, steam cleaning may promote mold growth on your carpet if you don’t dry it properly.

When deciding on a carpet or upholstery cleaning solution, it’s extremely important to get familiar with the specifics of each method. Different types of materials require different types of cleaning approaches.

While one method can be perfect for your synthetic carpet, the same solution may completely destroy a rug made from natural fibers.

We hope our article has debunked the mystery behind HWE and steam cleaning, and of course has helped you to figure out which one is perfect for you. You may wonder how does hot water extraction vs steam cleaning work and now you know!

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