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1 July 2022

What is Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning?

When you end up with stubborn stains on your carpets, it’s best to leave it in the hands of a professional.

Stains are not always that easy to remove, and you do not want to end up ruining your carpets by using inappropriate chemicals or machinery.

Thankfully, technological advancements and different types of professional steam and dry cleaning alternatives have made the chances of stain removal far greater.

One of the most effective and popular methods is hot water extraction cleaning.

What is Hot Water Extraction Cleaning?

Red Wine Stained Carpet
Image credit: Decoist

Hot water extraction cleaning requires the use of industry-grade equipment, with which hot water gets injected into the stained fabric at very high pressure.

The high temperature and pressure work together to remove the stain.

The process will help to dislodge the dirt in the carpet fibres from deep within, thereby ensuring that the carpet is left thoroughly clean.

The cleaning liquid is extracted from the machine, and then deposited in a separate tank.

The process is then repeated until all the carpet’s area has been treated.

This is a deep cleaning method that helps to remove stains as well as get rid of allergens, dust mites, mildew and fungi, while leaving the carpet smelling fresh.

The equipment used to carry out hot water extraction carpet cleaning is high powered and professional, thereby ensuring that the process can be carried out truly effectively.

Extraction Carpet Cleaning Process

This is the process of extraction cleaning in more detail:

  • Water is mixed with suitable detergents and heated within the compartment.
  • The liquid is then injected under high pressure into the stain areas of the carpet.
  • This process helps to dislodge dirt particles, so that the stain can be treated more effectively.
  • If deemed necessary, a suitable chemical which is intended to soften up and degrease the stains is then applied.
  • The machine will then start to extract around 95% of the moisture back, along with the grime and dirt that is present in the carpet.

Benefits of Extraction Carpet Cleaning

Hot water extraction carpet cleaning offers several benefits, including:

  • During this method, water is the main ingredient that is effectively being used in order to clean the carpet, and so it is safe and ideal even if you suffer from any allergies or asthma.
  • Very little detergents are used, and sometimes none at all, as at times the stain can be removed with the water only. Hence it is a safe method if there are children and pets around.
  • No chemical residue will be left behind following this cleaning procedure.
  • Following this cleaning process the carpet will remain fresh and stain free for a long time.

Reasons to Avoid DIY Carpet Cleaning

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning Machine
Image credit: Alibaba

If you may be considering acquiring a hot water extraction carpet machine in order to try to professionally clean floors yourself, we suggest you think twice.

First off, such a machine is quite technologically advanced and consequently it costs money.

Thus it is not a cost efficient option.

If you’re thinking of hiring such a machine, you need to be very careful.

In many cases, cheaper rented machines have much weaker drying and suction capability when compared to professional commercial grade machines used by specialist cleaning companies.

As a result, the carpet could end up remaining damp for several days.

This can lead to unpleasant odours and possibly mould developing too.

Moreover, the dirt may not be extracted anywhere good enough.

Extraction Carpet Cleaning vs Steam Cleaning Carpets

Steam cleaning carpets is another option.

This involves heating up water until it reaches boiling point.

The steam that is generated will then be used to penetrate into the fibres of the carpet, thereby disinfecting it.

Thanks to this process, any bacteria will be killed and odours will also be removed.

While this method is quite effective in some cases, hot water extraction carpet cleaning is still much preferable.

The main advantage of steam cleaning is to remove stale smells from carpets without requiring the use of detergents.

However, since the water needs to reach boiling point in order to start evaporating, and consequently steam can set in non-removable water stains following the treatment.

Moreover, no detergents can be used in steam cleaning, and sometimes depending on the type of stain, a detergent may need to be used.

With hot water extraction however, detergents can be added only if required.

It is also important to point out that steam cleaning is not suitable to clean carpets that are made from natural fabrics.

Doing so will lead to shrinking of the fabric, or even end up leaving signs of damage after.

Extraction Carpet Cleaning vs Dry Carpet Cleaning

Vanish Oxy Action
Image credit: Amazon

Dry carpet cleaning is another treatment option.

In this cleaning method, delicate carpet fabrics can be refreshed without having to use water.

In fact, some fabrics are vulnerable to water.

So if stains are present, a special cleaning powder will need to be used.

This is mixed with a non-abrasive detergent.

Using a machine that comprises two delicate brushes, this cleaning mixture is then rubbed in gently within the stains.

The brushes start to spin to agitate the fabric of the carpet while simultaneously rubbing in the powder.

The main advantage of dry cleaning is that practically no liquids are used.

So there’s no need to worry about moisture related problems afterwards, including soapy stains or discolouration.

There is also the advantage that one can practically walk over the carpet right afterwards.

However, dry cleaning is not considered to be as efficient to remove stains as hot water extraction.

It only serves to refresh the surface of the carpet.

Stain-wise, it may not be effective especially for stubborn stains.

Moreover, dry cleaning services are quite expensive both because a rather technologically advanced machine is used, and also due to the cleaning powder required.

Extraction Carpet Cleaning vs Carpet Shampooing

Conventional carpet shampooing is not as effective as hot water extraction.

This cleaning process involves shampoo applied to the carpet, and then it is scrubbed using rotating brushes.

This process is not that safe as in some cases the brushes might end up damaging the carpet fibres.

If it is not done by a professional cleaner, there is a good chance that soapy residue will be left on the carpet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Hot Water Extraction Cleaning Safe for Carpets?

Yes, hot water extraction cleaning is safe for carpets.

Deeply ingrained dirt can be removed effectively with this cleaning method, and stains can be removed quite easily thanks to specialist hot water extraction equipment.

The process is very safe and you do not need to worry that any damage could be caused to the carpet fibres since the method relies on the use of hot water and high pressure.

Q: Does Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning Remove Stains & Odours?

Yes, hot water extraction cleaning is very effective both to remove most stains, as well as to get rid of any lingering odours from carpets.

This is because it not only treats the stain by means of high temperature and pressure, but it also helps to remove ingrained dirt and grime from the carpet fibres.

As a result, the carpet will be refreshed.

Q: How Often Should Office Carpets Be Extraction Cleaned?

The more traffic carpets are subjected to, the more often they need to be cleaned.

Any carpet ends up having a lot of dust, pollen, bacteria and other dirt trapped in the fibres.

Moreover, if there are workers who smoke in the office, there is a bigger need for regular extraction cleaning as cigarette smoke will leave more odour on the carpets.

Unlike what some people believe, it is not a good idea to wait a number of years to have a professional clean your carpets.

Ideally, hot water extraction cleaning is carried out at least once a year to remove dirt, bacteria and dust mites, along with any lingering smells.

Q: Is Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning Safe for Pets?

Yes, hot water extraction carpet cleaning is very safe as it is an eco friendly method.

Water is mainly used, and at times there is no need to add any detergents whatsoever.

If the use of a detergent is deemed necessary, most cleaning companies will use eco-friendly cleaning products which are free from any chemicals.

This makes it one of the safest cleaning methods as there will be no chemical residues which could harm pets or children.

Q: What Specialist Tools Do Extraction Carpet Cleaners Use?

The main tools used by extraction carpet cleaners include:

  • A hot water extraction machine.
  • A vacuum cleaner.
  • Spray bottles.
  • Stain removal products.
  • Carpet cleaning products.
  • Hand scrubbing brushes.
  • Clean cloths.
  • Plastic pieces or foil to place under any furniture.

Q: What Processes Do Professional Extraction Carpet Cleaners Follow?

Upon arriving on site, any equipment that will be used will be assembled and connected to the power supply.

The area is cleared as much as possible and proper ventilation is seen to.

The carpet will first be hoovered thoroughly to remove loose dirt from the surface.

The carpet will be secured at all the edges.

The carpet’s colour fastness will then be checked by using a white cloth and a cleaning agent.

A suitable cleaning solution is then prepared.

This is diluted in water, and sprayed onto the stains to pre-treat them.

The hot water extraction cleaning process will then commence.

Q: How Soon is the Carpet Dry After Hot Water Extraction Cleaning?

The drying time depends on various factors, including the air flow, humidity levels in the particular room, as well as the temperature.

Naturally, if you open the windows it will help the carpet to dry more quickly.

You may also wish to turn on the heating to speed up the drying process.

If you have underfloor heating, the drying time can decrease considerably.

The material and the thickness of the carpet will also affect the drying time.

Some carpets may be dry within an hour or two, while others could take up to four hours.


While different carpet cleaning methods have their respective advantages, many agree that hot water extraction carpet cleaning is generally the best option.

This is because it is safe, eco-friendly, and able to offer a really deep clean, as dirt and allergens are removed effectively.

In most cases, hot water extraction carpet cleaning can be used on carpets.

However it is always best to consult with a professional cleaning company who will be able to suggest the best cleaning method for your carpets, while also taking into consideration any stains that may be present.

What is Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning?
Article Name
What is Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning?
What is hot water extraction carpet cleaning & how does it compare to other carpet cleaning methods? Read our article to find out.
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ECMS Services Ltd
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