Agitation Carpet Cleaning – Process, Cost, Benefits

With dozens of carpet care methods available, it can be difficult to decide on the best method for your particular needs.

Agitation carpet cleaning, however, is a popular choice due to its ability to thoroughly clean and sanitize carpets without damaging them.

Agitation carpet cleaning utilizes the repeated and gentle scrubbing motion of an agitation tool to loosen dirt, dust, allergens, and other particles that embed into your dirty carpet fibers, which you can never see through your bare eyes.

This article will cover everything you need to know about agitation carpet cleaning, including what it is, how it works, the estimated cost, and more.

Read on to learn more about this effective carpet-cleaning technique.

Agitation Carpet Cleaning Method

What is Agitation Carpet Cleaning?

What is Agitation Carpet Cleaning

Agitation carpet cleaning is a type of deep-cleaning process that uses an agitation tool with brushes or bristles to scrub and remove dirt from carpet fibers.

This method is often used in conjunction with a carpet shampooing machine, which sprays hot water and cleaning solution onto the carpet to loosen dirt and stains prior to agitation.

When we talk about carpet agitation, we are referring to the process of releasing soil and other particles which are clinging to your carpet in order to make the process of cleaning your carpet easier and more effective.

When the agitation-induced soiling dries, it becomes encapsulated in a non-sticky crystal (thus the name of the encapsulation process). With a vacuum, the dirt in the carpet can then be removed from this non-sticky crystal.

Since encapsulation cleaning is significantly faster and less expensive than wet extraction, it is commonly used as a temporary carpet cleaning technique (also known as steam cleaning).

Encapsulation cleaning also has the primary advantage of using less fluid than extraction cleaning, allowing for quicker carpet re-use.

The ability to clean each layer, not just the surface, is the main benefit of agitation carpet cleaning.

This carpet cleaning method also improves the efficiency with which the detergent or other cleaning solutions can penetrate the carpet and clean it more effectively.

Agitation cleaning is an excellent choice for carpets that are heavily soiled or have been exposed to a lot of wear and tear.

For example, carpets around entryways, high-traffic areas, or commercial buildings can benefit from the deep cleaning offered by agitation.

How Does Agitation Work?

How Does Agitation Work

Agitation carpet cleaning works by using an agitation tool to brush and scrub dirt and debris from deep within the fibers of your carpet.

This method works best when combined with a cleaning solution, such as carpet shampoo.

Before cleaning the carpet, the carpet cleaning technicians will give it a thorough vacuuming, preferably with an upright powerhead vacuum that is designed for industrial use.

This kind of vacuum is commonly referred to as a beater bar vacuum and helps to further loosen dirt, hair, and other debris from the carpet.

Before applying the encapsulation solution, the fibers are agitated using a powerhead vacuum to remove as much soil as possible and to prepare the surface for the solution.

Compared to a traditional vacuum that depends simply on airflow for soil removal, a powerhead vacuum will remove a significant amount more dirt than the latter.

Once the carpet has been pre-cleaned, the technician will then spray the carpet with a cleaning solution, such as a specially formulated detergent or shampoo.

This helps to further loosen and remove dirt, dust, and other particles from the fibers of your carpet.

The agitation tool is then used to scrub the cleaning solution deep into the carpet’s fibers. The agitation tool’s brushes help remove tough dirt and stains that would otherwise remain lodged in the carpet.

This process helps ensure a deeper clean than traditional vacuuming or steam cleaning methods can provide.

Once the agitation is complete, the technician will extract the now dirty solution from your carpet using either hot water extraction (aka steam cleaning) or a cold water extractor.

The extraction process removes the dirt and cleaning solution from the carpet, leaving your carpets feeling fresh and clean.

Agitation carpet cleaning is a great way to remove tough dirt and stains that may otherwise remain lodged in your carpets.

It can also help ensure a deeper clean than traditional vacuuming or steam cleaning methods can provide.

The Best Machine for Agitation

Best Machine for Agitation

Agitation requires a powerful, industrial-grade machine to ensure a deep clean. Agitation machines can range in size from small, portable machines to large units designed for commercial applications.

In terms of pricing, agitation machines range from around $1,000 for a small portable unit to several thousand dollars for commercial-grade equipment.

The best agitation machines come with a range of features, such as adjustable speed settings and powerful suction. Some also include attachments to spot clean upholstery or grout lines.

The TM4 CRB Agitation Machine satisfies all of these requirements. It’s a compact yet powerful machine that can handle both residential and commercial agitation needs.

The TM4 CRB features an adjustable speed setting, powerful suction, and a range of attachments. It also comes with easy-to-follow instructions that make it simple to use.

Equipped with a wheeled trolley, soft black brushes, and renovator trays, the TM4 CRB is easy to transport and use.

The trolley includes large rubber-coated wheels that make it easy to maneuver around the room.

The TM4 CRB also features a convenient foot lever that starts the brushes and releases the handle for easy storage.

It’s an excellent choice for those who need an effective agitation machine but don’t have the space for a larger model.

Choosing the right machine for your needs is essential to ensure a deep, effective clean.

When selecting an agitation machine to rent or purchase, be sure to read customer reviews and test the machine out first before making your final decision.

How Long Does It Take To Dry Carpets After Agitation?

How Long Does It Take To Dry Carpets After Agitation

Once the extraction process is complete, it typically takes anywhere from 2-12 hours for your carpet to dry, depending on the air circulation and humidity in the room.

To ensure that carpets are completely dry, most professional cleaners recommend that you leave windows and doors open to promote air circulation.

If the humidity of your home is higher than usual, it may take longer for the carpets to dry.

You can also use a fan to help speed up the drying process — just make sure not to put it too close to the carpet and on an adjustable setting that will not blow dirt into other areas of your home.

Vacuuming your carpets when they’re still damp is a huge no-no. Doing so can actually cause the carpets to become wetter and lead to mold growth, which can be detrimental to your health.

Instead, it’s better to turn on the fans, open the windows, and wait a couple of hours before vacuuming.

How Much Does Agitation Cost?

The cost of agitation cleaning will vary depending on the size of your home, the condition of your carpets, and whether or not you choose to rent or purchase an agitation machine.

For a small residential home, professional cleaning with agitation costs between $200-$400. This includes labor, supplies, and equipment rental fees (if applicable).

On the other hand, larger homes may cost more, depending on factors such as the number of rooms to be cleaned. You can expect to pay around $400-$750 for a larger residential home.

Commercial spaces can cost even more, ranging from several hundred to thousands of dollars. It’s best to talk to a professional cleaner and get an estimate before committing to a service.

Purchasing an agitation machine may seem like a good idea at first. However, in many cases, it can actually be more expensive than hiring a professional cleaner.

This is because agitation machines require regular maintenance and repair — something a professional carpet cleaner can provide.

Agitation Pros and Cons

Now you know what agitation cleaning is and how much it costs, let’s look at its pros and cons.

Pros of Agitation

Agitation cleaning is a highly effective way to give your carpet a deep clean. Here are some of the benefits of using agitation:

More Thorough Clean

More Thorough Clean

Agitation carpet cleaning offers a more thorough cleaning than vacuuming alone.

This is because the agitation action works to dislodge dirt, dust, and debris that have become embedded in the fibers of your carpet.

Agitation machines are also equipped with powerful suction that helps to remove this deep-seated dirt and debris from the carpets, leaving them clean and fresh.

Quicker Cleaning Process

Quicker Cleaning Process

Agitation carpet cleaning is a quicker cleaning process compared to other methods, such as shampooing or steam cleaning.

This is because it does not require pre-treatment of the carpets, and the agitation machine can be moved quickly from one area to another.

Agitation also reduces drying time since the suction in an agitation machine removes most of the moisture from the carpets.



Agitation carpet cleaning is an eco-friendly choice since it does not use harsh chemicals or toxic cleaners. Instead, the agitation action works to lift dirt and debris without the need for any additional products.

For example, most agitation machines rely on a water-based solution that is non-toxic and biodegradable.

This makes it safe for use in homes with pets or small children. Similarly, the drying process does not require chemical deodorizers or additives.


Cost-Effective cleaning

As mentioned earlier, agitation cleaning is often more cost-effective than other carpet cleaning methods.

Professional cleaners will typically charge by square foot, making it relatively affordable even for large homes and commercial spaces.

Professional cleaners usually charge by hour, so if you need to clean your carpet in less time, agitation may be best.

Since other cleaning methods like shampooing or steam cleaning require pre-treatment, they take more time and cost more.

Longer-Lasting Results

Longer-Lasting Results

When done properly, agitation carpet cleaning can help to extend the life of your carpets. This is because it removes dirt and debris that has become embedded in the fibers.

Long-term wear and tear can cause carpets to look faded, discolored, or worn down over time. However, using an agitation machine helps restore the carpet and make it look new.

Cons of Agitation

Potential Damage to Carpet Fibers

Potential Damage to Carpet Fibers

If not done correctly, agitation cleaning can cause damage to your carpet fibers. Especially if the machine is set to an overly aggressive setting or worked over a single section for too long.

This could result in rips and tears in the carpet or cause it to become matted and misshapen. To avoid this, make sure that you hire a professional cleaner who is experienced in using agitation machines.

High-Maintenance Machines

High-Maintenance Machines

Agitation machines require regular maintenance and repair — something not everyone has time for. Additionally, they can be expensive to repair and maintain since they often require specialized parts.

If you opt to utilize the services of a professional cleaner, make sure to ask about their maintenance and repair policy.

They should be able to provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost to keep the machine in good working order.

Potentially Noisy Machines

Noisy Machines

Agitation machines can be very loud when in use, which may not be ideal for homes with young children or pets.

To reduce the noise level, you may want to invest in a quieter machine — though these often come at higher prices.

Additionally, if you plan on using an agitation machine in your own home, make sure that it is installed away from any sleeping areas or quiet spots where people spend time.

This will help to reduce noise levels and keep the machine from disrupting your daily activities.

When Should You Go For Agitation?

Agitation cleaning is a great choice for those looking to quickly and effectively clean their carpets. One can use it on a wide range of surfaces, from thick shaggy carpets to low-pile Berber styles.

Some signs that your carpets are in need of agitation cleaning include:

  • Discoloration
  • Unusual odors
  • Excess dirt or debris
  • Stains that won’t come out with vacuuming

If you are experiencing any of these issues, then agitation cleaning may be the right choice for you.

Be sure to hire a professional cleaner who has experience in using this type of machine to ensure that your carpets get the treatment they need.


Agitation cleaning is a great way to quickly and effectively clean your carpets. 

Just make sure to hire a professional cleaner who is knowledgeable about using the machine and can ensure that it is used properly with safely.

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