Carpets are an excellent way to add warmth and color to any home. But, due to the high traffic levels they are exposed to, carpets can accumulate dirt, dust mites, and other allergens that cause respiratory issues.
Regular deep cleaning is essential to keep your carpets looking fresh and clean. Hot water extraction is arguably one of the best methods for deep-cleaning carpets.
This method helps loosen embedded dirt and allergens and remove them effectively from the carpet fibers.
Read on to learn everything about hot water extraction and carpet cleaning.
What Is Hot Water Extraction Cleaning?
Hot water extraction, as the name suggests, is a method of deep-cleaning carpets using hot water and a detergent solution.
The carpet cleaning technician “injects” the hot water and detergent solution deep into the carpet fibers using a specialized machine.
The hot water, combined with the detergent, helps loosen dirt, dust mites, and other allergens from the carpet fibers.
The technician then removes the dirt and allergens from the carpet by extracting them with a powerful vacuum cleaner.
By removing the dirt and allergens from deep within the carpet fibers, hot water extraction ensures that your carpets stay clean for a longer period of time.
While you will see that many businesses advertise this procedure as “steam cleaning,” that is a little misleading.
Although it is true that a small amount of steam is created during the last phases of the hot water extraction, it is not the steam that does the cleaning.
Steam carpet cleaning is an entirely different method that uses steam vapor only to clean carpets.
Time Required for Hot Water Extraction
The actual time required to clean carpets using hot water extraction depends on the size of the area you want to get cleaned and the level of soiling.
On average, it takes about two hours for an experienced technician to deep-clean a large room (such as a living or dining room). Smaller areas such as bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms may take less time.
If you have a large home with extensive soiling on your carpets, it may take a lot longer for the technician to clean them.
This estimate does not include the drying time, which may vary depending on the type of carpet and the amount of moisture used during the cleaning process. In most cases, carpets can take upwards of 5 hours to dry completely.
Cost of Hot Water Extraction Cleaning
The cost of hot water extraction depends on the size of the area to be cleaned, the type and condition of the carpet, and the degree of soiling.
A professional technician will usually charge between $75 and $400 to clean a large room. Prices may vary depending on the technician, so be sure to get several quotes before making your final decision.
Some carpet cleaning services offer packages that include pre-treatment, deep-cleaning, and post-treatment services.
These packages usually cost a bit more than the basic hot water extraction cleaning service but may provide additional benefits such as increased stain protection or anti-allergen treatment.
Others may have an hourly rate, which may be more cost-effective for large homes with extensive soiling and stains.
How Does Hot Water Extraction Actually Work?
The use of hot water extraction to clean carpets is a relatively new concept in the world of professional carpet cleaning.
For many years, steam cleaning was universally regarded as the superior approach to using high temperatures and pressure to remove dirt and allergens from carpets.
As steam cleaning gained popularity, it started to be used not just for carpet cleaning but also for cleaning upholstery and other types of cleaning procedures in general.
With the development of newer carpet cleaning equipment, hot water extraction has slowly started to replace steam cleaning as the preferred method.
Here’s how it works:
The easiest way to think of water extraction is as a thorough cleansing, like a tidal wave breaking against a surface.
The water’s internal pressure generates a powerful force capable of breaking down dirt, dust mites, and allergens from deep within carpet fibers.
The high-pressure warm water spray is typically combined with a cleaning solution, which helps to break down the dirt and allow it to be removed more easily.
The cleaning solution is around 50-120 degrees Celsius warm and is injected into the carpet and then extracted with a powerful vacuum.
This process is repeated several times until the desired level of cleanliness is achieved.
Hot water extraction cleaning is performed with powerful, expert-caliber equipment. Strong machinery is required to create enough pressure and temperature to achieve a deep clean.
When done right, hot water extraction cleaning is considered the most effective way of cleaning carpets.
What Are The Benefits Of Hot Water Extraction?
Hot water extraction is a highly effective carpet and upholstery cleaning method renowned for its ability to remove deep-down dirt, dust, and allergens.
It is also incredibly versatile and can be used to clean almost any type of carpet, from thick Berber carpets to delicate handmade rugs.
Here are just some of the benefits that hot water extraction provides:
1. Environmentally Friendly Cleaning
If you choose to use hot water extraction cleaning, you can rest assured that you are choosing an environmentally friendly method.
Hot water extraction requires only a small amount of detergent and water, eliminating the need for excessive use of harsh chemicals or water.
In addition, the detergents used in this procedure are usually biodegradable, so they will not harm the surrounding ecosystem in any way.
2. Quickly Eliminates Stubborn Stains
Stubborn stains such as oil, grease, and wine can be tough to remove with traditional cleaning methods. However, hot water extraction makes removing even the toughest of stains much simpler.
The high-pressure steam produced by hot water extraction is powerful enough to break down and dissolve tough stains quickly and effectively.
From spilled food to pet messes, hot water extraction can make easy work of them all.
3. Faster Drying Time
With hot water extraction, carpets are typically able to dry within 2-6 hours. This is significantly faster than other cleaning methods, such as shampooing, which can take up to a whole day to dry.
The fast drying time of hot water extraction can be attributed to the use of minimal water and detergents, which means that carpets do not have to be soaked with cleaning solutions.
This also eliminates the possibility of mold or mildew growth, which can occur if carpets are left too wet for an extended period of time.
4. Financial Savings
Hot water extraction is a relatively inexpensive method of cleaning carpets compared to other methods.
If you have a professional company clean your carpet, you will always come out ahead financially because this will prevent you from having to invest in a new, more expensive carpet.
It would be impractical and prohibitively expensive to replace your carpet every few years. Hot water extraction can help preserve your carpets for many years to come.
5. Allergens Are Removed
Carpets that haven’t been cleaned for some time can harbor a variety of allergens that can cause respiratory problems.
Hot water extraction effectively removes these particles, providing you with a healthier indoor environment.
Hot water extraction is suitable for all kinds of carpets, from Berber to handmade rugs. It’s fast, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, making it an excellent choice for carpet cleaning.
Plus, it gives you peace of mind knowing that your carpets are free from dust and allergens.
Is Steam Cleaning the Same as Hot Water Extraction?
As was noted earlier, the cleaning done by hot water extraction is very different from the cleaning done by steam.
Many people confuse the two because they are often referred to as “steam cleaning”.
The main difference between the two is that hot water extraction utilizes hot water and a small amount of detergent to clean carpets. In contrast, steam cleaning relies solely on the heat generated by pressurized steam.
The only thing steam cleaning does is loosen any particularly persistent stains, but it does not eliminate any odors.
Meanwhile, hot water extraction uses a chemical agent that not only removes the stains but also leaves behind a pleasant scent.
In terms of removing stains, both methods are effective, but hot water extraction is superior.
It can be used to treat different materials, as well as remove a wide range of odors and allergens. Hot water extraction also provides long-lasting protection against further staining or soiling.
What Happens During the Hot Water Extraction Process?
If you haven’t had your carpets professionally cleaned before, it may be difficult to picture what exactly the hot water extraction process entails.
Don’t worry! It’s quite a simple procedure. Here’s a step-by-step overview of how the process works:
The cleaning technicians can’t immediately start injecting hot water and detergent into the carpet. This can be damaging to the fibers.
So, they first treat the carpets with a pre-treatment solution that loosens embedded dirt and other debris.
The pre-treatment solution also acts as a barrier between the carpets and the hot water extraction cleaning solution.
2. Hot Water Extraction
Once the pre-treatment solution has done its job, the hot water extraction process begins.
The carpet is injected with a special cleaning solution which is heated to a temperature of between 50-120 degrees Celsius.
The hot water and cleaning solution are injected in the form of a powerful stream into the carpet fibers, which helps to loosen any dirt or allergens embedded deep within the carpet.
The solution then penetrates the fibers and encapsulates any particles that it comes into contact with.
The hot water and cleaning solution are then suctioned out of the carpets using a powerful vacuum cleaner. This process helps remove the dirt, dust, and allergens embedded in the carpets.
The vacuum also removes a large portion of the cleaning solution, ensuring that your carpet is left with minimal moisture.
To prevent any mold or mildew from growing in your carpets, they need to be dried as quickly as possible. This is achieved by circulating air over the carpets using powerful air movers.
The drying time after a hot water extraction cleaning can take anything between two hours to twelve hours, depending on the size of the area and the type of carpet being cleaned.
Once the carpets have completely dried, they are ready to be enjoyed once again.
Tips For Maintaining Clean Carpets After Hot Water Extraction
It’s important to take certain steps to maintain the cleanliness of your carpets after they have undergone hot water extraction cleaning.
After all, most people get their carpets professionally cleaned 1-4 times a year, so they want to make sure that their carpets stay as clean as possible for the longest possible time.
Here are some tips to help you keep your carpets looking and smelling clean:
1. Vacuum Regularly
It’s important to vacuum your carpets on a regular basis, preferably 1-2 times per week. This helps to remove any surface dirt or debris that may have accumulated since the last cleaning.
That said, overdoing it with the vacuuming can also be damaging to your carpets. Try not to vacuum too frequently, as this can cause the fibers of your carpet to become worn out over time.
Using a vacuum is also used in the wet carpet cleaning process, while in the dry carpet cleaning process, the vacuum is used at the end of the process. So make sure to know what process you are using in order to vacuum rightly.
2. Place Walk-Off Mats at Entryways
Walk-off mats are a great way to limit the amount of debris and dirt that gets tracked onto your carpets.
Place them at every entryway and encourage family members and guests to wipe their feet before entering any room with carpeting.
3. Spot Clean Spills Immediately
It’s also a good idea to spot-clean your carpets as soon as you notice any stains or spills.
This will help to prevent them from becoming deeply embedded within the carpet fibers and make it easier for the cleaners to remove them during their next session.
You can use a special spot cleaner for this purpose or make your own cleaning solution using white vinegar and warm water.
Hot water extraction can be an effective way to restore your carpets to their original cleanliness. And it’s important to take the necessary steps to maintain them.
Now that you know all about hot water extraction cleaning consider booking a professional carpet cleaner to take care of the job for you. In no time, your carpets will look and smell fresh once again!
Daleyza knows a lot about carpets! She has worked with carpets for over 7 years and can help with things like putting them in, keeping them clean, and replacing them. She really likes carpets and spends most of her time learning about new ways to work with them. When she’s not learning about carpets, she enjoys reading books. She’s really good at helping people choose the right carpet for their homes and making sure they’re happy with it. If you want to know more about carpets, Daleyza is the person to talk to!