Hot water extraction, also known as carpet steam cleaning is a method that uses a vacuum cleaner with pressurized hot water to suck up dirt and stain off the carpet. The hot water is usually mixed with a cleaning agent which helpings in loosing up the dirt or grime in the carpet. The surface of the carpet is usually passed on several times using the vacuum cleaner over and over again to bring the carpet fibers to its natural state. After this process, the carpet is left to dry.
There a number of machines that are used for hot water extraction and this include portable machines that can be plugged on the power socket or larger truck mounted ones with petrol engines. The advantage of portable machines is that they can be used to access the entire house such as high storey buildings. Furthermore, a single individual can carry out carpet cleaning alone using a portable machine. On the other hand, the truck mounted machines have the advantage of cleaning larger surfaces at a faster rate with the use of less power. Truck mounted machines also do not require a separate component for heating water first.
Hot water extraction is one of the most widely used cleaning system and many manufacturers recommend it for a thorough cleaning of the carpet. When this method is used correctly, it is an effective and a safer method in removing tough stains and strong odors on the carpet surface. The following are the advantages of using hot water extraction:
- It provides the carpet with a renovation quality finish
- More soil and dirt is removed from the carpets than with any other cleaning system
- There is a higher chance of success with stubborn stains especially deep stains within the carpet.
- There are few chemical residues left on the surface of the carpet.
The main disadvantage with hot water extraction is that it is a difficult method of carpet cleaning as it is labour intensive. In addition, if the carpet is used before it has dried well, then the carpet has a higher chance of being damaged.