Carpet cleaning is defined as the use of specialized machines to clean carpets to remove stains, dirt, grit, sand, and allergens. Sounds simple enough. However, a proliferation of new terms can cause confusion. The questions I hear most often involve the differences between the hot water extraction method and the dry carpet cleaning method. While each has specific advantages, the over-riding point to understand is that hot water extraction is the top-recommended method.

Top Carpet Manufacturers Recommend Hot Water Extraction

No one knows carpeting better than the manufacturers, and they specifically recommend that residential carpets be regularly cleaned by professionals using the hot water extraction method. Here are few examples…

Shaw Industries Group recommends hot water extraction – “Research indicates that the hot water extraction system provides the best capability for cleaning…The process consists of applying a cleaning agent into the carpet pile and using water in the extractor to recover the used solution and soil…Hot water Extraction or steam cleaning – every 18 months or more depending on the traffic in your home, will remove oils and particulates that accelerate soiling.”

Mohawk Industries recommends hot water extraction – “Even with regular vacuuming, soil particles and oily dirt will cling to carpet fibers. Foot traffic drives these particles and dirt deep into the carpet. Mohawk requires professional hot water extraction every 18 months…Periodic cleaning by a certified carpet-care professional using the hot water extraction method will refresh carpet appearance.”

STAINMASTER recommends hot water extraction – “To qualify for coverage under all limited warranties outlined in this warranty brochure, you must have had a hot water extraction cleaning performed by a trained, qualified carpet care professional, at least as frequently as every 18 months since the date of your carpet purchase. Failing to do so will void your warranty coverage.”

Carpet manufacturers know how carpet is constructed and understand the best ways to keep it clean and help it last. As you can see above, they even go so far as to require hot water extraction be performed at least every 18 months to maintain your warranty.

Understanding the Hot Water Extraction Method

As described in Shaw Industries’ recommendation, the hot water extraction method is exactly as it sounds. Extra Effort’s carpet cleaning method is based on hot water extraction. Our equipment is designed to provide the ultimate in cleaning power without over-wetting the area. The system also keeps the temperature of the water at a safe level to prevent damage to the fibers of the carpet and upholstery being cleaned.

Understanding the Dry Carpet Cleaning Method

The first point to understand about the dry method is that it isn’t completely “dry,” a small amount of cleaning solution is usually applied. One common method, carpet encapsulation, involves chemicals that form crystals, which are then vacuumed out. In some cases, not all of the crystals are removed in the initial cleaning, and the home owner must vacuum the carpets again.

Determining Which Carpet Cleaning Method is Best for You

First and foremost, if you have carpet installed, you need to check your warranty as top manufacturers require hot water extraction. Outside of warranty concerns, consider the recommendation of hot water extraction by manufacturers whenever deep cleaning is needed. For industrial and retail settings, where speed may be the most important factor, the dry method may suffice.

Final Thoughts

Just as important as picking the right method is the picking the right carpet cleaning company. For a checklist of questions to ask, see How to Pick the Right Carpet Cleaning Company. And, as always, you can rely on us for:

  • Our A+ BBB Rating and IICRC Certified Certification
  • Personalized Service with Large Company Capabilities
  • 33 years in West Chester, serving Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
  • All-Inclusive Pricing (We will give you an exact estimate before any work is started and WON’T tack on extra costs for fuel/trip charges, deodorizer or fabric protection.)

Questions? I am always available to answer your stain removal questions and concerns. Call us today at (513) 777-8770 to learn more about our carpet and upholstery cleaning services. Or email us at to learn about this month’s cleaning special.

Elliott S. Fishman, Co-Owner
Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.


About Elliott S. Fishman

Elliott Fishman, along with his son Brian, is the owner and operator of Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.   We serve the residents and businesses of Greater Cincinnati to include West Chester, Mason, Maineville, Loveland, Wyoming, Fairfield, Indian Hill, Montgomery, Hyde Park and Anderson Township. Elliott started this company in 1984, based on the belief that it takes Extra Effort to make each job a success. The father/son team puts the extra time, extra care, and extra effort go into every task they undertake – no matter how large or small the job. Extra Effort’s quality equipment, trained technicians and safe products have made the company a top choice for residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, water damage / water extraction, fabric protection, odor control and spot removal.

A+ BBB Rating

Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

8303 Darlene Dr

West Chester, OH 45069

(513) 777-8770

IICRC Certified