Steam Cleaning Vs Dry Cleaning: Which One Should You Prefer

Carpets are a beautiful addition to both residential and commercial buildings. However, this beauty can quickly fade over the years as dirt accumulates on the carpet. 

Luckily, there are several methods to restore your carpet to its spick and span-state. Two of the most common are steam and dry cleaning, but which is better? This article will thoroughly compare both methods - steam and dry cleaning in Brisbane so you can decide on the right one for your carpets. 

Key Takeaways

  • Carpet Dry Cleaning and Steam Cleaning both remove dirt and enhance the appearance of your carpet.
  • Steam cleaning is the preferred choice for most professionals as it does a deeper cleaner.
  • You should contact professional carpet cleaners when removing tough stains and soil from your carpet.
  • If you’re in Australia, Top Carpet Cleaning is your best bet for a safe and thorough clean.

steam carpet cleaning vs dry carpet cleaning

What Is Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning involves using hot water extraction to remove allergens, dirt and bacteria from your carpets. Most people mistake this method as chemically free because of the steam. However, the steam produced is simply a by-product of the hot water used during the extraction process.

Below are two types of steam carpet cleaning.

  • Truck Mount: A machine is used to apply a chemical carpet cleaner in pressurised water on your carpet. The device will then suck up dirt and moisture during the hot water extraction. This method is used for deep cleaning.
  • Portable Extraction: The only difference between this method and the truck mount is that it is industrial. Portable extraction is used for broader surfaces and involves heavy-duty machines.


Steam Cleaning Is Eco-friendly

Although steam cleaning uses chemicals, most of the solution used is water. This means that it leaves little to no chemical residues or smells on the surface of your carpet.

It Removes Unpleasant Odours

Carpet fibres are known to cling to smells that can be pretty unnerving if they are unpleasant. This is primarily a cause for concern if you have pets because their urine, excrement, and dander are some of the most challenging smells to eliminate. 

Luckily, steam cleaning eliminates this smell and kills parasites and their larvae clinging to your carpet fibres, which makes it very efficient in ensuring pet carpets clean.

This Method Cleans Better

Pathogens in the carpet create an unhealthy environment for the inhabitants of the building. Especially since most harmful germs, viruses and bacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye.

The hot water extraction method used by steam cleaning cleans deep within the carpet’s fibres. It eliminates even the toughest soils, stains, and pathogens on your carpet.

It Enhances The Appearance Of Your Carpet

Unsurprisingly, a well-cleaned and adequately maintained carpet will look as good as new. The steam cleaning method allows you the liberty of a tidy residential or commercial building.


Long Drying Periods

Since steam cleaning thrives on moisture use, drying takes a longer time. This is so even though most of the moisture is removed during the hot water extraction process.

Steam Cleaning Can Be Expensive

This method may require heavy-duty machines to clean, which will raise costs. However, the investment proves to be worth it due to the high efficiency of carpet steam cleaning.

What Is Dry Cleaning?

There are several ways to dry and clean your carpet professionally. Some of these methods even require the use of moisture. However, the water used is much less than the steam cleaning method.

Here are some standard carpet dry-cleaning methods 

  • Dry Foam: The professional cleaners will apply shampoo to your carpet for a specified period. Afterwards, they will vacuum it alongside the dry residue it leaves behind.
  • Oscillating Pads: A balanced pH solution is sprayed onto the carpet and left to work until it dies. It agitates and loosens dirt by reacting with the carpet fibres. Finally, an oscillating machine is used to deep clean the carpet.
  • Dry Compounds: In this method, a biodegradable compound is left to absorb dirt on the carpet. Afterwards, you can use a standard vacuum cleaning to remove the compound and dirt from your carpet.
  • Bonnet Pads: This method is initially the same as the dry foam method but with a special pad, a bonnet. This damp bonnet lifts and collects dirt and shampoo residue from the carpet as you use your cleaning machine.


It Saves Time

Dry carpet cleaning uses little to no mixture to clean your carpets. This means that it offers a much shorter drying time than steam cleaning. 

Dry Carpet Cleaning Offers Convenience

Due to the nature of this carpet cleaning, there will be no need to open security doors to accommodate hoses. Not to mention that quiet machinery can clean the carpets during business hours.

It Extends Your Carpet Life

If your carpet is professionally dry cleaned regularly, it will last long. This is because the cleaning removes significant spots and stains from the carpet’s fibres.

Dry Carpet Cleaning Is Eco-Friendly

When done by the right professionals, this carpet cleaning method consumes fewer harmful chemicals. In most cases, the machines used for cleaning are powered electrically.


Dry Carpet Cleaning May Leave Residue

After dry cleaning your carpet, you’ll often find soapy or detergent residue on your carpet fibres. This residue may also attract dust and dirt shortly after the completed cleaning.

It Can Leave Behind A Strong Unpleasant Smell

Dry carpet cleaning is usually carried out with strong solvents for efficiency. These solvents can leave a lingering smell that may be unpleasant for the house’s inhabitants.

Steam vs Dry: Cleaning Method

Carpet Steam Cleaning

  1. A pre-vacuum is performed before the cleaning process to avoid it turning into mud.
  2. The steam cleaning process with hot water extraction is carried out on your carpet.

Carpet Dry Cleaning

  1. A pre-vacuum is performed, and the carpet is treated with a dry cleaning solvent.
  2. The solution breaks down the oily residue on the carpet, making it easier to get rid of soil since they stick to the oil.
  3. Your carpet cleaner will then use a rotary machine to spin cotton pads around the carpet, removing the dirt.

Steam cleaning vs Dry cleaning - which one is best?

In terms of thorough cleaning, the carpet steam cleaning method outweighs dry cleaning. This is because the hot water extraction efficiently removes dirt from the carpet’s fibres, not just on the surface.

The solvents used are usually eco-friendly and will leave behind no unpleasant smell. Children and pets are safe to play around the carpet after the cleaning.


Both steam cleaning and dry cleaning will make your carpet look as good as new. However, these results will fade away quicker with the dry cleaning method since it removes surface dirt and leaves behind a residue that attracts dirt.

Steam cleaning removes all dirt and pathogens from the very depth of the carpet for a long-lasting solution. Contact us to clean your carpet to protect your family’s health today.


Why choose steam cleaning?

Steam cleaning effectively maintains the beauty and attractiveness of the carpet in your home or commercial building.

What Are The Best Carpet Cleaning Products?

You can always ask your carpet cleaners what products they use. At Top Carpet Cleaning, we’re happy to keep you in the loop regarding our cleaning products.

How do I remove stubborn stains?

If you find stubborn stains on your carpet, call a professional carpet cleaner who will utilise the best cleaning methods to get rid of them.

What happens when I vacuum my Carpets?

The vacuum removes many bits of dirt like dust, the droppings of dust mites and other small insects.

What is the best way to clean a carpet?

The best way to clean a carpet would be to call in a professional who will use the steam cleaning method to do the job. Call Top Carpet Cleaning if you’re ready to get your carpets spick and span.

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