Different Methods of Carpet Cleaning

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Different Methods of Carpet Cleaning 

The first question you need to ask is how dirty is my carpet? The answer to this question will determine what carpet cleaning method you can use. Notice I say “method” not machine. carpet cleaning is a combination of machine and products.

You will find that you will see lots of carpet cleaning marketing claiming that a carpet cleaning machine will out perform others. This is misleading, because it will be the products that break down the dirt so that it can be removed by the machine. The quality of the products are just as important as any machine.

Carpet cleaning methods machines.png

So choosing the right method for the level of soil in a carpet is key to the cleaning of any carpet.

The three types of methods are called, “Preventive” (Light Soil) “Corrective”( Heavy Soil) and “Salvage” (Restoration/Correction)

1. Preventive Carpet Cleaning Methods Used for light soil and regular maintenance. you have 3 methods within this category, 1. Spray and Absorb 2. Soil Adsorption/Crystallisation 3. Dry Compound Absorption. Do not worry details will follow on each method

2. Corrective Carpet Cleaning Methods Used for heavy soiling. Again 3 methods within this category, 1. Soil Crystallisation, 2. Hot Water Extraction, 3. Combination Carpet Cleaning

3. Salvage Carpet Cleaning Methods These methods is for recovery of damaged carpets and carries some risk. It relies mostly on reactions and corrections of problems so is not something that can be guaranteed. Written disclaimers should always be signed by the customer after you have explained the risks involved.

Preventive Carpet Cleaning Methods (low moisture)


Method : Bonnet Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning

This method can be used on most types of carpets assuming that they are

  • in good condition
  • being regularly dry vacuumed
  • only lightly soiled
  • Spots and no stains
  • ideal for maintaining carpets or traffic areas

Equipment Needed From Prochem UK

  • Vacuum
  • Pressure sprayer
  • Standard speed rotary machine
  • Bonnet pads
  • Carpet pile brush
  • Bucket and wringer

Step 1

Vacuum area

Step 2

Pre spray are with following dilations and instructions. Only pre spray small working area 

Preventive Carpet Cleaning Method.jpg

Step 3

  • Attach a bonnet pad to rotary machine after pre dampening the pad with product
  • You then rotate with the machine side to side in swings of 1 to 2 metres. Working backwards.
  • A good working area is about 10 sq metres each pad will clean about 50 sq metres
  • The soil will be adsorbed onto the bonnet pad
  • After 50 sq metres rinse out in your bucket and wringer with a solution of
  • After each job machine wash your bonnet pads

Step 4

Reset the original pile direction. this prevents swirls when drying

Drying times are 15 to 20 minutes. so idea for areas in use all the time



Method  : Crystallisation Absorption Carpet Cleaning

This method is for conditions where soil levels are slightly heaver than for method one.

  • Soils is removed from the carpet by rotary agitation of a cotton bonnet pad per wet in a solution of fibre shampoo
  • Any residue left behind in carpet will crystallise.
  • Do not use or substitute cleaning product
  • This method is for use as a maintenance periodical preventive program
  • Drying times are about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • This method is not suitable for shag pile carpets

Equipment Needed From Prochem UK

  • Vacuum
  • Rotary Machine (150 rpm) or standard speed with tank
  • Bonnet Pads
  • Carpet Pile Brush
  • Edging Brush
  • Terry Towel

Step 1

Vacuum carpet

Step 2

Prepare fibre shampoo solution, pour into machine tank. 

Crystallisation Absorption Carpet Cleaning.jpg

Step 3

After fitting drive board with bonnet pad skim over carpet making sure you overlap each run by about 8cm. change pad after about 50 sq mts

Step 5

Set pile so you prevent possible rotary marks with carpet pile brush.






Method  : Dry Carpet Cleaning

For customers that have had a bad experience with poor carpet cleaners in the past where their carpets have taken days to dry out dry carpet cleaning is the answer. These customers just dont want to risk having to go though that experience again. This method is also suitable for maintenance of lightly soiled carpets, or carpet in use all the time.

  • Granular or as we like to call them sponges are agitated into the surface of the carpet to absorb the greasy soils.
  • The Sponges with the soil attached are then vacuumed off after some dwell time.
  • Carpets can be used immediately

Equipment From Prochem UK

  Step 1

  • Vacuum carpets
  • Apply sponges

 Step 2

Leave sponges for about 15 to 30 minutes

Step 3

Vacuum sponges off the carpet

Method 3 Dry Carpet Cleaning.png

Corrective Carpet Cleaning Methods

Dry Carpet Cleaning Plus - A Corrective Carpet Cleaning Method

 Method  : Dry Carpet Cleaning Plus

This method is the same a method 3 except that a pre spray is used for heavier soiled carpets before applying the sponges.

  • Pre Spray a small area with a wool safe carpet cleaning product
  • Agitate into carpet with a pile brush
  • Now put down sponges like in method 3

Equipment From Prochem UK

  • Vacuum
  • Host Carpet Cleaning Machine
  • Host Sponges
  • Pressure Sprayer
  • Pile Brush

Method  : Crystallisation Absorption Carpet Cleaning Plus

This method will clean the top half of any carpet pile.

  • The success of the method relies totally on a crystallising foam formulation which is scrubbed into the carpet with a rotary machine.
  • The carpet cleaning solution emulsifies the soil from the carpet pile
  • The water from the carpet cleaning solution evaporates.
  • The residue harden into a dry crystal encapsulating the soil.
  • These soil crystals are then removed at a later stage by normal regular dry vacuuming.

This method is favoured by contact cleaners as its low cost and dry quickly.

Crystallisation Absorption Carpet Cleaning method 5.jpg

Equipment From Prochem UK

  • Dry vacuum
  • A rotary machine with solution tank.
  • Two rotary brushes, soft and hard.
  • Carpet pile brush
  • Edging brush

Step 1 Give carpet a really good vacuum

Step 2 Dampen the rotary brushes

Step 3 Start as far from exit as possible

  • Release solution
  • Keep wire neat and tidy for safety
  • Move rotary machine on the carpet from right to left coving about 1m
  • Drop back, overlap by about 10cm
  • Agitate the shampoo, controlling the flow and not over wetting the carpet.

Step 4  Reset the pile with pile brush on carpet

Step 5 Replace all furniture with carpet protectors. and put foam blocks under any flat furniture.


Method  : Hot Water Extraction  (steam cleaning)

This method is designed to remove any dirt that is bonded to the carpet fibres on light soiled carpets.

Equipment From Prochem UK

  • Vacuum
  • Pressure Sprayer
  • Carpet Pile Brush
  • Hot Water Extraction Machine

Step 1

Vacuum carpet, take your time as much of the dirt can be removed on this step. As a guide about 10 to 15 minutes each room.

Step 2

Treat all stains (more on this in another section)

Step 3

Pre spray with a wool safe product a workable area. you dont want to get to far ahead of yourself as the pre spray will dry. 

Hot Water Extraction (steam cleaning).jpg

Brush into carpet

Step 4 

Fill hot water extraction machine with water and suable product thats wool safe

Step 5

  • Turn on pumps and vacuums
  • Put de-foamer into recovery tank.


  • With the wand extended to a comfortable arm’s length in front of you, pull the solution by pulling the trigger.
  • Pull want towards you. dont go to slow as you will over wet the carpet. the pre spray should have broken the bond down so you just rinse it away.
  • So as not to cause any over wetting release the solution trigger before you stop  pulling towards you.
  • repeat with small overlap
  • now without releasing any solution go over area with just the vacuum only this is your dry stroke. this help the carpet dry much faster.


  • Read the instructions carefully before staring using the extraction machine.
  • Start work in the corner furthest point from the door
  • if the carpet still looks dirty after two passes dont keep going over it as this will cause over wetting and possibly damage. try pre spraying again leave for 10 to 15 minutes then repeat once again. if this does not remove dirt leave carpet to dry. Then check again, if it still looks dirt repeat cleaning process. sometime carpets can be so dirty that then need a power brush in place of just a carpet brush at the pre spray step. ( check out method 6a)
  • Ensure that you have some ventilation in rooms after carpet cleaning.

Method  : Hot Water Extraction – Heavy Soil

Do Not use this method on carpets that are suspect to browning or dye bleed (ref method 6c)

How To Clean Heavily Soiled Carpets

  • Vacuum
  • Pre spray carpet with
Hot Water Extraction – Heavy Soil.jpg




  • Brush into carpet
  • Add carpet cleaning product below to solution tank in the right dilution





Carpet cleaning product.jpg






  • Now extract the dirt from carpet using the same way as in method 6a
  • Reset pile






Method 6c : Hot Water Extraction – Wool Carpets

This method of carpet cleaning is for carpets that can dye bleed and suspect jute baking, also its advisable to use this method if you are going to use stain protection or if it has been applied before. cleaning carpets wit high PH products can strip them out.

before cleaning any carpet with more than one colour you must carry out a bleed test.

How To Clean Wool Carpets

  • Vacuun
  • Pre spray carpet with

Hot Water Extraction (steam cleaning).jpg

  • Brush into carpet pile
  • Add carpet cleaning product below to solution tank in the right dilutio
Carpet cleaning product.jpg




  • Now extract the dirt from carpet using the same way as in method 6a
  • Reset pile






Method  : Hot Water Extraction – White Carpets

This method is used on white or off white carpets with heavy soil. Do not use this method on carpets which can dye bleed or browning.

Treatment : use a mixed solution of

  • mix 15 ml of oxibrite and 60 ml fibrebuff and 250 ml of
White carpet cleaning.jpg
White carpet cleaning mix.jpg

to 5 lts of warm water

  • Spray this solution on carpet after soil extraction. (use method 6c)
  • Do not over wet the carpet
  • Brush in pile, leave to dry

Salvage Carpet Cleaning Method

Method  : Rotary Brush & Extraction Rinse

This method is uses a combination of rotary scrubbing machine and hot water extraction to rinse on carpets with heavy soil.


  • Vacuum
  • Standard speed rotary machine with heavy duty brush and drive plate for bonnet pads
  • Pile Brush
  • Hot water extraction machine


  • Vacuum carpets.
  • Carry out stain removal (more on this later)
  • Using Products mixed into pre spray bottle, below pre scrub carpet staying within a workable area of about 5 sq mts
Hot Water Extraction – Heavy Soil.jpg










  • Follow up on this area of carpet with extraction rinse using product below, remembering to finish with a vacuum only pass to help drying process. Tip: use defoamer in recovery tank.

Carpet cleaning product.jpg

  • Reset pile

The Removal Of Browning From Carpets

This problem is usually caused by excess water and alkaline detergent wicking up colour from the jute backing. This browning can mostly be treated with an oxidising bleaching action. This method should only be used on white, off white and plan pastel colour carpets. if your carpet has more than one colour then use a product from Prochem called “Browning Prescription” see below.

Equipment :

  • Standard Speed Rotary Machine
  • Pressure Sprayer or Tank On Above Machine
  • Pile Brush

The best results of browning removal are achieved by using a rotary machine.

  • Do not mix up more solution than you can use in about 30 minutes
  • Apply solution using method 5
  • Re set pile when finished

Product Mixing 5lts Of Working Solution

  • Fibre Shampoo 250 mls
  • 30 mls 2 scoops
  • 60mls 4 scoops
Crystallisation Absorption Carpet Cleaning.jpg

White carpet cleaning mix.jpgWhite carpet cleaning.jpg



Pre mix oxibrite and fibrebuff with hot water. The amounts of these two products can vary depending on how bad the browning is.

Brown stains carpets.jpg

Browning Prescription When the carpet has more than one colour you must do a dye bleed test first. if you want to use the mix above. but its much safer to use browning prescription after testing for dye bleed.

The Removal Of Smoke Odours From Carpets



Soot Removal From Carpets



Odour Removal From Carpets


Flooded Or Excessively Wet Carpets

  1. Remove excess water as quickly as possible using extraction machine. Dont stand machine on the wet carpets.
  2. Check construction and type of carpet.

a. If Jute backed carpet, should be tacked to prevent shrinkage. lifting whilst wet may cause shrinkage.

b. if carpet is wool, rayon, cotton, nylon or mixtures of these carry out following.

  • Extract excess water
  • Apply easy roller and then repeat extraction
  • Rinse carpet though using extraction machine in normal way with Fibre and fabric rinse (dilute 50 mls per litre water) to prevent browning or dye bleed
  • Ensure room is heated
  • Open windows for air circulation
  • Place a turbo dryer under the carpet or on top
  • Place de humidifier in room

3. Check the underlay and type of sub floor

a. If felt remove and discard

b. if rubber it can be dried and replaced or left in place after water has been removed

c. If wood carpet and underlay should be removed to allow wood sub floor to dry.

d. If you remove carpet it may shrink if lifted while wet. and should not be replaced until its been treated and dried.

4. treatment means that a solution of fibre and fabric rinse and cleansan has been rinsed through the carpet. this will stop any dye bleed or bacterial growth.