Which Carpet Cleaning Solution is the Best? Hint: Carbonation

The carpet cleaning method that you choose has pros and cons both for costs, results, and the effect it has on your family’s health. Yes, we just said that – your family’s health is affected by keeping your carpets clean. We’re not saying that carpet cleaning solutions have to be dangerous, or expensive. It’s just that carpet cleaning is like anything in life, there are pros and cons to each option available.

Let’s look closer at some of the more common carpet cleaning technologies, and how to pick the right one for your health, home, and quality of life.

Option #1 – Carpet Cleaning – Shampoo Cleaner

This is one of the oldest and most common ways to clean carpets. It works exactly as you might expect. With carpet shampooing, you use a machine with two tanks: one with shampoo (or soap) and the other for the dirty water that gets sucked up after cleaning.

You can either pay for professional carpet shampoo, at roughly $240 or simply rent a machine and do it yourself.


  • Removes dirt and dust
  • Removes pet hair


  • Soap remains in the carpet
  • Can leave carpets looking dingy after several washes
  • Can take several days to dry
  • May lead to moisture in the home
  • Uses excessive amounts of water

getting baby poop off carpet

Option #2 -Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is just like it sounds – it’s a carpet cleaning solution in which you apply hot water to your carpet with a high pressure applicator. This process helps to break down dirt, bacteria and grime from your carpet. It can make your carpet feel softer as well.


  • Kills dirt and bacteria
  • Can help neutralize allergens


  • Hard to remove moisture after cleaning
  • Risk of mould and mildew
  • Carpets can take days to dry

Option #3 – Encapsulation

Encapsulation started out as a carpet cleaning solution introduced in the 1970s. With encapsulation, you apply a liquid or foam that sucks up dirt as it crystallizes into a powder. You’ll then brush up that powder and vacuum it away.


  • Dries relatively quickly
  • More environmentally friendly than some carpet cleaning options


  • Less effective on stains and odours
  • Less effective for deep carpet cleaning

Meet the Rover Carpet Cleaner

Option #4 – Bonnet Cleaning

This is a popular carpet cleaning solution in hotels, offices and commercial buildings with a lot of foot traffic. Bonnet cleaning works with a heavy cleaning machine that uses a spinning pad covered in cleaning solution. This picks up dirt and debris from the top of the carpet.


  • It’s quick
  • Good for lightly soiled carpets


  • Works for surface cleaning only
  • Dirt will quickly reappear on your carpet (because it only gets dirt on the top layer)

Option #5 – Dry Carpet Cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning is another option. Like it sounds, there is no soap or water involved with dry carpet cleaning – it’s done with a machine that rolls a powder compound on to your carpet with a motorized brush, after which it’s sucked up again. You’re generally going to pay about $215 for this carpet cleaning solution, which does get into the carpet’s deeper layers, but, in our experience, is less effective than other options.


  • No water involved
  • Safe for most carpets


  • Newer, unproven carpet cleaning solution
  • Results are not outstanding

Clean carpet cleaning packages

Option #6 – Carbonation – The Chem-Dry Way!

Finally, last and best! Carbonation is a carpet cleaning solution and one that offers the best results. With carbonation, a carpet cleaning technician applies a carbonated solution that permeates deep into your carpet’s inner layers, causing millions of microscopic explosions which lifts dirt and debris to the surface, where it is sucked away with an extraction system.


  • Much less water is involved than with other methods
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Gets right down to the surface
  • Dries quickly, faster than any other ‘wet’ method
  • Least risk of mould and moisture


  • Needs to be done professionally

Chem-Dry cleaning truck

So What’s The Best Carpet Cleaning Solution?

The quick answer? Go with carbonation. There’s a reason Chem-Dry invented this method of carpet cleaning; in 20+ years of helping New Zealanders clean their carpets, do flood restoration, remove cat urine from flooring (yes, this is a common reason people call us!), it’s the carpet cleaning solution that delivers the most satisfactory results.

Carbon cleaning dries faster, is better for your health, leaves less moisture and leaves less damage to your carpet – and your home in general.

At Chem-Dry Supercity, we use a core carbonated cleaning system called The Natural to clean carpets, remove dirt and the many things that can live (and shouldn’t) in your flooring. Feel free to reach out to us to learn more about carpet cleaning solutions. Ask us for a free estimate!


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