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How do you clean your carpet … and sleep on it?


Estimated reading time: 9 minutes


Carpet and fitted carpet cleaning is a very important process to keep your home clean and healthy, all while extending and improving the life of all soft floors.

We generally think that a carpet needs cleaning and care only when stains are noticeable. This may be untimely as carpets generally require cleaning at least every 12 to 18 months, and sometimes cleaning may need to be more frequent, depending on our carpet’s warranty information.


However, if our floors are completely covered by carpets and we are particularly sensitive to mites, well, we probably need to clean them much more frequently, in order to reduce and prevent the presence of dust.

How can we choose the best carpet cleaning solution ?

Essentially cleaning systems fall in three categories: dry, wet and the steam cleaning.


Dry Cleaning

This category is convenient for high traffic areas that require quick cleaning and fast drying time. We must recognise that we will not achieve thorough and deep cleaning results, but this system can be acceptable for ordinary, daily maintenance cleaning.


Dry Cleaning works by spreading a powder mix composed of special cleaning agents and solvents over the carpet, among the fibers through a machine equipped with counter-rotating brushes (Single Disc). The dirt and the dust collected in the carpet are absorbed by the powder spread before and then vacuumed up by the machine, after about ten to fifteen minutes of setting time.


Everybody can use this simple system without need of any special technical training for operators. Additionally, it is a fast process and relatively cheap.

However, not only does dry cleaning not result in a deep and long lasting clean, the remains of powder can sediment and turn toxic over the years.

Wet Cleaning

The Wet Cleaning system employs hot water extraction (HWE) and it is also known as steam cleaning, although that is not an appropriate definition. We will explain why later.


Extractor vacuums are the most common and effective machines used to this purpose. A carpet extractor is an electric-powered carpet cleaning machine that uses hot water, detergent, a powered scrub brush and strong dust pick-up to extract deeply embedded dirt from wall-to-wall carpeting.

Extractors are easy to operate, not too large, and make carpet cleaning an easy job. They provide professional results on both carpets and fitted carpets floors, assuring a deep sanification, total removal of stains and long lasting cleanliness. On the other hand, the process is more expensive than the former and carpets need more time to dry.


There are different types of extractors on the market: portables, compact and on wheels. All of them mix hot water with a cleaning solution that is then injected into the carpet. The machine then spreads the solution and extracts the soiled mixture. The extraction must be immediate to avoid over-wetting the carpets and to ensure a faster drying time.

Portable extractors are the most versatile and least expensive of the three varieties, but mobile machines, which look like large vacuum cleaners, are the most commonly used in retail and horeca sectors (halls, lobbies and long hallways).

Steam generators cleaning

Cleaning carpets and fitted carpet floors with steam is definitely something else!

It is a matter of fact that steam can safely clean and easily sanitize different types of floorings, not only carpets, in a sustainable and extremely effective way, without additional chemicals or detergents.


It can bring any dirt, residue and bacteria to the surface, dissolving them without the need of noxious and artificial substances. By using steam, we can avoid detergents and chemical substances, resulting in a cleaner and uncontaminated environment. It is beneficial to people who are particularly sensitive and intolerant to chemical perfumes employed in some detergents.


Steam cleaning is a very efficient solution also in tight and small areas, eliminating stains and grease. Given its very low percentage of water, steam allows all surfaces to dry extremely quickly.


Floorcare is one of the main daily tasks, but also one of the hardest. It is important to have a clear floor, while looking clean and attractive, as that is what is first noticed when entering hotels, offices or someone else’s home.


The same happens when we find carpets or wall-to-wall carpet on the floorings. Actually, in that case we pay more attention, making sure they are clean and sanitised, because carpets are the favoured place for mites and bacterial proliferation. So, taking care of carpets and fitted carpets is important to maintain them in good health and keep them bright over time.


The type of cleaning system chosen will depend on the environment, the carpet material  and quality. Whether using a professional dry or wet cleaning machine or deciding to clean the carpet with do-it-yourself or innovative systems, all are a personal choice.


What is sure is that whatever cleaning method we choose, it will be essential to preserve our carpets, keeping our investment longer in life.


If you want to know more about IPC’s cleaning proposals, go to our product page.