4 Reasons Hot Water Extraction is Bad for Your Carpet

Conventional wisdom tells us that water is a good thing for cleaning.

And it is!

But too much of anything, no matter how good, yields negative effects.

And that is exactly what we have found to be true about the process in which many corporate buildings and facilities are using to clean their carpet.

It’s called, “Extraction” and the process is best described on Wikipedia:

The hot water extraction cleaning method uses equipment that sprays heated water, sometimes with added cleaning chemicals, on the carpet. Simultaneously, the water is vacuumed up, along with any dislodged and dissolved dirt. Many carpet manufacturers recommend professional hot water extraction as the most effective carpet cleaning method.

Extraction is widely considered to be the preferred carpet cleaning method, but there are a number of reasons why the process has become outdated – and in many cases, harmful to your carpet.


  1. It uses too much water.

Too much water being left on the surface, or beneath your carpet can cause over-saturation, mildew, and even dry rot.

Plus, too much water can be dangerous around technology or buildings with wiring or HVAC under raised floors. To clean a 30,000 square foot office, extraction will require at least 120 gallons of water – and that’s a very conservative estimate. In many cases, it will take much more than that. That’s a lot of water to be using around expensive technology.

  1. It takes too much time to dry.

Because extraction uses so much water and requires multiple passes to produce a quality result (as many as five in some restorative cases), it takes a long time to dry – anywhere from eight to 24 hours.

This causes problems for facility management with scheduling, and with individuals trying to safely enter or exit the building.

  1. It further contaminates carpet.

All of the water used from extraction cleaning creates a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria and fungus. Our field sampling (analyzed professionally, by EMSL Analytical Labs) has shown that hot water extraction cleaning can cause a 150% increase in the growth of microbial content. That can directly create a negative impact on the health of your office.

  1. It can cause long-term damage.

Too much water actually hurts your carpet. In fact, over-saturating the carpet will cause the backing system to degrade over time. This leads to seams raveling, the backing dry rotting, or the backing separating from the carpet.

Truck mount systems are the worst culprits because these systems use high heat and high-pressure water to clean the carpet.

DPM Care Offers a Better Carpet Cleaning Method

Since 1995, DPM Care has grown to meet this growing need of property managers, facility managers and owners who want and need a cleaner environment, longer lasting carpet and better results from their maintenance investment. After years as a carpet mill representative, I saw this problem first-hand, as the majority of claims submitted were directly maintenance related, caused by the shortcomings of hot water extraction.

Believing that a better technology and process could be developed, we spent two years with DPM Care’s chemical and engineering team to develop our low-moisture, polymer enhanced cleaning system.

DPM Care vs. Hot Water Extraction Cleaning

The DPM Care process uses 399% less water than extraction. And that difference is dramatic.

To illustrate the differences between the DPM Care cleaning method and hot water extraction, we created this infographic to demonstrate a clear, concise head-to-head comparison:

DPM Care v. Extraction

We can beat your clean.

The graphic above offers very conservative numbers for how much water extraction uses. Oftentimes, it is much much more.

To experience the DPM difference for yourself, request a FREE DEMO – We’d love to show you that our approach will offer you a higher degree of clean.