Comparing the Top Commercial Carpet Cleaning Methods

Are you looking into cleaning the carpets in your building or facility? You may have found there are several different options available—from dry carpet cleaning to steam carpet cleaning to the Bonnet method.

If your research has left you scratching your head and wondering what the best commercial carpet cleaning method is, you’re not alone. It can be hard to sort through all of the information out there to determine the best choice for your carpet.

Don’t worry; we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll explain how three of the most common commercial carpet cleaning methods work and tell you things about these methods that professional cleaning services don’t always reveal.

Comparison of Commercial Carpet Cleaning Methods

Here are the key pros and cons of the three most common commercial carpet cleaning methods available.

Dry (Powder) Method

Despite the name, the “dry” method isn’t actually completely dry. Before applying the powder, a chemical must be pre-sprayed that dampens the carpet. After that, the cleaning powder is applied and then vacuumed off.


  • Low moisture
  • Effective stain removal


  • If system is not applied properly by allowing the pre-spray to dry completely, it can yellow the carpet.
  • It can cause problems during future carpet replacement due to powder build up.
  • Powder can create issues with HVAC systems and indoor air quality.

Steam Cleaning/Extraction/Wet Method

With steam cleaning and hot water extraction (sometimes referred to as the “wet method”) a machine sprays a chemical cleaning solution on the carpet. Hot water is then used to extract the solution and dirt and debris from the carpet.


  • Alleviates concerns of powder in the air from the dry method.


  • Moisture is the big problem with this method—extended dry times will lead to microbial growth (allergens) and reappearing stains.
  • Most extraction methods take more than five hours to dry, which limits the time to reoccupy and adds moisture to the environment.
  • Excessive moisture can lead to degradation of the carpet’s construction, causing seams that ravel, yarn that zippers, and backing delaminating.
  • Using this method will shorten the life of carpets that do not have a moisture barrier.

Bonnet Cleaning Method

With the Bonnet Method, the carpet is first sprayed with a detergent solution.

A machine with a pad that moves in a circular motion is then run over the surface of the carpet to clean it.

Important note: Bonnet cleaning will void all manufacture’s warranties unless extraction is used after the Bonnet process. Even then, many carpet manufactures still do not recommend the Bonnet cleaning method.


  • Low moisture


  • Will void most carpet warranties (see note above)
  • Spreads dirt rather than removing it
  • Only removes stains on the surface
  • Drives dirt and chemical deep into the carpet where the trapped residue and soil damage the carpet fibers
  • Keeps traffic patterns packed due to the horizontal action of the machine pad
  • Leaves a “sticky” residue due to packing chemical into the carpet causing carpet to soil and appear dirty in traffic areas after only a couple of weeks (and sometimes only days)
  • Typically has no anti-soiling/anti-stain properties to protect carpet from soiling, wear and stains

Is There a Better Alternative to These Carpet Cleaning Methods?

As you can see from the information above, there are some serious concerns with each of these cleaning methods. In terms of preserving your carpet and helping you get the most from your investment in the long term, they may actually do more harm than good.

Our frustration with the downsides of these cleaning methods is why we spent two years developing our own proprietary solution. Our low-moisture DPM Care system gets carpets cleaner, keeps them cleaner longer, and eliminates the negative effects of the methods listed above.

Advantages of the DPM Care System:

  • Removes soil and stains from carpet;
  • Dries in 30–45 minutes, low moisture;
  • Lifts the carpet fiber to restore traffic patterns and loosen embedded dirt;
  • Deodorizes and neutralizes bacterial contaminants;
  • Applies Fibershield™ with each application to prevent future stains and soiling;
  • Does not contain optical brighteners, chemical is neutral in pH, and will not leave a residue;
  • Guarantees no re-appearing stains and non-yellowing; and
  • Extends the life of carpet and leads to a healthier work place.

Looking for a better method of cleaning your commercial carpeting?

Let us show you the difference the DPM system makes. Request your free demo.

Carpet Cleaning Comparison Chart