Do you know what the difference between hot water extraction and steam cleaning is? Is there even a difference? Well, since both cleaning methods often get mistaken for one another, we decided to sit down and discuss exactly what sets them apart.

Since we are a cleaning company that specializes in Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, we are pretty knowledgeable on this topic. We know all the pros and cons as well as the differences between hot water extraction and steam cleaning – and we will share all of them with you today!


The main difference between hot water extraction and steam cleaning is the temperature that is used. When “Steam Cleaning”, the water reaches up to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit), therefore, steam is created while  “Hot Water Extraction” means that the water reaches 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) and it’s not as hot. During Hot Water Extraction, the water does not convert to steam.

Other differences between the two methods are how much water is being used as well as the drying time of the fabric that is being cleaned. In general, Hot Water Extraction uses more water and, later on, the fabric needs longer to dry.


What Does The Process Of “Hot Water Extraction” Looks Like?

Our team has been using hot water extraction to deep clean carpets, rugs, and different upholstery for over a decade – and we have found that this is the most effective and powerful way to really get rid of all impurities. Hot water extraction is also suitable for stain removal and it won’t leave any marks, discolouration, or damage behind.

Whenever “hot water extraction” is being used, the first step of the process is applying a cleaning detergent on the surface. This is going to loosen up all the dirt and impurities making it easier for the machine to extract them later. Next, the hot water is sprayed on the fabric and then it’s immediately extracted. With the water, the detergents and all the impurities are also removed. It’s really important to note that with hot water extraction, all the detergent is being extracted because if any residue is left behind then that area will attract more impurities and it will form into a dirty patch.

Then, once the cleaning is finished, it will take a few hours for the fabric to completely dry. This is why it’s important to leave all windows open so the carpet or upholstery can dry quicker. Not letting the fabric dry completely will lead to mold.


What Does The Process Of “Steam Cleaning” Look Like?

Steam cleaning is the process of releasing steam on the fibers of a carpet or upholstery. The steam does loosen up impurities, however, it doesn’t have the power to extract them. Also, when steam cleaning you don’t really rinse the fibers – you just apply steam to them. This is great for getting rid of bacteria and preventing germs from breeding, however, it’s not efficient for deep cleaning. It’s also important to note that steam cleaning is not suitable for all fabrics – for example, natural fibers.

In general, steam cleaning is great for disinfecting – not for cleaning!


Which Cleaning Method Is More Effective?

Now that we covered the differences in both cleaning methods and you know exactly how each method is performed, it’s time to discuss which one is more effective.

Carpet and upholstery manufacturers recommend hot water extraction. It’s the only cleaning process that will be able to really deep clean the surface without leaving any damage behind.

In some cases, applying steam to carpets or upholstery can shrink the fabric and cause stains to set in making them permanent while when applying hot water extraction, stains will be removed without any discolouration or marks being left behind.

It’s important to note that hot water extraction should be performed only by trained professionals because the entire process can be really messy and it can damage the surface if an untrained individual is performing it because there are a lot of details you need to pay attention to. This may cause irreversible damage because carpets and upholstery are made out of extremely delicate materials.


Book A Professional Carpet Or Upholstery Cleaning!

Simply dial 0333 555 2076 and book our professional Carpet or Upholstery Cleaning. We will apply hot water extraction, will deep clean the fabric, and will remove all impurities accumulated on the carpet/ upholstery!