There are 5 widely used methods of carpet cleaning available for residential use. The primary methods of residential carpet cleaning are steam cleaning, foam cleaning, shampoo cleaning, bonnet cleaning and carbonated carpet cleaning. With the exclusion of properly done steam cleaning, it has been my experience that all the other methods leave different levels of re-soiling and allergen residue. Steam cleaning, when properly performed leaves no residue removing all the soil, allergens and other contaminates leaving the carpet almost dry when completed and ready for immediate use. Some of the largest carpet producers in the world, require that all carpet must be cleaned with a residue free method or your guarantee could be voided. It won’t be long before the other carpet manufacturers jump on-board and require the same level of cleaning. When residue is left behind, harmful allergens are also because they cling to the residue, creating an unhealthy condition for sensitive people. Keep in mind that even though you may vacuum frequently, the vacuum only picks up about 15% of the soil and allergens. What is left is where steam cleaning shines because it rinses it out and away from you. Here is a brief explanation of the different systems and how they work. Steam cleaning is the most common and thorough carpet cleaning method. To really clean carpet properly, it should be steam cleaned at least once per year, sometimes more depending on the use of the area. “Steam” cleaning is a misnomer; it is a popular name for this type of cleaning. Live steam is not really used. To do so would cause permanent damage to the carpet fibre. The true name of this method is Hot Water Extraction. Hot water with a cleaning solution is injected through a special wand into the carpet and extracted immediately. The preferred way to do this type is to do any required pre-treating first, and then follow up with the injection of clear hot water and extraction of all pre-treatments, soil, and allergens out of the carpet into a specially designed wastewater holding tank. The carpet is only slightly damp after cleaning and can be used right away. Complete drying time is about 1 to 4 hours depending on the carpet and weather conditions. The final result is a carpet that is clean, fresh smelling, and free of allergens that greatly improves your indoor air quality. That is why Carpet Manufacturers prefer this type of residue free cleaning. In my opinion, steam cleaning your carpets is the best system, when properly used, because it leaves the carpet and house in the cleanest condition. This is especially important for people with allergies. Removing all the soil and allergens means easier breathing for them. Healthy home means happy customers!