Dry carpet cleaning involves the use of specialized compounds to clean carpets and other surfaces with no or almost no moisture. Such cleaning results in the removal of dirt, stains, sand, grit, allergens, pollen and other particles from the cleaned surface.

There are several dry cleaning methods that you can use at home or in a commercial/industrial setting.

Dry Compound Method

The Dry Compound Method uses a slightly moist cleaning compound. You spread it over the cleaned area and brush it in without vacuuming. The dirt in the carpet is attracted to the compound. After a short drying time, you can remove the dirt by simply vacuuming, leaving the carpet immediately clean and dry.

In this case, short drying time is necessary since such compounds contain chemicals that attract dirt that must evaporate before vacuuming.

The dry compound method cleans carpets and other surfaces deeply, but vacuuming must be done thoroughly. Otherwise, both dirt and cleaning compounds will remain on the carpet and the carpet will NOT be clean. Before you begin using such products, read the labels carefully.

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Encapsulation Method

The encapsulation method of dry carpet cleaning uses polymers that encapsulate dirt particles into dry residues on simple contact. To enhance the cleaning, such polymers often combine with detergents that help remove dirt particles from carpet fibers. After that, polymers, detergents, and dirt form solid and most important, free particles, that are easily vacuumed away.

Again, in order for the carpet to be cleaned thoroughly, the vacuuming must remove the polymer particles from it, otherwise, they will keep attracting more and more dirt particles while the carpet is in use. The carpet will soon become even dirtier than before cleaning using the encapsulation method.

Depending on the used chemicals, the encapsulation method can require some drying time before vacuuming. However, there are cleaning compounds that require no drying time.

Such compounds are brushed in using rotary brushes and vacuumed right away using strong suction – all combined in one cleaning head. Such cleaning methods are not the cheapest, but carpet is left dry, can be used right away and is more and more present in hotels, offices and similar environments where carpets and similar surfaces must be kept clean and ready for use right away.

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Dry Ice Method

Dry Ice Method uses a dry ice beam to blow away the dirt from the carpets and other fiber surfaces. It is a very effective cleaning method, but it has a large CO2 footprint and costs more than other methods. However, cleaning is 100% without moisture and CO2 particles that get trapped within carpet fibers simply evaporate in less than a minute. Of course, this method is not used and not recommended for home use.

Dry Cleaning at Home

Dry cleaning at home often requires applying one or two sprays of dry cleaning foam or powder, brushing cleaning powder into the carpet, waiting required time and then thorough vacuuming.

Dry cleaning leaves carpets clean and dry, ready to be used right away. For people having kids and pets, shampoo and/or steam cleaning is often unacceptable due to moisture left in the carpet that requires longer drying period (for example, over the night), especially when carpets and rugs are positioned on wooden floors.

Note: Wooden floors don’t tolerate well moisture, especially when they are exposed to moisture for a longer period of time.

There are numerous dry cleaning products available for dry cleaning at home. Such products usually contain several items that must be used according to the instructions – so be sure to read the manuals before starting to clean.

Oreck Dry Carpet Cleaning Powder

The Oreck cleaning powder for dry carpet is ‘classic’ dry cleaning powder. Apply the dirt release spray onto the carpet first, followed by cleaning powder, which then you brush into the carpet. After a drying period of at least 30-45 minutes, vacuum the carpet thoroughly.

Again, this and similar products require really good vacuuming to be removed entirely from the carpet! Before cleaning oriental carpets and other sensitive surfaces with this and similar products, check the labels and if required, test a little bit on the bottom side of the carpet to see if their colors are fading away after being dry cleaned. For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow the Oreck Dry Carpet Cleaning Powder.

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HOST Dry Carpet Cleaning Kit

This is an all-in-one dry cleaning kit, suitable for deep cleaning of various surfaces, including sensitive surfaces like wool, sisal, and oriental carpets. Before you begin using this product, test for sensitive surfaces first on a small area, after carefully reading the labels and instructions.

To remove really stubborn stains, some people recommend applying powder with bare hands and not the brush – in that case, use some sort of latex or similar gloves to protect the skin.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check out the HOST Dry Carpet Cleaning Kit.

Racine Ind. Host Dry Carpet Cleaner

Racine Ind. Host Dry Carpet Cleaner seems to be safe for sensitive carpets including wool, sisal, and oriental carpets. It removes not only stubborn dirt but also mold and other allergens. As said before, you should test sensitive surfaces first on a small area on an underside of the carpet, after carefully reading the labels and instructions.

This way, you can avoid the discolorations of your carpets. The product has an appearance of slightly moist sawdust-like powder. When cleaning, you should rub the powder into the carpet. After drying, simply vacuum the carpet using an ordinary carpet vacuum cleaner. For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check out Racine Ind. Host Dry Carpet Cleaner.

Chem-Dry Carpet Stain Extinguisher Spot Remover – 18 Oz Aerosol

This is NOT 100% water/moisture free cleaning option – it uses carbonated water to lift dirt to the surface for effective cleaning. It is a safe and non-toxic cleaning method, which is very important for people having kids and pets. Since it leaves no residue of any kind, spots will not reappear on the cleaned area. It removes dirt spots from surfaces like carpets, upholstery, auto interiors, and clothing.

The manufacturer advertises this product as being very efficient in removing stains from ketchup, syrups, soda, and other water-based stains. For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check out similar products in the family for different needs!

Chem-Dry Grease & Oil Stain Extinguisher
Carpet Deodorizer
Chem-Dry Pet Odor Remover

These products are very popular for dry (or almost dry) cleaning of carpets, but there are many others. It is vital to know how they work and how they can help in keeping the household clean and pleasant for living.

Which Are the Best Vacuums for Dry Cleaning?

For carpet dry cleaning, you should check out vacuums with high absorption power. Before you pick a specific vacuum, check out reviews and recommendations.

Before buying anything, read reviews and recommendations, because advertising is one thing, real life is something else …

Dry Carpet Cleaning: FAQs

Is dry carpet cleaning an effective method?

Dry carpet cleaning – no matter what method you choose – proves efficient in most cases. However, if you want to rejuvenate your carpets, sanitize them, and get them rid of pet hair, dust, debris, and dirt, you should steam clean them or mix dry cleaning with frequent regular vacuuming. You have powerful vacuums on the market that can turn your carpets clean without much effort.

Dry cleaning vs. steam cleaning: when to apply them?

Dry cleaning works best when you often clean areas with high traffic that also require fast drying times. Dry cleaning works best as weekly maintenance for instance, while steam cleaning works best when you want a full cleanup (seasonal, annual, etc.)

Which is the best method to clean carpets?

Dry cleaning is an efficient method to keep high-traffic areas clean and neat. However, dry cleaning works best when you use specific products and a high-power vacuum to do the rest. Other methods of rejuvenating your carpets include carpet shampoos, steam cleaning, vinegar with borax, and hot water extraction.

Which vacuum is the best for dry cleaning carpets?

In our opinion, the best vacuum cleaners for dry cleaning are the ones in the Shark Navigator series and the Shark Rocket Corded Ultralight. Of course, you can check out other vacuums as well.

Should I vacuum the carpet before dry cleaning it?

Before you apply dry cleaning products on a carpet, you should vacuum it first, especially if it is dirty and receives high traffic. You should always make sure you keep your carpets clean before you begin steam cleaning or dry cleaning. If you have HEPA filters on your vacuums, make sure you do not clog them with debris or dirt.

Is it possible that a carpet looks worse after dry cleaning them?

Sometimes it is, especially if you use dry cleaning products in excess. Make sure you don’t overdo things with wetting the carpet or using large amounts of chemicals on them.

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