Carpets are a luxury than mankind have indulged in for millenniums. In fact, historians have discovered evidence that animals have been sheared for carpeting for over 9,000 years. The practice has evolved into a tradition that incorporates rich textures and patterns, with different cultures developing distinctive styles that remain with us.
One question all carpet owners ask themselves at some point is what the best cleaning method is. Dry cleaning is a popular choice, because the carpet is immediately walk-on dry, and is usually truly dry within an hour or two.
Steam cleaning, on the other hand, remains wet for longer, often taking 6 to 12 hours or even longer hours to completely dry.
But which is the manufacturer recommended method - dry cleaning or steam cleaning?
We found ourselves asking the same question, so we decided to turn to the experts.
When it comes to quality carpeting, Shaw Manufacturing is the go-to supplier worldwide.
The tagline “Go Ahead, Fall Head Over Heels” is aptly chosen. Their carpets are unrivalled in their luxurious quality, and with a catalog of over 340 style and color combinations they offer something for everyone.
So we decided to give them a call and ask whether dry cleaning or steam cleaning was the best method for looking after your carpets.
Without any hesitation, Shaw Manufacturing told us that steam cleaning was the only way to clean your carpet. I repeat, they said steam cleaning was the ONLY way to have your carpets cleaned.
One of the reasons they listed is that dry cleaning chemicals are very harsh, and leave a lasting residue that can pose some minor health risks to humans in the long run. This is especially true for anyone with allergies and/or asthma.
In fact, although the steam cleaning method also makes use of chemicals, these are a lot safer to use - and the hot water extraction rinse used by professional steam cleaners leaves very little (if any) chemical residue behind.
Just as importantly, steam cleaning is healthier than dry cleaning for your carpet too, and for much the same reason. The harsh chemicals used for dry cleaning carpets are liable to damage and corrode the fabrics over time, and while your carpet may appear in good condition after dry cleaning it’s actually deteriorating faster than it ought to.
Carpets are made to last, there’s no doubt about that. But, like all products, they have a limited lifespan, and proper care is paramount to making your carpet last as long as it’s meant to.
Manufacturers and distributors always offer a warranty with every carpet, because they understand that life happens and human error is always a possibility. These warranties are put in place not only because consumer law requires them to do so, but because manufacturers want to keep their clients happy and build lasting relationships with them.
Of course, all warranties have terms and conditions that need to be met. One of these is proper care of your product, which most certainly includes the cleaning methods you use. When we spoke to Shaw Manufacturers, they told us that dry cleaning your carpet may render your warranty void because of the chemical damage caused.
In fact, they stressed that steam cleaning your carpet is the ONLY manufacturer recommended cleaning method. Even the increasingly popular dual cleaning method (which takes a lot longer and costs a lot more, but incorporates both dry cleaning and steam cleaning in the process) will shorten your carpet’s lifespan significantly.
The deterioration is by no means noticeable at first, but if you compare dry cleaning to steam cleaning results over an extended period of time you’ll certainly realize that dry cleaning most certainly damages your carpet.
Not only that, but shampooing, foam cleaning, and dry cleaning also yield inferior results. While such methods remain an attractive option for those looking to save money, in the long run they’ll definitely cost you more when you find yourself having to replace your carpet.