Sydney carpet cleaning – steam vs dry cleaning

Which is best for you?

Confused about the differences between carpet steam cleaning and dry cleaning? You’re not alone! Particularly when you start searching for very general phrases like ‘Sydney carpet cleaning’. So here’s a guide to the pros and cons of each process, plain and simple.

Carpet steam cleaning

A typical professional steam carpet cleaning process goes like this:

  • Pre-vacuum
  • Pre-treatment of stains and heavy traffic areas using the appropriate cleaning agents
    Thorough steam cleaning, via safe, specialist shampoos, using very hot water and an advanced, powerful cleaning and extractor machine
  • Fast drying time


  • Professional steam carpet cleaning is great if you want a really thorough, anti-bacterial, deep down clean, rather than the more superficial option of dry cleaning. The steam penetrates deeply to get rid of ground-in, deeply embedded soil particles and dust. These can do real long-term damage to carpet fibres and matting, significantly reducing the life of your expensive carpet.
  • Toxic, ingrained mould, dust mites and allergens (particular problems in Sydney) are also destroyed, quickly and harmlessly
  • A steam clean uses as few chemicals as possible, leaving no harsh
    residues or unpleasant fumes. It’s safe for all your family, including your pets.

Cons: Any drawbacks surrounding carpet steam cleaning are pretty much all associated with the use of rental machines, or unqualified steam cleaning companies.

  • If you rent a steam cleaning machine it will generally use more water at a lower temperature than a professional machine, resulting in much longer drying times of 12-24 hours. Expert steam cleaning companies such as The Steam Cleaner use higher water temperature and more powerful extraction machines, resulting in very much faster drying times.
  • You may have heard the myth that steam carpet cleaning doesn’t get rid of really stubborn stains. Again, this may be so for rental steam cleaning machines operated by amateur operators, which rely purely on basic, one-size-fits-all detergent. Reputable professional companies have the expertise to know exactly what’s needed to pretreat stains for fast, safe and permanent removal – whatever the stain and carpet type.

Dry carpet cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning is more reliant on chemicals than steam carpet cleaning. And contrary to popular myth, the process is not completely dry. Here are the basics:

  • Pre-vacuum
  • Treatment with a dry cleaning solution consisting of dry cleaning solvents mixed with water
  • A rotary machine with wet spinning pads is applied to the carpet, loosening and extracting the dirt

Pros: You should be able to walk on your newly dry cleaned carpet in 2 hours.

Cons: Dry carpet cleaning really only gives a surface clean, not the more deep-down clean of steam. And unless you want to get your carpets cleaned once a month, it’s not suitable for high traffic areas, such as living areas and busy offices and consulting rooms. Particularly family homes containing kids and pets! By it’s very nature the dry cleaning process uses a greater quantity of harsher, more invasive chemicals which may leave more residues and stronger odours.

Dry or steam carpet cleaning?
Which one do you prefer? Let us know.