This is the second part of an article comparing bonnet cleaning to hot water extraction (HWE).

Since we looked at the bonnet cleaning process in a prior article we will review the steps in HWE next. HWE (sometimes referred to as “steam cleaning”) is considered restorative cleaning since when used correctly, thoroughly cleans the carpet fibers for a deep cleaning. A downside can be over-wetting the carpet and not extracting enough solution thereby setting yourself up for possible mold/mildew odors and soggy carpet for a few days. HWE machines come in all sizes ranging from the small portable units to truck mounts so the following suggestions are primarily dealing with a moderately sized portable unit. One important tool would be to have one – three gallon pump type sprayer for pre-spray of spots and traffic lanes. Another is a number of carpet fans to enhance drying. Have HVAC on if possible. Following are suggested steps:

1. Vacuum carpeted area thoroughly and put up wet floor signs as appropriate.
2. Fill the solution tank with warm water and appropriate solution mix. Please use a measuring cup for accuracy.
3. Pour appropriate amount of de-foam product in collection tank, not in solution tank.
4. Fill pump up sprayer with warm water and correct solution of traffic lane cleaner.
5. Spray a 10-foot by 10-foot area with the cleaner and allow it a few moments for dwell time. Do not overspray or soak the carpet although you can give a little extra solution to spots/stains.
6. Using the wand spray product while pulling backwards and using suction to remove solution.
7. Then go back and re-suck the same area at least twice more to get as much moisture as possible out of the fibers.
8. If the carpet is still very damp, vacuum again to get as much moisture out as possible.
9. Overlap at least a few inches and go slower on high traffic area and spots.
10. Visually inspect work as you go.
11. Continue this process until the entire area has been cleaned.

The result should be a clean looking carpeted area that will probably take longer to dry than bonnet cleaning but it should NOT be wet for days. Each process has a different function and goal. Bonnet cleaning can be used throughout the year whereas HWE should only be used on a schedule basis and then only in high soiled areas where bonnet cleaning is not effective. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…..

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or