Hot Water Extraction Explained

Counter Rotating Brush (CRB) machine in professional floor cleaning
14 July 2022
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Hot Water Extraction Explained

Hot Water Extraction for professional carpet cleaning

Hot water extraction is a method of professional carpet cleaning that uses hot water and a powerful vacuum to remove dirt, stains and odors from carpets. Hot water extraction can also be used on upholstery, rugs, tile and grout, and mattresses. Hot water extraction is also known as steam cleaning, although it does not use actual steam. Professional carpet cleaning services often use hot water extraction to deep clean and sanitize carpets. One of the main reasons we have carpets/area rugs in our homes and offices is to keep all the dirt particles stuck to their fibres, opposite to being in the air we breathe. They are our home’s filters and every filter needs cleaning and maintenance. One of the biggest investments in people’s homes are carpets and other floorings.

Hot water extraction works by spraying hot water, sometimes mixed with a cleaning solution or rinsing agent, onto the carpet. The hot water loosens and dissolves the dirt and stains from the carpet fibers. The cleaning solution also helps to break down and neutralize the odors and bacteria in the carpet. The vacuum then sucks up the dirty water and solution from the carpet, leaving it clean and fresh.


When was Hot Water Extraction invented?

There is no absolute certainty to it. There is a patent registered with US Patent office in 1964 and it is for a machine that describes, credible, portable hot water extractor for professional carpet cleaning. The patent holder is named Fred Hays. Later the machine was brought to market under name the deep Steam Extractor. As you might presume, over the years there were many different variants of these “coffee pot” extractors, some with one and some with two canisters.


Advantages of Hot Water Extraction

The whole advantage of Hot Water Extraction is that hot water under high pressure goes deep into the fibers and instantly gets vacuumed back in recovery tank, so carpets, upholstery or kitchen floors get dry as quickly as possible. Hot water extraction has several advantages over other methods of professional carpet cleaning. Some of these advantages are:

Deep cleaning: Hot water extraction provides a deep cleaning that reaches into the base of the carpet pile. It can remove stubborn dirt, grease, grime, stains and odors that other methods cannot reach. It can also extract dust mites, allergens, bacteria and viruses from the carpets, improving the indoor air quality and hygiene.

Fast drying: Hot water extraction uses less water than other methods, resulting in faster drying times. It can dry wet carpets in hours instead of days, reducing the risk of mold, mildew or damage to the carpet or furniture. It can also dry carpets without leaving any residue or dampness behind, preventing re-soiling or shrinkage. Drying should be complete in 6 to 8 hours, never more than 24 hours. Brushing, raking and use of air movers is always good way to speed up the drying process.

Eco-friendly: Hot water extraction is more eco-friendly than other methods, as it uses less water, energy and chemicals, reducing the environmental impact and the operating costs. It can also use biodegradable or organic solutions that are safer for the carpet, the machine and the user.


Tips and Best Practices for Using Hot Water Extraction

Hot water extraction is easy to use and maintain, but there are some tips and best practices that can help to optimize its performance and results. Some of these tips and best practices are:

Preparing the carpet: Before using hot water extraction, it is important to prepare the carpet by removing any furniture, obstacles or loose items. It is also advisable to vacuum the carpet to remove any surface dust or debris. This will make the cleaning process easier and more effective.

Choosing the right machine: Hot water extraction machines come in different sizes and models depending on the type of carpet or the cleaning task. It is important to choose the right machine for the job, such as a portable machine for small areas or a truck-mounted machine for large areas. The machine should be clean and in good condition to avoid damage or poor results.

Choosing the right solution: Hot water extraction machines can be used with different solutions depending on the type of carpet or the cleaning task. It is important to choose the right solution for the job, such as a neutral cleaner for general cleaning, a degreaser for oily carpets, a sanitizer for disinfecting or a shampoo for carpets. The solution should be diluted and mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damage or poor results.

Applying the solution: Hot water extraction machines have tanks that hold the water and solution that are sprayed onto the carpet. It is important to apply the solution evenly and sparingly to avoid over-wetting or under-wetting the carpet. The solution should be applied in sections and allowed to dwell for a few minutes before vacuuming.

Agitating the solution: Agitation means to disturb, vigorously shake, and eventually break the bond between hair, dirt, allergens, germs, other dry particles and carpet fibres. Cleaning solution (pre-spray, pre-conditioner, dry compound, carpet shampoo, encapsulating agent, etc.)  will do its part in lifting soil and weakening connection of dirt and fibres, and agitation will elevate them all the way to the top of the pile and leave it there ready for hot water extraction.

Vacuuming the carpet: Hot water extraction machines have vacuums that suck up the dirty water and solution from the carpet. It is important to vacuum the carpet thoroughly and uniformly to ensure a consistent and complete cleaning. The vacuum should be moved in overlapping passes and in different directions to cover all areas of the carpet.

Drying the carpet: It is important to dry the carpet as quickly as possible to prevent mold, mildew or damage. The air movers should be adjusted according to the type of carpet or the weather conditions. The carpet should also be ventilated or heated to speed up the drying process.

Maintaining the machine: Hot water extraction machines require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order. It is important to clean and inspect the machine after each use, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. The tanks, hoses, nozzles and filters should be rinsed and dried before storing. The cords and plugs should also be checked for any damage or wear.

All the preconditioning steps that go along HWE will bring the deepest possible cleaning and will leave carpets, furniture or tiles in your home looking fresh, rejuvenated, and free of all dirt, allergens, germs.


Why choosing Hot Water Extraction?

It is very important not to confuse regular maintenance cleaning and restorative (deep) cleaning.

Maintenance cleaning is something we regularly do to keep our floors clean, like vacuuming, sweeping, moping, buffing and we should do it at least two times a week in order to keep them clean and to prolong their life by removing most of the dry particles from our floorings. Dry particles are 80% of all the dirt and when we frequently walk over them, we rub them into the fibres or surfaces which makes friction that abrade our flooring and make it reflex light in different direction. Then, those parts look dirty and worn, and very unlikely to recover new look.

Professional carpet cleaning is basically restoration of carpet’s fibres. Hot water extraction one of the most efficient methods of quick drying deep cleaning. Beside removing all the dirt, most stains and spots will be gone too. It is a perfect combination and utilisation of physics (hot water, high pressure, powerful suction, scrubbing) and chemistry (adequate agents for lifting the soil and removing spots and stains). It is something we should do periodically, depending on use and traffic, every six months, or a year, for some commercial settings even more often.


Here is the algorithm of how floor cleaning should look:   


Hot water extraction is ideal for professional carpet cleaning because it offers high performance, efficiency and convenience. It can clean various types of carpets quickly and thoroughly, leaving them spotless and sanitized. It can also handle tough stains and odors that other methods cannot remove. Professional carpet cleaning experts recommend using hot water extraction regularly to keep the carpets clean and healthy.

If you want a service that fits your flooring cleaning needs, please feel free to contact us at or simply give us a call on 647-877-5977.

Thank you for reading!

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