Chem-Dry Vs. Steam CleaningMany people have heard of steam cleaning for cleaning their carpets. The Chem-Dry process is unique and different from the steam cleaning you may be familiar with. Many people wonder just how the Chem-Dry process compares to steam cleaning. We’ve put together this guide to Chem-Dry vs Steam Cleaning to help you make the best choice for your carpets and home. 

The Equipment

The cleaning process starts with the equipment you use. The technology used can make a big difference in just how clean your carpets get. 

Traditional steam cleaning uses equipment that pumps high volumes of soapy water into your carpets at extremely high pressures. This high-pressure water can be rough on your carpet, and it can end up driving some of the dirt even deeper into the carpet and backing instead of flushing it out. 

Chem-Dry Windy City’s Hot Carbonated Extraction (HCE) process uses significantly less water–80% less, in fact–than steam cleaners. Our equipment uses low pressure, so it’s easier on your carpet. It emphasizes extraction, which is pulling the moisture and soil out of your carpet so they’re left cleaner. As a bonus, our equipment is even CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute) approved at the platinum level, so you know it’s trusted. 

The Cleaning Solutions

The products or solutions that are used when cleaning a carpet have a powerful impact, not only on how clean the carpet is after a cleaning, but how long it stays clean. 

Most steam cleaners use detergents full of chemicals that leave a soapy residue which becomes sticky, attracts dirt, and leaves your carpet looking dingy again shortly after cleaning. The harsh chemicals can cause additional wear on your carpets. Plus, the cleaning chemicals can be harmful to pets and children.

Chem-Dry’s proprietary cleaner, The Natural®, is made from natural ingredients and doesn’t include any soaps or detergents, so there is no dirt-attracting residue left behind. This means your carpets will stay cleaner for longer. instead of attracting dirt The Natural® is 100% green and natural, so it won’t damage carpets. It’s also non-toxic, so its safe for kids and pets.

The Process

Last but not least, how you actually go about cleaning a carpet makes a huge difference in the final result.

Typical steam cleaners push a large amount of water into your carpet, which means the carpets can take days to dry. Excessive water can soak through to the carpet backing, which promotes the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. It also attempts to remove dirt through the use of soaps and chemicals, which often leaves behind more dirt in the carpet and backing instead of effectively removing it. 

On the other hand, Chem-Dry Windy City’s HCE process uses one-fifth of the water of traditional steam cleaning, which allows your carpet to dry in a couple of hours, rather than a couple of days. Meanwhile, the carbonation from our process penetrates to the base of the carpets and gently agitates and releases the dirt particles from the carpet fibers. The bubbles them lift them to the surface, allowing our specialized equipment to extract both the dirt and the water from your carpets and allowing you to resume regular activities in your home as quickly as possible.  


As you can see there is a big difference between the way that Chem-Dry Windy City cleans your carpet and the way steam cleaners do. It’s important to have all of the information to make the best choice of carpet cleaner in Chicago for you.