No.  You can choose from many methods, most of which are bad.  There are eight methods in common use.  Most of which are bad.

    1. Shampoo  – A sudsy shampoo is sprayed into the carpet, rubbed with a brush on a rotary scrubber.

    *Advantage – The carpet looks clean. ..

    *Disadvantage – The dirt is not removed, but driven deeper into the pile.  Drying is very slow and re-soiling is very fast.  This method can easily damage your carpet.

    2. Dry Powder  – A powder is sprinkled onto the carpet, brushed in, and vacuumed  out.

    *Advantage  – fast drying.

    *Disadvantage  – Many types of soil and stains are not removed and a lot of powder residue is left in the carpet.

    3. Portable Hot Water Extraction  – A small machine is used to spray a water and chemical mixture into the carpet and vacuum it out.

    *Advantage  – Some of the dirt is removed.

    *Disadvantage  – The portable machines are not powerful enough to pull out the water they put in.  Drying time is very long and lots of dirt is left in the carpet.  This method, if carelessly used can damage carpet, backing, and floors and can cause mildew.

    4. Dry Foam  – A machine whips up sudsy shampoo into a foam, splashes it down onto the carpet rubs it with a brush and vacuums it.

    *Advantage – Dries in one or two hours depending on how many times the operator has to go over an area.  This method does a nice job of cleaning the surface if the carpet is not to dirty.

    *Disadvantage  – If the carpet is heavily soiled this method does not clean very well.  Also if the operator goes over the area many times in order to get the carpet cleaner deeper down, it will wet the carpet almost as much as the truck mounted hot water extraction method.  Doing a good job with this method takes a very long time.

    5. Dry Chemical or “Spin Bonnet”  – A chemical mixed with water is sprayed onto the carpet and then the carpet is rubbed with a cotton pad on a rotary scrubber.  This rubs the dirt off the carpet onto the cotton pads.

    *Advantage  – Dries in ½ hour to 1½ hours, does a relatively good cleaning job on very low pile commercial level-loop carpets.

    *Disadvantage  – Again this method cleans mostly the surface, it works well on very low pile carpet, but anything with any depth to it is not cleaned very well.  Like the dry foam method it leaves a residue and some people say that it does a very good job the first couple of times but that the residue builds up and on the third or fourth cleaning it no longer comes out looking good.  I tried this method on commercial carpets and was very disappointed.  Method 8, Encapsulation is far superior.

    6. Truck Mounted Hot Water Extraction  – This is similar to the portable hot water extraction in that hot water mixed with chemicals is sprayed into the carpet and then vacuumed back out again.  Usually the operator will use a pre-conditioner to start to soak the dirt loose the difference in this method is that all the machinery is out in the truck and runs either on its own engine or from the trucks engine and only the hoses come inside to do the cleaning.  This allows for more powerful machine and with greater suction.  More of the water is removed and Therefore more of the dirt.

    *Advantages  – More vacuum power takes out more water and therefore more dirt.  Drying time usually ranges from anywhere five hours to twenty-four hours, depending on the type of carpet, air circulation, relative humidity, and degree of soiling.  Another advantage is that doing a good job with this method is considerably faster than with any of the others.

    *Disadvantages  – Slow drying time, some truck mounted machines run only on a little two cylinder lawn mower engine which cannot make a tremendous amount of power.  Also even of the technician is using a very  powerful machine if that technician is not well trained and experienced he can soak the carpet to the point where it can do damage.  In general, this is the best method of cleaning but be sure the technicians are highly trained and experienced.

    7.  The Magic Mist Steam / Dry Method  – Essentially this is still the truck mounted steam extraction method, a solution of hot water and chemicals is sprayed into the carpet and then vacuumed back out.  The difference is in the power.  Our steam /  dry machines are among the biggest and most powerful available in the world.  They are capable of water temperatures up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit which help to kill germs and break up dirt, bacteria, and pollen.  They produce more vacuum power than any other machine and suck out more water and therefore also more soil and pollutants.  Think about it. We clean carpet by dissolving the dirt in water and then extracting the water, every drop of water that the technician leave in the carpet contains dirt and pollutants.  The more water we extract the more soil is removed.  These machines are very expensive, (In fact, each one cost more than my house), so we have to charge a little more to use them, but it is well worth it, because it cleans deeper than any other method can.

    *Advantage  – Deeper cleaning, faster drying.  Carpet take less time to clean and we do not have to rub and scrub over the same areas as hard, this is better for your carpet.  Drying times can be as low as one hour if conditions are perfect, but usually are some what longer.  My own carpeted home dries on about three hours but it use to take twelve hours when I used the standard steam extraction method.  This is the preferred method of most of the major carpet manufacturers.

    *Disadvantages – I have not found any yet but I will let you know if I do.

    8.  Encapsulation - This is the newest of the cleaning methods and was developed for something having to do with the space program.  It was found that it had excellent carpet cleaning abilities.  It is usually done with a machine called a Cimex, which rotates in 2 directions at the same time and dispenses the cleaning compound through special pads.  The compound is called an encapsulant and is really amazing.  It looses dirt from the carpet fibers and surrounds it with a polymer which cannot stick to the carpet fiber.  The carpet looks clean immediately even though the soil has not yet been removed.  It is now so small that it cannot be seen.  After the polymer is cured, the next time the carpet is vacuumed the polymer along with the soil it encapsulates, vacuums right up and it is gone.

     This system is not good for all carpets.  It was developed for low pile Olefin commercial carpets but it also works on low pile nylons and on Olefin Berbers for residential use.  I use it mostly on commercial carpets and have developed a method to boost its effectiveness.  If commercial carpet is extremely heavily soiled and in need of a restoration cleaning I clean it first with the truck-mounted steam system and then a second time using encapsulation.  This does an amazing job and is the only thing I have found that can often take out the big difference you see in places like offices right beside a chair pad where the carpet is new underneath and badly soiled next to it.  It is also the only thing that I have found that will take out the glue from duct tape which is sometimes used to cover wiring that crosses the carpet.

     I have also used the encapsulation method to restore residential Berber carpets that were damaged by being over wet by other cleaning methods.  This damage shows up as ugly brown spots which disappear if it cleaned again by other methods but come back after it dries.  The encapsulation method can take them out and they do not come back.

     *Advantages - Dries in 1-2 hours every time.  Does an excellent job on commercial carpets and Berbers.  Can be used in conjunction with the truck-mounted steam method for restoration cleaning.  Does not leave residues that cause the carpet to re-soil quickly

     *Disadvantages - Is not good for all styles of carpet, especially deep pile residential carpets.  Difficult to use in homes with furniture due to the configuration of the machine.  The machine can cause damage if not properly used.

In the 41 years that I have been in the carpet cleaning business I have personally used six out of the eight methods that I have described.  I still offer all of the last three and the client has his or her choice of which method is to be used.  But, personally I would not have my home cleaned with any other method, but the Magic Mist Steam/Dry System on my commercial carpets.  I use encapsulation, or a combination of steam/dry and encapsulation.