The terms steam cleaning and hot water extraction are often used interchangeably these days, but the truth is that they’re two different carpet and/or upholstery cleaning processes. The two methods use different water temperatures and different cleaning solutions depending on the process. Before having your carpets or rugs cleaned professionally, it’s a good idea to understand the difference between steam cleaning and hot water extraction cleaning.
The main difference between steam cleaning and hot water extraction is the temperature used during the process. Steam cleaning uses actual steam and requires heating water to a high enough temperature to convert it from liquid to gas. Applying straight steam to carpets kills germs and reduce allergens
Hot water extraction requires water hot enough to clean effectively and deeply but not hot enough that it converts to steam. There’s usually visible steam during hot water extraction cleaning, but it’s just very hot water and not pure steam.