Steam cleaning is sometimes also referred to as 'hot water extraction'. In this method, hot cleaning solution is sprayed under pressure onto the carpet and is immediately extracted with a vacuum source. The dirty solution is then collected in a recovery tank.
The advantage of this process is that it has the ability to flush out large amounts of soil and contaminants in carpet. The machine may employ rotary brushes or another agitating device to work the solution into the pile and loosen soil.