This carpet cleaning method is often call "Warm Water Extraction", "Hot Water Extraction" or "Steam Cleaning" and is the cleaning method nearly all carpet manufacturers and carpet fiber producers recommend.
This is the only cleaning method classified as "deep cleaning". All the others are considered "light surface cleaning" because they are incapable of removing soil deep in the pile. Also, all other methods leave large amounts of cleaning agent in the carpet after cleaning.
The maintenance brochure published by the world's largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, recommends this method, because its own research indicates that it provides the best capability for cleaning.
This method is frequently called "steam" cleaning due to the fine spray of water used to force dirt out of the carpet which is sucked up by the vacuum slot immediately in front of the spray. Seldom is real live steam used, however. This process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and floor tool brought inside, or by a portable, system brought into the home or office.
Depending upon the equipment, temperatures may range from cold tap water to boiling hot water and even super heated water over 200 degrees F. Of course, with extremely high temperatures, there are dangers of scalding should a solution line break.