Colonial carpet care header image

The Best Ways to Use Bonnet Pads for Carpet Cleaning


Bonnet pads being used for carpet cleaning is not a new thing and they have been around for a long time. This is a product that has evolved and changed quite a bit over the last 30 years.

Once used only by carpet dry cleaning companies, they have now come to be an essential part of any good carpet cleaners arsenal.

Just as there has been a lot of new developments with carpet cleaning machinery over this period. It’s good to see there has also been a lot of innovation with the different types of carpet cleaning accessories that are now available.

One of the most important of these I think, is the development of the carpet cleaning bonnet pad. Made now from a variety of fibers and with a wide range of uses. Frankly, If you aren’t using them in your carpet cleaning procedure, then you really aren’t giving the customer the best clean they deserve.

They also make carpet cleaning a whole lot easier and there is a lot less risk of over-wetting the fabric as well.

So if you are a carpet cleaner out there who still isn’t sure as to how these products are used or whether or not you should be using them yourself…

This article is for you!

In it i’ll be covering:

  • What a bonnet pad actually is
  • The most common types of bonnet pads and what they are made from
  • How the different types of bonnet pads are used
  • Things to be wary of when using a bonnet pad
  • Where you can purchase bonnet pads for carpet cleaning.

So lets get stuck into it.

What is a bonnet pad?

Its hard to tell where the word bonnet originated from but I suspect that it may be derived from the word used to describe a soft, round brimless hat like a beret.

There are various cloth bonnets used for polishing and many of these are like a cap that fits over a spinning disk. I think because the pads used for carpet cleaning also fit onto a spinning rotary scrubber the name has carried over.

There are essentially 4 main uses for carpet cleaning bonnets:

  1. To provide agitation and a scrubbing action to loosen soils from the carpet fibers.
  2. To absorb excess moisture from the carpet after a carpet has been hot water extracted or steam cleaned.
  3. To remove soil trapped in the upper part of the carpet fibers after steam cleaning to prevent streaking and discoloration as it dries.
  4. As part of a carpet dry cleaning method.

The bonnet itself fits onto the bottom of a rotary scrubbing machine with a brush like attachment that grips the pad. This makes removing the pads easy in order to either flip them over or rinse them out during the course of the job.

carpet cleaning scrubber

The different types of bonnet pads for carpet cleaning.

Bonnet pads these days come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials that they are constructed from. They are constructed from rayon, cotton, polyester, nylon, polypropylene and microfiber to name a few.

The reason for this array of materials is that they all have specific uses for different circumstances.

The most common type of bonnet pad is the large white fluffy pad commonly seen and used by dry cleaners. These are usually 100% cotton or a polyester/cotton blend and tend to have high water absorbency.

This makes them ideal for dry cleaning and also as a final drying stage for the hot water extraction method.


Click HERE to purchase this item from our eBay store.

These types of pads can be safely used on all carpet types.

One of the great advantages of using a bonnet is in their scrubbing abilities. These scrubbing style bonnets come in a variety of styles. The plain ones made from rayon, nylon, polyester or polypropylene microfiber are ideal for carpets where the agitation and scrubbing action needs to be gentler.

Wool carpets are a prime example of this and a pad with a harsh action should NEVER be used.

Scrubbing a wool carpet with anything harsher that a soft microfiber pad like the one pictured below is fraught with danger. Wool is very prone to “frizzing out” if a harsh scrubbing action is used.


Click HERE to purchase this item from our eBay store

In a situation where the carpets are either heavily soiled or you are dealing with a nylon, acrylic or polypropylene carpet. A pad with built in polypropylene scrubbing strips is probably the best choice.

These pads provide a 2 pronged attack with good agitation and abrasion coming from the polypropylene strips. This is then followed by the deep cleaning action of the microfiber pad in between these strips.


Click HERE to purchase this item from our eBay store

Care should be taken when using this type of pad on woolen carpets as they can be too harsh for certain types. Always test in an inconspicuous area first to see if it affects it.

The other type of pad that is available is the 100% polypropylene pad. These have a very abrasive action and need to be used with care on nylon carpets and definitely never used on wool.

bonnet pads carpet cleaning

Click HERE to purchase this item from our eBay store

These pads are primarily for use on polypropylene and acrylic carpets that tend to pick up a lot of oil. The highly abrasive action of this type of pad really helps in loosening stubborn grime.


As you can see bonnet pads for carpet cleaning come in a lot of different styles, materials and uses.

As I have said throughout this article be careful when using them. If you are unsure, check with the manufacture or test them in an inconspicuous area.

Its also very important to ensure that the pad you are using and the carpet underneath is damp when using it to scrub the carpet prior to hot water extraction, or as a first stage in dry cleaning.

If you use them dry and hit a dry patch of carpet you will cause a friction burn and some of the polypropylene carpets will even melt.

Not a great experience for your customer!

So I hope this short article has been of some use. If you live in Australia and you are having trouble sourcing these pads. You can purchase direct from us. Just click on the links under the pictures of the pads or on the pictures themselves and they will take you to our eBay store.



1 comment… add one

Leave a Comment


8285 3432

or contact us HERE.