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Oxi Fresh vs Steam Cleaning vs Zerorez: How Do They Work and Which is the Best?

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Steam cleaning, Oxi Fresh, and Zerorez are some of the most popular methods of cleaning carpets, upholstery, tile, grout, and many other surfaces.

Oxi Fresh, Steam Cleaning, and Zerorez are three distinct methods for cleaning carpets, each with its own processes and advantages. Understanding how they work can help you decide which one is best suited for your needs.

But while their ‘what’ is the same, their ‘how’ differs significantly.

Steam cleaning passes a hot, pressurized jet of water vapor over surfaces to clean them. Oxi Fresh, on the other hand, uses the cleaning action of oxygen to bind soil and dirt together which is later extracted. Finally, Zerorez cleaning uses electrically altered water to hit, break, and extract grime from your carpet.

But, will they all leave your carpets deep-cleaned as promised?

Let’s find out!

What is Oxi Fresh cleaning?

First of all, let’s clarify that Oxi Fresh stands for a company, not a generic name of a carpet cleaning method.

And their cleaning process aims at using less moisture to clean your carpet.

The first step of the process is encapsulation which uses oxygen as the active force of cleaning. This solution then works to break down various dirt, debris, and oils and then capture them inside many microscopic crystals.

The crystals’ main purpose is to prevent all that dirt from reattaching itself onto the carpet fibers and prepare for the next phase of cleaning. They also serve as a pretreatment remedy before the actual cleaning.

After the solution has finished breaking and trapping the dirt, the next step involves using an Oxi Fresh scrubbing machine to remove the resulting filthy mixture from your carpet.

Most of the models used have counter-rotating brushes that bury into your carpet’s pile and work upwards. They strip the fibers off the grime and lift it upwards through suction into the machine.

Now, this process is highly effective when dealing with moderate dirt and stains but will require a lot more effort to remove old, deep-seated dirt and stain.

It pretty much works like carbon extraction with the only major difference being that Oxi Fresh uses oxygen instead of carbon in its process.


  • Dries faster
  • Uses less water
  • Effective for cleaning moderate stains and dirt


  • Tedious as it involves multiple steps to clean
  • Not effective for killing germs and bacteria

What is Zerorez?

Zerorez is also a company, and their cleaning process uses a unique water-based solution that is electrically zapped. This water is then slapped against your carpet fibers at an angle of 180 degrees to rid them of all the dirt, soil, and other muck hiding within.

This process has also earned a name as an eco-friendly cleaning option because it does not use soaps, detergents, or shampoos anywhere during the cleaning.

However, Zerorez involves some 3 elements in its mechanism to give you the best shine.

These include:

1. Z-Lifter

The Z-Lifter is just a counter-rotating brush that works to lift the fibers of your carpet so that extracting solid debris like soil, food particles, and other dirt becomes easier.

To get the best agitation on the carpet, you might have to exert some extra pressure on the machine yourself.

This is also considered as a pretreatment before the actual cleaning.

2. Zr Clean™  

This is a patented formula that alters the pH of the water and makes it much softer. This process takes place inside the Zerorez machine and is later directed to the Cleaning Wand for the final extraction.

3. Cleaning Wand (patented)

The Cleaning Wand is another patented cleaning device by Zerorez. Technically, it is just a super-powerful vacuum that has two vents to help pass and suck water back up into the vacuum.

It is a form of hot water extraction that aims at not setting deep in your carpet’s pile. The hot water is blasted onto the pretreated carpet fibers using a 180-degree head blade.

This hot acts like a magnet that pulls up the lifted dirt and grime and sends it back into the vacuum using the secondary vent found in the Cleaning Wand.

As a result, there is little to no residue left on the surface of your carpet after cleaning. This also means that it will take a shorter time for your carpet to dry up.


  • Leaves no residue behind
  • Also has faster drying times
  • Effective for superficial carpet cleaning
  • Also uses less water


  • Equally tedious as it involves multiple steps
  • Not also effective in killing germs and pests

How does steam cleaning hold up?

Oxi Fresh vs Steam Cleaning vs Zerorez: How Do They Work and Which is the Best?

Steam cleaning comes in with highly pressurized water vapor that’s heated to temperatures of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit to clean your carpet, tile, grout, and any other surface that can stand the heat.

Now, unlike both processes above, steam cleaning is mostly a one-part affair that only uses water as the main cleaning agent. This means you won’t have to break your back going through several steps just to get your carpet clean!

And since extreme temperatures are involved, it offers a sure-fire way of killing germs, pests, and bacteria.

Naturally, since a lot of water may be used (depending on the size of your carpet), it takes longer for carpets to dry out than either the Oxi Fresh or Zerorez methods. Still, you can use a couple of tricks to help speed up the drying process.

Also, the process is much more thorough in cleaning even the base of your carpet. Oxi Fresh and Zerorez cleaning mostly focus on the fibers and everything else on top.


  • Usable on several surfaces
  • Best for deep cleaning
  • Faster process of cleaning
  • No chemicals involved whatsoever
  • Effective in killing germs, bacteria, and pests


  • Longer dry time compared to the rest
  • Not for daily cleaning

Which is the best cleaning option: Oxi Fresh vs steam cleaning vs Zerorez?

The best carpet cleaning method depends on various factors including the level of soiling, the type of stains present, and personal preferences such as drying times and eco-friendliness.

Also, what work do you need done?

Oxi Fresh is known for its quick drying times, making it suitable for busy households. Steam cleaning is reliable for deep cleaning carpets and removing tough stains but may require longer drying times. Zerorez stands out for its innovative Empowered Water technology, providing thorough cleaning with minimal drying times and no chemical residue.

If you want a quick solution to light to -moderately dirty carpet, then you may go with either Zerorez or Oxi Fresh cleaning. Their cleaning mechanism is mainly focused on cleaning the fibers and upper layers of your carpet. You can also use them frequently as they dry faster than in steam cleaning.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs and priorities. Consulting with a professional carpet cleaning service can help you determine the most suitable method for your situation.

If you want something that’s been tried and tested, beats dry cleaning, and offers the best carpet deep cleaning, then steam cleaning has got you covered!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Zerorez use soaps and detergents?

Zerorez uses neither soaps nor detergents in its process.

However, they have a special cleaner known as the Zr Clean™ that substitutes the use of these soaps or detergents. This is a patented product that’s basically soft water treated with electricity.

What machines do I need for steam cleaning?

Steam cleaning only requires a steam cleaner device to work. Most of them come fitted with a sucking vacuum too but you’ll have to use a separate one with a few models that don’t come with suction.

Is Oxi Fresh cleaning the best for deep cleaning?

Oxi Fresh is not the best solution for deep cleaning. Its method mostly works great when seeking to clean your carpet fibers and the top areas of your carpet. However, its encapsulation process doesn’t quite capture the hidden germs and dirt embedded at the base of your carpet.

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