How do you Steam Clean a Carpet? 5 Steps to Follow

To keep your carpet looking clean and enhance its longevity, you need to adopt a proper cleaning and maintenance routine.  And one of the best ways to ensure your carpet is properly cleaned is by steam cleaning. So, how do you steam clean a carpet?

Steam cleaning is a great way to get rid of deep stains and the dust build-up deep inside your carpet or rug. In fact, it’s been touted as the most effective carpet disinfecting and cleaning method. You can get rid of up to 97% of dirt and microbes from your carpet or rug by steam cleaning.

How to steam clean a carpet – Steps

To ensure you properly steam clean your carpet or rug, we recommend that you follow the steps detailed below:

1. Prep the area

Before steam cleaning, you’ll need to prep the room by removing all furniture and any other cutter in the room that might inconvenience you during the process of using the steam mop. This step is also undertaken to ensure that you don’t damage your furniture and decorative pieces with hot steam. 

If removing the furniture is rather troublesome, you can instead cover the furniture legs with a waterproof material- preferably aluminum foil or flex tape. 

2. Vacuum clean the carpet

Vacuuming your carpet before steam cleaning helps eliminate loosely-lodged dust particles and dead insects, thus leaving you with less wok to do during steam cleaning. Vacuum cleaning is also done to loosen up the carpet fibers in readiness or deep cleaning. 

3. Get rid of tough stains

While steam cleaning has been proven to get rid of up to 97% of bacteria and dirt, it’s not always guaranteed that the process will help you eliminate tough stains on your carpet. Depending on the nature of the stain, you may need to re-treat the stain before proceeding to steam mop the carpet. 

Therefore, if you have pet urine, beverage spills, or any other kind of stubborn stains on your carpet; you should spot clean the area either by dabbing or blotting with a clean microfiber cloth. As you treat the stains, you’ll want to avoid scrubbing them, as this can spread the stains deeper into the carpet.

4. Prep your Steam Cleaner

Now, it’s time to get your steam cleaning machine ready for the job ahead by filling it with water and adding a soap solution or liquid detergent. We recommend filling the cleaner’s tank with hot water if it doesn’t come with an inbuilt heating system. While doing so, observe the max fill threshold to avoid overfilling the tank.

Remember, however, that some types of carpet that feature organic fiber construction are vulnerable to heat damage, and shouldn’t therefore be cleaned using hot water. If this is the case, then you should avoid steam cleaning your carpet altogether and try an alternative carpet cleaning method. 

After filling the tank, you can add a soap/detergent, as this helps with removal of tough stains during the steam cleaning process. Avoid adding too much detergent, as this will cause residue on your carpet after it dries up. 

Also, you want to check whether your cleaning machine has a specific section for holding soap/detergent. If not, you can proceed to add the detergent directly into the water tank. If you’re keen on natural/eco-friendly cleaning solutions, you can opt for a white vinegar solution over soap or detergent.

The final step in prepping your steam cleaner is to attach the tack onto it and allowing it to heat up. An appropriate cleaning temperature would be around 210-degrees Fahrenheit. 

5. Steam clean your dirty carpet

After prepping the cleaner, proceed to clean the entire carpet by running the steam mop over it. You’ll want to start steam cleaning from the farthest section of the caret to avoid stepping on places that you’ve already cleaned up. 

After cleaning the entire carpet, let it dry for about three hours before you walk on it or take back your furniture. Most people are skeptical about steam cleaning a carpet due to fear of a smelly carpet after cleaning, growth of mold under the floor covering or water damage to the underneath wood floor.

It is important to be careful when using a steam mop and also follow the product manufacturer’s instructions. Adjust the steam mop to settings of low steam and heat production if you are worried about the damaging effects of steam on your floor.

Should I shampoo or steam clean my carpet?

When cleaning a carpet by shampooing, you’ll have to scrub the carpet fibers to work the cleaning chemicals into the carpet. This increases chances of carpet fiber damage. Steam cleaning, on the other hand, uses the steam extraction method to get rid of dirt without damaging your carpet. 

If you’re paying for your carpet cleaning services, shampooing is more economical than steam cleaning services. However, there are many differences between shampooing and steam cleaning a carpet that you need to consider in making your choice decision.

Which carpet cleaning method is best? 

Apart from steam cleaning, other popular and effective carpet cleaning methods include carpet shampooing, foam encapsulation, bonnet cleaning, and dry carpet cleaning. However, ask any professional carpet cleaner and they’ll tell you that of all these methods, steam cleaning still remains the best method of carpet cleaning. 

Steam cleaning leverages the latest technology to get rid of the dirt and bacteria that are lodged deep inside the fibers of your carpet. This enables the carpet to regain its original, fresh look, while also helping keep you and your family healthy and safe from the bacteria that hide inside the carpet’s fibers.

What’s more, steam cleaning is one of the fastest ways to thoroughly clean and dry your carpet, as the entire process typically takes no more than three hours. The reason why carpets that are cleaned by steam cleaning usually dry so fast is that there’s no water flowing from the carpet after cleaning- as is usually the case with normal methods of carpet washing.

Final Thought

Everybody loves the beautiful, clean look of a new carpet. But after continued use, carpets typically collect dust and debris, which tend to leave them with an unsightly look. For this reason, you need to adopt a cleaning strategy that is safe for the floor covering and the rest of households.

The frequency with which you clean your carpets or rugs should depend on how often they’re used. If you have kids and pets playing on your carpet on a daily basis, you might want to maintain a weekly cleaning schedule to maintain its original look and hygiene.

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