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How to Steam Clean Carpets?

how much is carpet steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is one of the best ways of cleaning most of our home items including floors, carpets, furniture, and more. But are you informed about how to use a steam cleaner to clean your carpets?

This article is going to provide you with all you need to know about carpet steam cleaning. Keep reading for more information.


Why You Should Steam Clean Carpet?

steam clean carpet at home

Steam cleaning is one of the most effective ways of deep cleaning your carpet. Besides, there are so many benefits of steam cleaning carpets. They include:

  • It removes pollutants

Carpets hold various pollutants that can turn hazardous in our home. Steam cleaning helps in removing these pollutants, thereby enhancing our daily health.

  • It removes dust mites

Dust mites are known to be potential allergens in our homes. Usually, dust mites live in the carpets, furniture, mattresses, and other things in our home. Steam cleaning clears dust mites out of the carpet thereby minimizing the risk of allergies.

  • It helps in preventing mold growth

Molds are another source of allergens and grow on moist and dirty surfaces. Steam cleaning helps in preventing mold growth.

  • It helps in extending the carpet lifespan

Unlike other methods that end up putting your carpet at risk of wearing out, steam cleaning helps in improving the lifespan of your carpet as the fibers are left intact while retaining the carpet’s initial luster and beauty.


Steam Cleaning Carpets vs Shampoo Carpet

how to use hoover steamvac to clean carpet

Both of these methods have their pros and cons and are both acceptable ways of cleaning a carpet. However, steam cleaning is much better than shampooing.

1. Generally, steam cleaning utilizes hot water vapor and steam mop to clean the carpet, hence safe for children and pets, while shampooing utilizes a chemical-based detergent.

2. Steam cleaning is easier and efficient to use and maneuver even when handling large carpets than shampooing, which takes a long time to clean large carpets.

3. Steam cleaning carpets takes less time to dry compared to shampoo carpets.

4. Steam cleaning helps in improving the carpet lifespan, unlike shampooing that can weaken or damage the fibers, thereby reducing the lifespan.

5. With steam cleaning, no detergent or dirt is left behind, but with shampooing, soap residues can be left behind and attract more dirt.

6. Finally, steam cleaning also kills germs and other disinfectants, unlike shampooing.


Step by Step Guide on Steam Cleaning Carpets

Steam cleaning is one of the best ways of cleaning your carpets at home, especially when it is not very dirty or heavily soiled.

With the right machine and attachment to remove dirt, stains, and grime, then you are good to go. The following is the step-by-step guide on how to clean a carpet using a steam cleaner.

Check out this video out to learn the specific steps to clean carpet with a streamer;

Besides video, you can read the following

  • Step 1. Clear the room

The first step is to remove everything in the room to create space for cleaning. Ensure that all the toys, furniture, and other items are removed from the carpet.

This is because steam cleaners are operated when pulling and pushing them on the carpet, therefore, if the room or carpet is not cleared you will have a hard time cleaning and will take most hours cleaning your carpet.

However, not everything can be removed because of weight or available space. For the heavy furniture, use waterproof tape to wrap the legs, to protect the furniture from the hot steam as you clean the carpet around the legs.

You can also use aluminum foil in cases where you don’t have the tape. On the other hand, if the available space is limited, then move the items on the carpet to one corner as you clean the cleared side.

Remember to clean your baseboards before working on your carpet.

  • Step 2. Vacuum the carpet

Vacuum cleaning is one way of cleaning your carpet and a step in deep cleaning. This is the easiest way to remove loose particles, dirt, dust particles, food crumbs, and dead skin from the carpet.

For thorough cleaning, you should do it two times to eliminate all the particles trapped in the carpet as steam cleaning can not remove dirt and other particles trapped deep in the carpet fibers.

During the first round, move the vacuum cleaner in one direction, making sure that you move it slowly to pick as much dirt as possible. During the second round, move the vacuum cleaner in the opposite direction.

Also, ensure that you pick all the large particles including parasites if any.

  • Step 3. Treat the spot stains before steam cleaning

Spot stains are common things on our carpets, and removing these stains from the carpet is quite tough, thereby the need for treating the spot stains before steam cleaning the carpet.

Some of these stains include pet urine, wine spills, blood stains, coffee, and more. One of the simple ways to clean the spot stains involves the following:

    • Using an environmentally-friendly stain remover, blot a clean piece of cloth, especially made of microfiber.
    • Dab the spot stain on the carpet to allow the stain to absorb the solution.
    • Leave it for about 15 minutes before starting to steam clean.
  • Step 4. Prepare the steam cleaner

how much is carpet steam cleaning

After having treated the spot stains and eliminating the dust and dirt particles, then you can proceed to prepare your steam cleaner to get started.

This is done by filling the machine water tank with water, as instructed by the manufacturer in the user manual.

You can also add white vinegar or mild washing soap into the tank, to aid in removing the tough stains as water is not enough. This will also ensure that you get shining results. However, some machines have a detergent chamber.

Mount the water tank back to the steam cleaner and plug it into a power source. Let the water heat up to the recommended steam temperature.

Note that 212 °F is the recommended temperature to kill parasites.

  • Step 5. Do the steam cleaning on the carpet

Begin to steam clean your carpet by running your machine from one corner to the other in a straight line. Start from the farthest corner from the door and clean towards the door.

Make sure that each run is left clean. Repeat the same process while overlapping the immediate line from the previous run to ensure that you don’t leave any spot behind without cleaning it.

  • Step 6. Leave the carpet to dry

Unlike steaming the hardwood floors, the steam cleaner does not remove all the moisture from the carpet, therefore, the need to leave it to dry. Generally, extracting hot water from carpets requires up to 12 hours for all the moisture to dry.

However, there are ways of minimizing drying time. They include:

    • Using fans while facing downwards towards the carpet.
    • Opening windows to allow better airflow for moisture escape.
    • Using a dehumidifier with the highest settings.


How to Spot Clean Carpet?

homemade carpet spot cleaner

There are various ways of spot cleaning ranging from the manufactured stain removers to DIY methods. The following are some of the ways of how to spot clean a carpet.

  • Cleaning fresh stains

  • Step 1: Find a white clean cloth

Use a clean cloth to clean the carpet to avoid adding more dirt to the carpet. Also, the cloth should be white to avoid staining the carpet with other colors from the cloth.

  • Step 2: Blot the stain

Gently blot the stain starting from the edge and dab it towards the center of the stain. Do not rub the stain as it can damage the fibers and spread the stain further.

  • Step 3: Rinse the stain using clean cold water

Use a spray bottle to spray the stain or rather pour the water on the stain slowly to avoid saturating it. This is for soaking the spot.

  • Step 4: Blot the stain for the second time

Using a fresh white clean cloth, blot the stain and dab the spot to soak up all the water. In case the spot is quite large, you can use a third cloth. This method is ideal for less tough fresh stains.

  • Step 5: Finally, leave the area to dry up

  • Cleaning tough stains

vinegar baking soda carpet cleaning machine

This method is ideal for removing tougher stains.

  • Cleaning with vinegar

  • Step 1: You need to put vinegar into a clean spray bottle and spray the spot until it is completely soaked.

  • Step 2: Leave it for about 10 minutes to work.

  • Step 3: Use a clean white cloth to dab the stain.

  • Step 4: Add pressure on the spot using your hand and then rinse the cloth.

  • Step 5: Repeat this process until the carpet is clean.

  • Cleaning with baking soda

This method is ideal for cleaning oil-based stains, fresh, and dried stains.

  • Step 1: Blot the spot using a clean white cloth. Then use clean water to rinse the stain and blot it again.

  • Step 2: Use white vinegar to soak the spot stain by pouring or spraying vinegar on the spot. Make sure the spot is covered by vinegar but do not overdo it.

  • Step 3: Sprinkle the baking soda all over the stained area until it is completely covered.

  • Step 4: Leave the mixture to stand for about one or two days. This is to allow the mixture to absorb all the stain and smell.

  • Step 5: Use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the dried baking soda.


Professional vs DIY Steam Cleaning

diy steam clean carpet

These are two efficient and effective carpet cleaning methods, but someone may get confused about which to choose. But the choice depends on your preference, size and number of carpets, and partly on the extent of dirt in your carpet. The following are some of the main differences between professional and DIY steam cleaning.

  • Basic tools

Usually, professional steam cleaning involves the use of a portable machine or a truck-mounted system to clean your carpet, while the DIY involves hiring or buying a steam cleaner and cleaning the carpet yourself.

  • Effort

Professional involves hiring an expert hence more convenient while for the DIY, the cleaning process demands several hours and much effort, especially when cleaning large carpets.

  • Efficiency

Professional carpet cleaning involves more efficient and effective cleaning than DIY steam cleaning thereby enhancing the lifespan of the carpet. However, this does not mean that the DIY minimizes the carpet lifespan.

  • The drying time

The drying time is another significant difference between professional and DIY steam cleaning carpets. Generally, the professional option takes less time to dry compared to the DIY option.

  • Cost

The cost of hiring a professional every time you want your carpet cleaned is higher than Doing It Yourself.

  • Extent of the mess

On one side, the professional has it and on the other side, the DIY has it.

If the reason for cleaning is the annual cleaning schedule and the carpet is heavily soiled, then the professional steam cleaning option is the best as the expert is well experienced in how to go about it, unlike the DIY.

On the other hand, if the reason for cleaning is just a small spill, then DIY is the best and most convenient.

  • Size of the carpet

Typically, professional steam cleaning is ideal for large carpets or many carpets, unlike the DIY option that would be so tiring and take most hours or days if the carpets are many.

On the other hand, for small carpets, then hiring a professional might not be cost-effective and it would be better Doing It Yourself.


Tips for Steam Cleaning Carpet

upholstery steam cleaner

When cleaning carpet at home, you need to keep the following tips in mind for efficient work:

1. Clear all the items on the carpet

Steam cleaning involves pulling and pushing the steam cleaner on the carpet, therefore, for an easy, quick, and thorough cleaning, you should remove everything from the carpet or rather the room as much as possible.

2. Do a thorough vacuum

Steam cleaners are not designed to vacuum and on the other hand, they are not capable of removing particles trapped deep into the carpet fibers, therefore the need for a thorough vacuum.

Always do a thorough vacuum to remove all the loose dust and dirt particles as well as the locked particles. Also, the carpet vacuum cleaner helps in opening the fibers for better penetration of steam and soap.

3. Dust the other surfaces

Steam cleaning is a type of thorough cleaning in your house. But before that, dust all the other surfaces to ensure that your carpet won’t get dirty within a few days. Dust the baseboards, window sills, fans, and any other surface.

4. Pretreat the tough stains

It is very normal for a home carpet to have tough stains. Before beginning to steam clean, make sure that you pretreat these stains for easy cleaning.

5. Move slowly

Moving slowly ensures that the carpet is left clean without leaving any spot unattended.

6. Add a recommended soap or detergent

Water only is not capable of removing very tough stains, therefore the need for adding a cleaning detergent. However, you should use only the recommended detergents to avoid destroying your carpet. Just use mild washing soap.



1. How often to steam clean carpets?

Someone may wonder how often should you steam clean your carpet, but this depends on several factors. On average, the carpet should be steam cleaned after every 12 – 18 months to retain its initial luster and beauty.

However, depending on your lifestyle, frequency of vacuuming, and the type of carpet, the frequency of steam cleaning can either increase or decrease.

2. What is the cost of steam cleaning a carpet?

Generally, there is no direct answer to this question as different companies have different prices.

Also, the cost of steam cleaning a carpet mainly depends on the size of the carpet, and the extent of stains to some extent.

However, the average cost of steam cleaning a carpet is around $35 per hour or $40 per hour in case your carpet has tough stains that are hard to remove.

3. Does steam cleaning carpet remove stains?

can you use a floor steamer on carpet

Yes, with no doubt, steam cleaning removes stains from the carpet.

Generally, steam cleaners are designed to turn water into hot steam that is used to blast, soften, and loosen the stains on the carpet fibers, and then remove them out, leaving the carpet sparkling clean.

Also, some steam cleaners have the option of using mild washing soap to aid in removing the tough stains.

4. Can I use vinegar to steam clean a carpet?

Yes, you can use vinegar to steam clean your carpet. Generally, vinegar is a great cleaning agent that has been used for generations to kill germs and remove stains.

Vinegar can be added to the water in the steam cleaner to boost its efficacy. On the other hand, vinegar is used during the pretreatment step to pretreat tough stains before steam cleaning.

5. Can I use a steam iron to spot clean area carpet?

Yes, you can use a steam iron to clean the spot stains on your carpet, however, this requires great care to avoid damaging the carpet fibers.

The hot water vapor in the steam iron helps in loosening the spot stains on the carpet making it easy for you to blot the stain out of the carpet.

Finally after applying enough steam to loosen the stain, use a paper towel to blot out the stain.

Note: When using the steam iron, place a wet white towel between the steam iron and the carpet as the steam iron can damage the carpet fibers when used directly.



In conclusion, the above article has provided you with all the details that you need to know about carpet steam cleaning. Carpet steam cleaning is one of the best ways to deep clean your carpet.

Steam cleaning has multiple benefits as it not only cleans the carpet thoroughly but also disinfects the carpet and improves the carpet lifespan.