Can You Clean Carpets with a Steam Cleaner?

May 9, 2023 6:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Steam cleaning your carpet is a great way to get rid of dirt and grime that finds its way deep into the fibers. Even with regular vacuuming, dirt can remain and get driven deeply into the base of the carpeting. Using steam accomplishes several things. The heat of the water breaks up dirt, allowing it to be sucked away. It also kills bacteria and other germs that can result in unpleasant odors. As a result, your home will smell cleaner and fresher than before.

Prepping Your Carpet for a Good Steam Cleaning

It’s important to dust the surfaces in your room to prevent dust from being stirred up as you move your furniture from one side of the room to the other. Move all of the furniture to one side of the room. If you can’t move a piece of furniture, wrap the legs in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent them from damage.

While it will speed up the cleaning process if you can remove all of the furniture from the room, that may not always be possible. Move what you can into the hallway and then place what is left on the other side of the room. You will want to make sure to remove as much water as you can from your carpet before moving your furniture to work on the other side of the room.

Vacuum and Pretreat Any Stains or Discolorations

Before using your steam cleaner, you must thoroughly vacuum your carpet to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Run your vacuum in several directions to lift the fibers and dislocate as much dirt as possible.

Once you are finished running the vacuum, you will want to inspect your carpet for stains or discolorations. High-traffic areas are often darker than other areas of the carpet and sometimes look like they have been trampled down. Make sure to vacuum these areas several times and in a few different directions to lift and fluff the fibers.

Fill Your Steam Cleaner with Carpet Cleaner and Hot Water

Follow the instructions that came with your steam cleaner when adding your carpet cleaner. In this situation, more is not necessarily better. Adding too much carpet cleaner will make it more difficult to remove and may leave your carpet feeling tacky after it has dried. Fill the reservoir to the appropriate line with hot water. Don’t overfill the tank.

Always follow the instructions on your steam cleaner. If at all possible, purchase a carpet cleaning solution that is recommended for your brand of machine. This will ensure that the amount of solution needed is approximately the same.

Steam Clean the Carpet in One Direction Using Long Strokes

When you are ready to start cleaning, place the cleaner head against the baseboard and pull the trigger while slowly pulling the cleaner back toward you. Always use long, slow passes to ensure that the water has a chance to make its way deep into the carpet.

To withdraw as much of the water as possible:

  1. Use the same slow motion without engaging the trigger.
  2. Clean the carpet in two or more directions. This will help dislodge dirt that is deep in the carpet.
  3. Pass over the entire area one more time to remove any excess water.

Change Sides and Repeat

Once you have one side of the room completely cleaned, you may want to let the carpet set for a short period of time before moving the furniture back into that area. Once you can move the furniture, you can steam clean the other side of the room.

Run the steam cleaner in the same fashion as you did the first half of the room, taking great care to pretreat problem areas and make several passes in two or three directions. Always try to pull as much water out of the carpet as possible. This will hasten the drying time. If possible, wait a short time before repositioning your furniture.

Allow the Carpet to Dry

The more water you pull from the carpet during the cleaning process, the faster it will dry on its own. Depending on your carpet type, it may take six to eight hours to fully dry. Heavy carpets can take up to 12 hours. If you want to speed up the process, raise your thermostat to 70 or 72 degrees. The increased movement of air and the added warmth will make your carpet dry much faster. Placing a fan on high speed in the doorway will also help. Turn the ceiling fan on low for added airflow.

Should I Hire a Professional to Steam Clean My Carpet?

Many homeowners prefer to steam clean their own carpets. Renting a steam cleaner is much more affordable than hiring a professional. You can also buy quality steam cleaners that will allow you to clean your carpets any time you choose throughout the year. This will extend the life of your carpeting and keep it looking its best for many years to come. Hiring a professional steam cleaning company like Valley Carpeting Cleaning to come in once a year to deep clean your carpets is beneficial as well.


Steam cleaning uses heat to enhance the power of your cleaning solution and loosen dirt particles, making it much easier to remove them. Your steam cleaner’s intense suction will remove the dirt and excess water, leaving your carpet fresh, clean, and looking great. Call Valley Carpet Cleaning today to learn more about the benefits of steam cleaning your carpet. Schedule a cleaning today, and you will notice a difference in your carpets tonight!

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