How to Steam Clean a Carpet – Useful Tips

How to steam clean a carpet

You probably have been searching the web on how to steam clean a carpet. Welcome on board as we’ve got it all covered here.

People often desire that their homes be clean and free from germs, thereby looking for ways to achieve this.

Steam cleaning your carpet with a steam mop is an effective way, sit tight while we share some effective ways on how to steam clean a carpet.

Is Steam Cleaning Carpet a Good Idea?

This is the question many ask, a carpet has a very soft surface unlike a hardwood floor or tile floor. Now, let’s give a quick answer to the question. Is steam cleaning a carpet good? Yes, it is and it is very effective.

Many benefits come with steam cleaning carpet asides just cleaning it. The benefits are:

It Removes Trapped Pollutants

A dirty carpet holds pollutants from dead bugs, cockroach allergens, pet dander, lead, and foreign particles tracked in from outdoor and workplaces. A carpet can also absorb and thereafter release volatile organic compounds from paint, cigarette smoke, and other sources. A steam mop is capable of removing all these pollutants absolutely.

It Clears Dust Mites

Microscopic dust mites are inside all homes. They live in carpets. A warm and moist environment is where they thrive well. They feed on pollen, fungi, animal dander, bacteria and flakes of human skin. Dust mite protein and its waste product are known as allergens. These allergens are detrimental to human health when inhaled. Steam cleaning carpet kills any dust mite living in the carpet.

It Deep Cleans

Steam cleaning is the only method of cleaning a carpet, that removes at least 97% of bacteria and dirt. This is why steam cleaning is also called deep cleaning. Steam cleaning reaches all the way down to the lowest layer of dirt, to clean the carpet flawlessly.

Can You Steam Clean A Carpet?

If you’ve got carpet in your place of residence, you’ll understand how discolored and worn it can look when dirty, particularly if it is light-colored.

It is possible to use a steam mop to bring splendor back to your carpet. Although a lot of steam mops are designed for hard floors, a good number of them are multi-functional.

It is very possible and effective to steam clean carpet. Steam cleaning carpet removes stains from the carpet and disinfects it at the same time.

The steam in the steam cleaner, at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, can kill fleas, mold spores, bedbugs, and germs. Steam cleaning will leave your carpet shining and safe for pets and kids. Back to the question, can you steam clean a carpet? Yes, you can!

A good time to steam clean a carpet is when foot traffic is low and the weather is warm and dry so you can open up windows to make way for the breeze to dry out the carpet when you are through.

How to steam mop a carpet

How Long Does it Take to Steam Clean a Carpet

This depends on the size of the room, steam cleaning a 12′ X 12′ room should take about 15-30 minutes.

However, it should take only a couple of hours or overnight for your carpet to dry, at times it will take longer. The following factors determine the time it will take your carpet to dry:

Density Of Padding And Carpet

Padding and carpets that are thicker or denser will take a longer time to dry. You can make special allowances for water that will remain in heavier padding and carpet if you know your carpet well.

Ventilation Of The Room

If your room has no windows or if the windows it has are closed, cross ventilation is prevented, thereby reducing evaporation.

Turning on the furnace blower or placing a fan in the room will improve air circulation. This will, in turn, dry the carpet faster. In warmer months, you can turn on the air conditioner.

Water Usage

The amount of water used in steam cleaning will determine the time it will take for the carpet to dry out.

More water used means more time for drying out the carpet. Keep water usage decreased during the cleaning process. Frequently, less steam cleans as effective as more steam. You should try to adjust your steam usage.

Water Extraction

In the extraction process, make several passes over the wet carpet with the cleaner. Each and pass absorbs more water from the wet/moist carpet.

How to Steam Clean a Carpet

Vinegar is a homemade steam cleaning solution that is effective and inexpensive. These are steps to take in steam cleaning your carpet with vinegar:

  • Apply a pre-treatment to high foot traffic areas and carpet stains by sprinkling baking soda evenly on the carpet; apply sufficient baking soda so the powder is visible on the surface of the carpet. Thereafter, saturate the carpet using a spray bottle containing 50% water and 50% white vinegar.
  • Move the pre-treatment into the carpet, using a scrub brush. Rub in a roundabout motion to press the solution into the carpet and leave it there until it is dry.
  • Vacuum the pre-treated area to gather the dried paste before steam cleaning.
  • Move all furniture out. If space is not much, you can move all the furniture to one side of the room, steam clean the other side and allow it to dry, then move the furniture to the clean side and steam clean the other side.
  • Remove the reservoir that the cleaning solution is contained in. The reservoir is a transparent plastic container. It is usually found on the upright part of the steam cleaner beneath the handle.
  • Fill the reservoir with a mixture of 50% hot water and 50% white vinegar. Once the cap of the reservoir tank is in place, flip the reservoir a few times to mix the solution before putting it back on the steam cleaning machine.
  • Steam clean the carpet by pressing the trigger on the handle to dole out the solution over a 3×3-foot area. Move the steam cleaner slowly over the carpet, the same way you use a vacuum cleaner, with each stroke overlapping half of the previous stroke.
  • Suck up the moisture (consisting of dirt and the solution) by moving the steam cleaner over the 3×3-foot area, again using slow and overlapping strokes. At this stage, you intend to collect moisture, do not press the trigger to dispense solution.

Move back and forth on the section until moisture is no longer being collected by the steam cleaner. You will hear the sound of the solution getting sucked up, so you will know when the cleaner is no longer collecting the moisture.

  • Move to another 3×3-foot section of your carpet after the first section is completed. Resume the process until the carpet cleaning solution reservoir tank is empty. You’ll know when it is empty because you’ll no longer see the lines of moisture that are deposited on the carpet, and also the tank is transparent.
  • Empty the dirty water collection tank into the toilet. Normally, the tank is located on top of the horizontal head of the steam cleaner.
  • Refill the cleaning solution tank as in step 5 and repeat the cycle until the entire carpet has been cleaned.
  • Do not walk on the carpet with shoes until it is dry.

How Often Should you Steam Clean your Carpet

This is one key thing you must keep in mind if you want to have a good experience on how to clean a carpet.

Most experts recommend that steam cleaning should be done on an annual basis, but it solely depends on your lifestyle and climate.

Under some conditions, the carpet will get dirty much more quickly and will, therefore, need steam cleaning more often, sometimes every 3-6 months. The carpet should be cleaned more often if:

  • The people who live with you suffer from allergies,
  • You have children and indoor pets,
  • You live in a windy or dusty climate,
  • Mud gets tracked in regularly,
  • The house is encircled by plants that have a lot of pollen,
  • The house is located in a high smog area and
  • Smokers are living in the house.

Can you Steam Clean a Wool Carpet?

Yes, you can steam clean a wool carpet. Steam cleaning your wool carpet is okay. It is thorough and effective for removing gritty, greasy, fiber-eating soil from the base of the carpet. Your wool carpet is different from the regular cotton or artificial fiber. Using a steam cleaner on a wool carpet is just the best and perfect way to keep it clean and glittering

Read: How to make carpet fluffy again


Remove any large items such as furniture, toys, books, and rubbish from the top of the carpet. Clean the carpet with a vacuum cleaner (this will make it easier to move over the carpet with the steam mop and in turn prolong the life of the cleaner pads).

Fill your steam mop with water as recommended by the manufacturer.

Fix the cleaning pad and make sure it is correctly placed. Thereafter, attach the carpet glider and see that it is completely attached.

Move over the carpet with the steam mop. It is advisable to work on a small area at a time so that you can see the difference after you have cleaned.

We’ve written a complete guide on the best steam mop for a perfect shiny floor. Check it out and make your choice based on the feature that suits your need.


In conclusion, take note that while using a steam mop, do not let the carpet get saturated. Light steaming is efficient and sufficient to clean your carpet. Saturating your carpet will encourage mold growth, another problem entirely. Now you’ve known basic steps on how to steam clean a carpet, we’re pushing the question over to you. How often do you steam clean your carpet?

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