How To Steam Clean Carpet?

A dirty wall-to-wall can be a home to several allergens, bacteria, germs, molds, and mildew. It can even lead to infestation of carpet bugs. These bugs and allergens can not only harm your wall-to-wall but also your health. It can bring on respiratory issues and also trigger asthma. If you don’t want your carpet to turn into a health hazard, then you have to deep clean it with a steam cleaner. But “How To Steam Clean Carpet?”

How To Steam Clean Carpet

To find out this, you first have to discover the effectiveness of a steam cleaner and then learn the professional method to assemble it for a cleaning project.

This method will help you understand the right procedure to prepare and use a steam cleaner without damaging the carpet fibers.

Is Steam Cleaning Effective?

Is Steam Cleaning Effective

A steam cleaner can deep clean your carpet and effectively eradicate stubborn stains, dirt, grime, grease, and pesky bacteria. It can restore your wall-to-wall to pristine condition.

But how does it do this? A steam cleaner uses water heated beyond the boiling point to force upon the carpet with high pressure. This cleaner has nozzles, brushes, and other attachments that help loosen dirt and grime and kill bacteria, molds, mites, mildew, and other allergens.

Steam cleaning is best for those who want a quick drying result. However, this method can leave a few old stubborn stains untreated, so to get its best result, you have to prepare a few cleaning equipment in advance and pre-prepare your carpet for deep purging.

Things You’ll Need

Things You'll Need

If you have a carpeted home, you need to vacuum it regularly to eliminate dander, dirt, and regular dry grunge. Besides this, you must deep clean it at least once a year. If your carpet contains bacteria, allergens, and carpet bugs like beetles, then you should opt for the steam cleaning method instead of regular carpet cleaning.

But before you move for steam cleaning, gather all cleaning equipment in advance so that you don’t have to rust towards the market or your neighbor during the process.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • DIY / Commercial Stain Remover
  • Dust Cloth
  • Steam cleaner
  • Liquid Carpet Cleaning Solution
  • Hot Water
  • Big Fans (optional)

Prepare Your Carpet In Advance

Prepare Your Carpet In Advance

After gathering all the cleaning equipment, shift every piece of furniture and upholstery to another room. If you can’t shift some big & heavy fixtures, drag them from one corner to another to save them from the steam cleaning damage.

Before you start dragging, wrap aluminum foil on the base of the furniture to protect it from the boiling water of steam cleaner and other damage. To ensure more safety, do not use the steam cleaner in the corner of the room where you have placed the furniture. You can work on a half room at a time.

Furniture shifting is just the start of your steam cleaning pre-preparation. You have to make a few more arrangements to get professional results, such as:

Clean The Baseboard & Other Filthy Corners

Clean The Baseboard & Other Filthy Corners

The dirt stuck on the baseboard can create a big problem while working with a steam cleaner. It can fall onto your carpet and be trapped by your rug-baking spores. Such incidents can lead to persistent staining, popularly known as wicking, even after thorough steam cleaning.

If you don’t want to let this happen, then dust off the baseboards, fans, and filthy corners of the wall with a dust cloth. Also, clean the corners of the ceiling and heavy furniture which you can’t move to another room.

Vacuum The Carpet

Vacuum The Carpet

Vacuuming the carpet ensures that no regular dry debris or filth gets onto the carpet while the dusting process is attached to your wall-to-wall. This is because the vacuum cleaner will suck up all the grunge and debris and detach the pet hair entangled in the carpet fibers.

For better results, ensure you start vacuuming after the dusting process and cover a small section at a time. Do not move the cleaner fast because that way, you may leave a few sections of carpet un-sweeping.

Start vacuuming from the corner and move ahead in a straight line. After ensuring that one section of your carpet is un-soiled then, move to another nearby section and clean it thoroughly.

Make sure that you move at a normal pace so that the cleaner does not leave any grime in between.

Clean Carpet Stains

Clean Carpet Stains

It is harder for steam cleaners to take off all the stubborn stains from the carpet. A few stains, like your pet pee, wine, coffee, or chocolate spill, can be left behind even after several strokes of cleaning. To prevent this from happening, you have to pre-treat your stain with a stain remover solution.

You can either use a commercial stain remover available in your nearby store or prepare one at home. If you are opting for a commercial spray or solution, make sure that it does not contain any corrosive or acidic chemical, such as nitrilotriacetic acid, hydroxyacetic acid, or hydrofluoric acid. These chemicals can be harsh to your carpet fibers.

If you want to use a DIY stain remover solution, then:

  1. Add 5 drops of liquid detergent to 1 cup of warm water.
  2. You can add 15 to 18 drops of essential oil if you want to get rid of the musty smell of your carpet.
  3. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and sprinkle it on the stain.
  4. Ensure that the solution is covering all the carpet stains well.
  5. Blot the stain with a microfiber towel and leave it for 5 minutes.
  6. Rinse the stain with clean water to blast out a solution and filthy remains of the stain.

How To Steam Clean Carpet?

The steam cleaning process is not as simple as it looks because you first have to prepare your cleaner by adding water and then pouring the commercial or DIY cleaning solution for better exfoliation.

Also, you have to maintain the temperature of the water because if it’s extra hot, it can damage the carpet fibers by creating discolored patches and stiffness.

Prepare The Steam Cleaner

Prepare The Steam Cleaner

To prepare the steam cleaner, your first step is to fill it with water and a cleaning solution.

If you have a cleaner with an inbuilt heating mechanism, you can pour the normal tap water and set the cleaner to heat up. But if your cleaner lacks this feature, then first boil the water at 180 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit and pour it directly into the cleaner’s water tank.

While pouring, check the maximum fill line of the water tank to ensure that you don’t overfill your cleaner. Now, add a carpet cleaning solution as per the machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.

If your carpet is sensitive to the commercial cleaning solution, then add a 50/50 mixture of vinegar to hot water. This mixture will have the same effect on cleaning as one bought from the market.

Deep Clean The Carpet

Deep Clean The Carpet

If you have never used a steam cleaner, then read the manufacturer’s instructions in detail or contact a professional carpet cleaning service to understand the exfoliation process of a specific machine. However, all the steam cleaning machines follow the same cleaning steps, such as:

  1. Take the steam cleaner to one corner of the carpet and then press the trigger up while moving forward and backward. By this, you will give a few hot water cleaning strokes to your wall-to-wall.
  2. Move at least 2 to 3 times from a spot at a normal pace to ensure that your carpet has blasted out all the grime, grease, and dander.
  3. Now, release the trigger and move from the same spot to suck up the hot water solution and filth remains.
  4. Give your cleaner time for this step, as a moist wall-to-wall can grow molds and mildew and lead to persistent staining.
  5. Repeat the process until the water is pulled up into the dirty water tank looks clean. 
  6. Now, move to the next spot and repeat the process until your whole carpet is clean.
  7. If your dirty water tank is filled, then empty it in the sink and refill the clean water tank for further cleaning.

Wait Until The Carpet Dries

Wait Until The Carpet Dries

Usually, a carpet takes 6 to 10 hours to dry after deep cleaning, but this time can exceed up to 1 to 2 days if you live in a region with extreme weather conditions.

If you want to speed up your carpet drying process, then turn on the fans and set the thermostat at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use a dehumidifier in your freshly cleaned carpet room. This device will remove the moisture from the air and prevent mold from accumulating on your carpet.

Professional vs. DIY Steam Cleaning

Professional vs. DIY Steam Cleaning

If you are hiring a professional carpet cleaning service for steam cleaning, then it may charge you between $250 to $300, but if you rent a cleaner from your nearby hardware store, then you may expect to pay $35 to $60 for half a day and $60 to $95 for a full day.

That means renting a carpet cleaner for a DIY cleaning project is more cost-effective than getting one professionally cleaned. But if you are concerned about the difficulty of this project, time consumption, and safety of your carpet, then you can definitely opt for professional cleaning.


A steam cleaner employs hot water to eliminate all germs and bacteria and loose dirt, grime, and grease from the carpet. If you want to use this excellent cleaning method on your carpet but are unsure of “How To Steam Clean Carpet?” then you can either consult a professional carpet cleaning service or go through the manufacturer’s instructions.

By doing this, you will understand the exact assembly guide of a steam cleaner and the accurate method of using it without damaging your wall-to-wall.


Is steam cleaner better than carpet cleaner?

If you want to deep clean your carpet to remove allergens and bacteria and kill carpet bugs, such as beetles, then steam cleaning is the best deep cleaning method to opt for. It is not only good for hygienic cleaning but also effective in eliminating stubborn stains, dirt, grime, and grease from the carpet.

What is the best homemade carpet cleaning solution for steam cleaners?

To prepare a special carpet cleaning solution for steam cleaner, you can add 3 tsp of dishwashing liquid into 1/4 cup of ammonia and 1/4 cup of vinegar and pour it into a few gallons of water.

How often should you steam clean the carpet?

To maintain the hygiene and cleanliness of the carpet, you must steam clean it at least once every 12 to 24 months. If your carpet is filthy before this 12 months, then you can deep clean it even in 8 to 10 months.

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