How Does Carpet Steam Cleaning Work?

Steam cleaner carpet

Carpet steam cleaning is gaining popularity but a lot of people are still not quite sure about using this method. Let us explain what steam cleaning is all about and bust a few myths related to it.

What is Carpet Steam Cleaning?

Woman steam cleaning carpet

This method makes use of vaporized water to clean carpets. The method can also be used to clean rugs. Water is heated to a very high degree causing it to turn to high-pressure vapor.

The vapors create a lot of heat which is then let inside a machine that looks like a vacuum cleaner. The heat from the vapor is applied on the carpet or rug, which easily breaks down the dirt and cleans it thoroughly.

To collect all the dust particles, dry steam is used.

Why this method is so popular?

Imaginary house is best to read book with friends

The steam cleaning method is very easy to understand the concept and has many benefits. A few of them are as mentioned below:

Best dirt and stain removal method:

Woman cleaning carpet with steam cleaner

The hot vapour from the machine is pure magic. As soon as it touches the fibres of the carpet, it causes the dirtiest stain to come right off.

The high temperature of the heat causes the bonds between the dirt and carpet fibre to weaken. Once the bond weakens, the stains and dirt easily come off the carpet.

When we wash dirty and stained clothes in hot water we get fresh-looking clothes.

 The same principle works for the carpet as well. The vapour also reaches to the bottom of the carpet surface, cleaning even the deeply buried stain efficiently.

Thus it gives better cleaning than other traditional methods.

Kills dust mites and bacteria:

Closed up steam cleaner cleaning very dirty carpet

A dirty carpet is a home to dust mites, moulds, bacterias, and fungus. They can very well thrive in the carpet that hasn’t been cleaned thoroughly.

Conventional methods of carpet cleaning can only remove dirt and dust and fail to clean these allergy-causing germs.

Steam cleaning provides a way to have a germ-free carpet. The heat from the vapour kills all these invaders effectively.

No damage to the carpet:

Large couch carpet

You may think that the heat from steam cleaning can damage the carpet fibres. Though steam cleaning is intensive it does not damage the carpet.

 This method does not make use of any chemicals like the other traditional methods of carpet cleaning.  Steam cleaning, in fact, sterilizes the carpet from any pollutants that have made a home in your carpet for a long time.

With the advantages of steam cleaning clearly winning over the other traditional carpet cleaning methods, let us now clear some common misconceptions about this method of carpet cleaning.

Delaying the first cleaning: When you purchase a carpet, the first thing the store owner tells you is to delay the first cleaning of the carpet. This is not in the best interest of the carpet. A carpet should get a deep cleaning, preferable steam cleaning, in the first year of use. Subsequently, it should be followed every year. A deep cleaning will ensure the timely removal of the fine dust particles that are deep within the carpet’s surface. If it is not removed timely, it may cause abrasion to the carpet making it tear.

Steam cleaning can take days to dry: It is true that after the carpet is cleaned, it will not be dry immediately. There is a little moisture that seeps into the carpet. A professional steam cleaning will take 6 to 8 hours to dry completely. Factors like temperature, carpet material, ventilation in the room, the thickness of the carpet contribute to the drying time.

It causes shrinkage:

Carpet chemical cleaning with professionally extraction method

Steam cleaning can shrink the carpet for two reasons. One, if you have tried to do it yourself without having complete knowledge. Second, if you have used an unprofessional service with substandard equipment and chemicals. If a professional company performs the service, steam cleaning can never harm your carpet.

Carpet cleaning can cause allergy problems: Moisture can cause moulds and bacteria to grow on the carpet.

But this happens only if the carpet is dirty and soiled. Carpet cleaning ensures that there is no dirt left in the carpet.

Steam cleaning, on the other hand, sterilizes the carpet fibres efficiently. The heat from the vapour kills the unwanted bacteria, allergy-causing germs, and moulds that are breeding deep within a dirty carpet

. To avoid moisture lying for a longer time in the carpet, you can ensure good ventilation in the room to dry the carpets quickly.

Steam cleaning can get rid of dust mites:

Human cleaning carpet living room using steam cleaner

Steam cleaning is effective to reduce the dust mites in the carpet. It is not a foolproof method to get rid of them completely. Dust mites can survive extreme conditions and can exponentially grow even with a single pregnant female. This method cannot eradicate the mites completely.

Every carpet cleaning method is the same: 

High angle female brushing carpet

The biggest misconception in the carpet cleaning industry is that consumers think everything is the same. The carpet cleaning methods can be divided into 2 major categories: Hot water extraction and dry-cleaning. One method makes use of water and chemicals to get rid of the dirt, while the other uses compounds and powders to clean the carpet. Every method is different and offers different results. You can pick the one that suits your needs effectively.

If you have the equipment, you can do it yourself:

Closeup person cleaning carpet

Cleaning carpets can be done regularly at home. However, deep cleaning needs a lot of time and training to perform. 

Only a professional can give you good results. Every carpet is different in its fabric, making, the colour so each of them needs a different cleaning method.

The chemicals used for each of them have to be different. Every stain is a mystery, proper knowledge of removing it without damaging the carpet is necessary.

Find a cheaper service as all of them are the same: Steam cleaning is costly, because of the time and effort it needs.

 A cheaper service may damage your carpet.

We recommend getting it done by a professional who may charge more but will give you peace of mind knowing that your carpet has been professionally cleaned.

This guide is a helpful resource from our friends at CarpetKings, an upholstery cleaning company based in Sydney, Australia.

Karen Saunders

Karen Saunders

Karen Saunders is the content marketing manager at PaintMates. With extensive experience in the home and garden space. Karen researches and writes about home improvement.

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