How to Steam Clean a Carpet in Five Simple Steps

How to Steam Clean a Carpet in Five Simple Steps
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Carpets and rugs add warmth and personality to a home, not to mention extra comfort and style. Unfortunately, they do not stay fluffy and fresh forever, and they require special commercial cleaning to keep them looking and smelling good.

Steam cleaning is a great way to do this without spending excessive time and money. The process is pretty simple and makes a world of difference. Keep your carpets soft, clean, and cosy in just five steps using our easy DIY guide.

What Are the Benefits of Steam Cleaning?

Before we walk you through the process of how to steam clean a carpet, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of the method:

  • Steam kills up to 99.99% of bacteria naturally and quickly: more than most shop-bought products.
  • There are no chemicals and detergents needed, making steam the safer and healthier option.
  • You get a much deeper clean when using steam, as it penetrates much further into the fibres and pores.
  • The heat created by steam has the power to break down mess such as drink spills, paint, or glue.
  • Steam cleaners run on water: a cost-effective and eco-friendly cleaning solution.

Five-Step Guide to Steam Cleaning a Carpet

Step One: Remove All Obstacles

It is much quicker and easier to steam clean a carpet when nothing is in your way. If you can remove the furniture, do so, otherwise move everything to one area, and gradually work around it. Rugs should be taken to an open, dry, airy space free of obstacles where you can move around freely.

Having a clear path to steam is not only infinitely easier, but it also helps you ensure nothing gets missed so you can achieve the best final result.

Step Two: Vacuum First

You wouldn’t mop the floor before sweeping it first, so don’t do it with your carpets. Dust and dirt embedded in the pile interfere with the cleaning and make it more difficult for the steam to get into the fabric and properly disinfect.

Start by dusting the walls and skirting that adjoin the carpet or rug, then thoroughly vacuum the entire area you intend to steam. If you moved any furniture, make sure it is also dusted before going back into place.

Step Three: Prepare the Steam Cleaner and Carpet

Depending on the brand and model of your steam cleaner, there may be slight differences in the setup. Refer to the manufacturer guidebook for specific details. That said, they all function using pretty much the same idea: fill it with water, let it reach the desired temperature, and off you go.

Remember, you do not need to add any chemicals or disinfectants. Doing so could damage your machine (unless it states otherwise). Follow the instructions, and the power of steam is all you need.

The exception here is if you notice any significant stains. In this case, you may want to pre-treat these areas before you steam. You can buy a specialized pre-cleaner for this very purpose. It doesn’t cost much and is found in most big homeware stores.

Step Four: Clean the Carpet in Small Sections

Now for the main event: time to get steamy! It is best to work section by section, roughly one square foot at a time. It is also important to work slowly to avoid overworking the fabric. Go over each section a couple of times until you are happy that it looks clean, then move on to the next part.

You should start at the furthest corner and work your way out to avoid treading on the freshly steamed carpet. That way, you minimise the workload and maximise efficiency.

Step Five: Leave It to Dry Naturally

No blow-dry is necessary here- fresh air is the best solution. Open your windows and doors to let the breeze in. It is important to air it out as much as possible to avoid musty smells, so avoid tackling this task in the heart of winter!

If you are steaming a rug and live in an area with reliable, good weather, consider putting it outside (somewhere clean). Don’t leave it out in the sun for too long, though!

A Few Top Tips for Steam Cleaning Carpets

  • If it is the first time you are using a steam cleaner on a particular carpet, start by testing a small, discreet area. Some materials can react poorly to the heat of the steam, especially older carpets. Try out the machine on a section that is usually hidden, or on an extra piece of the same material if you have it available.
  • Cover your feet with plastic bags to minimize the impact of your shoes on the freshly steam cleaned carpet. It is best to avoid walking on it altogether for a while, but this is a helpful measure to take if that is not possible.
  • Don’t overdo it with the steam cleaner. Carpets are not meant to be streamed regularly, and doing so too often could lead to damage. When you use it, go gently and slowly, doing a thorough but delicate job. If you vacuum regularly and take preventative action to keep your carpet in good condition, it should not need steam cleaned for another two years.
  • There is no need to use detergent along with a steam cleaner unless you are trying to get rid of odours. Some dirt and smells require professional attention if you want to restore the carpet to its original condition, in which case steam cleaning ain’t going to cut it.

Final Thoughts

Steam cleaning is an excellent DIY housekeeping method and could completely change the way you care for your carpets. Forget exorbitant fees every time you want to spruce it up a little: simply invest in a good-quality steam cleaner.

Remember, some stains and smells still need a little more TLC- something that is best left in the hands of professionals. If you need more than a steam clean, The Clean Group has more than 20 years of experience and is on hand to help.

In short, steam cleaning your carpet is an effective way to spruce things up and take them as close to that brand-new look as possible. No chemicals, no mess, and no need to call for backup- this is one life hack you are sure to love.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Amelia. I am a commercial cleaning operations manager at Clean Group Sydney. My duties include handling customer support responsibilities and I manage a team of 10+ fully trained support professionals. Besides managing a team of experts and maintaining communication between clients and cleaners’ teams, I handle customers’ complaints and grievances, especially the ones that need special or immediate attention. If you need help sorting out the best cleaning for you or have a complaint, feel free to connect.

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