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In this article, I will explain how to steam clean carpet without using any chemicals and will also share some tips and tricks for the best steam cleaning result.
The moment we say the word Steam cleaner, the first two thoughts in our head are Clothes and Hard Floor. Thanks to a ton of Youtube videos and advertisements, steam cleaning is the new Martha Stewart of creaseless shirts and sparkling floors.
What many do not know is that Steam cleaning is way more versatile than just that. Carpets can be steam cleaned to revert it back to its original glory. This can be done without the need of visiting the expensive Cleaning Service Agencies.
Read our in-depth guide for whether steam cleaning carpet is better than shampooing.
With time carpets tend to collect a huge volume of fine particles like oil, dead skin, hair, soil, dust, etc. Vacuuming can help in getting rid of most of the solid dust and dirt particles but over time, moisture breaks down many of these remnants to dissolve within the fibers and thus create odor and stains.
These cannot be removed by mere vacuuming. Sending to a dry cleaner or getting a cleaning service at home is expensive. So this is where Steam cleaning works wonders to clean and disinfect the carpet completely. The following step by step guide will show you how to steam clean Carpet in 5 Simple steps.
What Does Steam Cleaning Carpet Mean?
As we all know, steam cleaning is a simple process of using high-pressure steam to eradicate dirt, grimes, oils and other pollutants from any surface. This simple steam-based cleaning method is implemented to clean carpets and floor mats without using any chemicals or external cleaning services.
Besides the dirt and other pollutants, steam cleaning also removes the majority of the germs, molds, and odor. Since the steam is often scalding hot and at a temperature over 100-degree Celsius, it kills away most of the microbes germinating within the carpet fibers.
The Necessary Preparation for Steam Cleaning Carpet
Before using the Steam cleaner on the carpet it is important to prepare the area well. This will ensure that the end result is way more effective and the carpet is comparatively way more cleaner than before.
The key to the perfectly sparkling carpet is in the preparation. The main factors to include in the preparation includes –
Remove all remnants from around the carpet area. This includes toys, books, furniture on the carpet, etc. The area should be devoid of anything else other than the carpet itself.
In case your furniture near the carpet that cannot be moved, line the exposed or contact surface with foil or any heat and moisture resistant cover. This will ensure the furniture does not catch corrosion or moisture while steam cleaning the furniture.
Dust the entire area well to remove loose particles from all around the carpet. This will only ensure that later on no dusty toy or showpiece falls on the carpet and soils it again.
Using the crevice attachment of the vacuum cleaner, remove every possible dirt and dust remnants from all the nooks and crannies around the carpeted area.
Thoroughly vacuum the carpet at least twice to get rid of the surface grimes and soil. This will remove all the loose particles and also loosen the fibers of the carpet for deeper cleaning.
In case, you have pets at home, make sure to vacuum the entire area a few more times to remove all hair and fur debris from the room and the carpet. Moisture from steam is not great in removing fur and hair.
Ensure that vacuuming is done in a forward and backward motion. This random vacuuming will loosen the small dust particles and grime stuck within the fine fibers of the carpet and remove them.
If there is a stain on the carpet, treating it beforehand ensures a better aftereffect. Post vacuuming the carpet surface, spray the surface with detergent and scrub it well with a carpet scrubber. Or you can leave the chemical on the surface to slowly destain the area. Vinegar is also a great natural stain remover in case you do not want to add chemicals on the carpet. Ensure that the carpet pad below the main fibrous coat is also well treated with stain remover. This will prevent the marks from returning after steam cleaning the carpet.
Leaving the stain removing solution overnight or at least a couple of hours ensures that it is effective in removing the majority of the stain. Make sure to start the steam cleaning process at least 4 to 5 hrs after treating the stain.
In some cases preheating the stain can remove any hardened grease and oil remains. Preheating can also breakdown the unwanted deposits and thus ensure a better stain removal
How to Steam Clean Carpet in 5 Simple Steps
Once the preparation for steam cleaning is complete, it is now time to start the actual process. Post ensuring that there is nothing on the carpet and all the furniture around the carpet is protected and covered, it is time to start steam cleaning the carpet.
1. The First Step of Steaming
Add the cleaning solution to the water and mix well before adding to the holding tank of the steam cleaner. Special Carpet shampoo and liquid soap are available that cleans and conditions the carpet fibers well post the cleanup.
However, in case you want to avoid using chemicals, plain water or vinegar added water are both equally effective in steam cleaning carpet equally well. Ensure the water is heated to the perfect temperature before you start cleaning.
2. Protect Yourself Well
Steaming with chemicals and detergents can cause fumes to rise. These fumes are not good for the skin or eyes or even for breathing. Besides that steam often has a temperature way over 100-degree celsius. Any contact with it can scald and burn the skin.
It is important to wear thick protective foot and handwear to prevent accidental contact with steam. To protect oneself from chemical fumes, masks and eyewear should be used at all times.
3. Starting at the Right Spot
It is always best to start from the corner most area and clean in a straight line. This will ensure that the entire carpet is thoroughly cleaned without missing a single spot or area. Keep repeating the straight direction of cleaning motion a few more times. This ensures that every fiber of the carpet is completely devoid of any fine dust particles or soiled remnants.
4. Drying the Carpet
The carpet after steam cleaning treatment is bound to get wet due to the moisture remnants from steaming. It is imperative to ensure that the carpet is completely dried out before spreading it out for reuse again.
Air drying outdoors for a few days will ensure it is devoid of any moisture and completely safe to use. In case air drying is not possible to alternate means like blow-drying or using internal room heating and drying unit to remove all moisture remnants can be used.
5. Make sure the Floor Surface is also Dry and Clean
Steam cleaning carpet to its original sparkling and clean state is not sufficient enough. It is important not to miss cleaning and drying out the floor or hard surface on which the carpet is placed. Moisture and dirt remnants will cause molds and stains to reappear besides wetting the carpet base again.
Scrubbing and rinsing the hard floor may seem like the most effective way to clean it up well but simply vacuuming a few times and air drying the floor also is sufficient.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Steam Cleaning Results
Carpets are bound to get stained and dirty however careful you are in maintaining its pristine condition. As mentioned above the carpet fibers have an innate tendency to collect oil, dead skin, hair\fur and many more unhygienic remnants other than dust and soil.
- Always make sure to vacuum and steam the corners, stitched areas and folds of any carpet thoroughly. Those areas collect the maximum amount of debris and dirt.
- Vacuuming repeatedly in every direction helps in loosening up even the most sturdy dirt or mud hidden deep within the fiber tufts.
- Club Soda, Baking Soda, Vinegar, Lemon are very good natural cleaning and stain removing agents that do not produce any hazardous remnants or fumes.
- Ensure to steam clean your carpets when the weather is sunny and devoid of humidity and moisture. Steam cleaning before the onset of winter and monsoon is perfect as the arid, and dry summer heat helps in drying out the carpet perfectly and faster than normal.
- Always ensure that the windows and doors are open to prevent moist fume and steam from accumulating inside the room and thus create condensation.
- Airing the room also ensures trapped fine dust is blown away instead of remaining stagnant inside.
- Add doormats at every entrance and doors. It may sound impractical but doormats catch the majority of the dirt and soil particles and thus these particles do not get unnecessarily transferred to the carpet.
- Vacuuming any carpet at least 3 to 4 times a week does not allow the grime to settle down and thus keeps the carpet cleaner for a longer period of time.
Why is Steam cleaning a Better Alternative for Carpets than Choosing to OPT for an External Cleaning Service?
Since the advent of steam cleaning, things have become much easier, especially when it comes to cleaning carpets. Steam cleaning is in fact regarded as a better alternative for carpets by many cleaning experts worldwide. The few reasons to choose steam cleaning over any external service includes,
Inexpensive and requires no additional assistance – We all know how expensive dry cleaning services are. In fact, getting assistance from home service providers is also no less of a burden on the pocket. Buying a steam cleaner is the only one-time monetary expense one has. Post that, it is all about water and heat that does the job of cleaning up the carpet completely.
Absence of chemical residue – Steam cleaning requires just water or occasional mild soap and detergent. There is no leftover fumes or chemical particles in the carpet to cause skin irritation or any other chemical-related harm. This makes steam cleaning a safer alternative.
Steam is generally extremely hot and has a maximum temperature of over the normal boiling point of water. This ensures that any kind of microbial growth is instantly killed and washed away when the carpets are steam cleaned. So steam cleaning acts as a natural disinfectant for the carpets. If the same was done by an external cleaning service, it would once again have cost a lot of money and leave harsh chemical remnants on the carpet.
Steam consists of water vapor that has a very high temperature. So most often the steam evaporates thus allowing faster drying of the carpet due to the leftover heat.
Dusting or vacuuming cannot always clean the dirt clogged within the carpet fiber tufts. However, the pressure created while steaming reaches deep within the carpet layers and dislodges all the small dirt from the deep sections.
Superheated steam is perfect to break down grease, glue, paints and oil clogs that are deposited over a period of time within the carpet fibers. The broken particles are easier to liquidate and remove with superheated steam than any other alternate means of cleaning.
Where Else can the Steam Cleaner be Used?
Steam cleaning is not just effective in cleaning carpets, floors, and clothing. Though there are a specific type and model of steam cleaner for every different household object, it has a multitude of applications.
- Drapes, curtains, sofas, and mattresses
- Pet beds and cages
- Hard flooring
- Wallpapers Removal
- Shoes and bags
- Children and pet toys
- Shower curtains
- Bathroom floors and tiles
- Cribs and beddings
- Rooftops, lawn and garden tiles
- Inner walls of the oven
- Kitchen appliances and utensils.
Situations Where Steam Cleaning Should be Avoided
Though steam cleaning is a very versatile and all-round cleaning concept, it does have a few contraindications. Certain areas where steam cleaning is a strict no includes
- Electronic equipment and gadgets
- Freshly painted surfaces
- Any waxed or polished surface than cannot withstand high temperature and moisture
- Antique and expensive showpieces
- Wooden furniture
- Nylon meshed windows and door
- Expensive and delicate fabric that has a very low-temperature affinity.
How Often Should Steam Clean Carpet?
Carpets, in general, have a high affinity towards dirt and grime. Vacuuming at least 2 to 3 times a week ensures that the carpet remains in good condition for a longer period of time.
In the case of Steam cleaning carpet, it should be done once or maximum twice a year. The deposits on the carpet are easily removed if the carpets are steamed within this optimum period.
However, things are much more different if you have pets at home. Dogs and cats shed a lot of furs and even have a tendency to drool. Vacuuming the carpets daily will help in removing the dead skins and furs from the carpet and prevent them from lodging deeper into the carpet fiber.
Steam cleaning in houses with pets should be done much more frequently. Steam cleaning the carpet once every 3 to 4 months ensures that the hardened drool spots, urine, and feces remain and soil are all completely washed away from the carpet besides disinfecting it for safer reuse.
How to Keep the Carpets Clean for a Longer Period in case you have Pets at Home?
Pets may be a lovely addition to any family but they are also a great nuisance. Carpets and homes, in general, get dirtier at a much kore faster pace when there is a pet. A few tips to keep the carpets clean despite the pet cat and dog creating havoc at all time includes,
Groom the pet outside every day to ensure there is the least amount of hair shedding on the carpet. Use a rubber bristled carpet comb every night to ensure that fine hair particles are cleaned away from the carpet. Vacuuming once a day removes the majority of the fur but rubber combs remove the finer hair particles.
Accidental situations can happen even if your pet is potty trained to do the deed outside. In such cases, immediately remove the excess moisture of the urine with a terry cloth or super absorbable tissue sheet. Once the excess moisture is out of the way, let the carpet dry out fully with an external heat or drying source like blower or dryer. Spray the area with ample amounts of vinegar diluted water to ensure there is no odor.
Choosing the Best Steam Cleaners for Carpet
In the last few years, steam cleaning of carpets has become a rave favorite among most of the residential owners. It is a one-time investment with a long time monetary benefit. A huge amount of money and time is also saved as there is no need for cleaning service providers or chemical alternatives.
Currently, the market is flooded with many Carpet Steam Cleaners. With the success of the predecessor steam cleaners, new variants with multitudes of functionalities have reached the market.
The Top 5 Steam Cleaner for Carpets to look out for in 2020 includes
Steam Cleaning is the next generation innovative approach to cleaning. In fact, Steam cleaners serve as a multipurpose cleaning device that cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes the product in a single step. Buying a steam cleaner for your carpet will not only help in maintaining the overall cleanliness of the carpet but also ensure that it is microbe and dirt free for the kids and allergic individuals at home to safely use it.