Last Updated on June 15, 2021
Steam mops are a great tool to have in your cleaning arsenal for deep cleaning hard surfaces and hard floors. Many steam mops are also designed to be multi-functional and come with a glider attachment, making cleaning a carpet or area rug more accessible. Steam cleaning your carpets with a steam mop is significantly easier than using a traditional carpet cleaning machine and doesn’t take nearly as much time to dry.
This article will talk about how to steam clean a carpet with a steam mop. You will also find here some helpful carpet cleaning tips to make the process as easy as possible. By the end, you should be able to use a steam mop to deep clean carpets like a pro.
Before You Begin: Steam Cleaning Basics
Before you try out this process, you must know the basics of steam cleaning.
How Steam Cleaning Works on Carpet
Steam cleaning carpet works by shooting hot steam into the carpet fibres. Steaming carpet with hot water vapour and heat breaks down oils, grime, and dirt. Most steam mops can reach a temperature around 105 degrees celsius. The steam is hot enough to remove dust, kill bacteria and germs, deodorize, sanitize, and disinfect your carpet.
Using a steam mop as a carpet cleaner can also help kill dust mites. It can even kill fleas and many of their eggs. This makes steaming carpets a great choice for anyone who suffers from allergies.
Using a steam mop to clean carpets eliminates the need for a specific carpet cleaning machine and harsh chemicals. This is because steam mops use only water in the form of hot steam to eliminate dust mites and other debris stuck in carpet fibres.
Using Carpet Cleaner With Your Steam Mop
Professional carpet cleaner solutions are extremely effective at getting out stubborn stains, but you should not use them with a steam mop. Steam mops are not designed for use with anything other than water. Putting a cleaner in the reservoir of your steam mop could damage the tank and the heating element and decrease the machine’s overall functionality and steam production.
Before you clean your carpet, we recommend you do a few things to get you and your carpet prepared. This will help the cleaning process run smoothly and help you get the best deep clean possible from your steam mop.
If you are cleaning your entire carpet, you may want to remove the furniture in the room. At the very least, you will want to clear the floor as much as possible and remove any obstacles. You may even want to wipe down the baseboards as well.
The other thing you want to do is gather your supplies. The last thing you want is to move all of your furniture to find out you are not truly prepared to start cleaning your carpets.
What you will need:
- Carpet glider attachment
- Microfibre mop cleaning pad
- Vacuum cleaner
- Clean tap water or distilled water
Steam Cleaning Your Carpet With a Steam Mop: A Step-by-Step Guide
Follow this guide to make sure you are using your steam mop the right way in effectively cleaning your carpet.
Step 1: Vacuum Your Carpet
The first step to deep cleaning your area rugs or carpet involves using your vacuum cleaner to pick up any loose dirt and dust. This gives your steam cleaner a head start and ensures your carpet will be as clean as possible when the process is complete.
Pro-Tip: Try vacuuming your carpet twice to get even better results. Vacuum in one direction the first time and in a perpendicular direction the second time. This can be especially helpful in high-traffic areas where dirt tends to build up more rapidly.
Step 2: Attach the Carpet Glider
Now it’s time to start preparing your steam mop. Start by attaching the mop pad to the mop head. Then, connect the carpet glider attachment. Unlike the mop pad, the carpet glider attachment makes sliding the mop head over the carpet possible.
Step 3: Fill the Water Tank
Using the measuring cup that came with your steam mop, add clean water up to the fill line of the water tank. Take care not to overfill the reservoir, or it could lead to a dangerously hot mess. Once full, replace the cap and screw it firmly into place so pressure can build up properly in the next step.
Pro-Tip: Use distilled water to get the best clean and help prevent build-up in your steam mop’s tank and steam outlet hole. Tap water often has excess minerals in it, which are safe to consume but tend to leave a calcium or limescale residue on the steam mop’s components.
Step 4: Plug-in and Turn On
Plug and turn on your steam mop. Choose the highest steam and heat setting to get the most cleaning power. Wait approximately 30 seconds before moving on so your mop has a chance to heat up, build pressure, and make steam.
Step 5: Steam Your Carpet Using Straight Lines
Now that your steam mop is ready, it is time to steam clean your carpet. Hold the mop head over the carpet and start steaming in the far corner, away from the entrance to the room. Move slowly across the room and steam using straight lines. Go slow enough that the carpet gets penetrated with steam, but not so slow that you will leave excess water in the fibres.
Hover over stubborn stains for several seconds to help further loosen materials in the carpet’s fibres but avoid soaking any areas. The carpet should not be saturated or overly wet, or it may develop a mildew smell or grow mould before it gets a chance to dry properly.
Pro-Tip: If you have never deep cleaned your carpet before, you may want to test an inconspicuous spot first. This will ensure you don’t damage a visible spot if your carpet is too fragile for the hot steam.
Step 6: Refill the Water Tank as Needed
Depending on the carpet size you are cleaning, you may need to refill the water tank one or more times. Periodically check the water level on the reservoir and refill it as needed. Before you unscrew the cap on the tank, always turn off, unplug, and give your steam mop a few seconds to cool. This prevents hot steam from pouring out of the tank when you open it increases safety overall.
Pro-Tip: Don’t leave your steam mop unattended while it is plugged in and turned on. This can pose a safety risk and can also potentially damage your floors if left face down.
Step 7: Wait Until Completely Dry
For the final step, give your carpet time to dry completely. Unlike a traditional steam cleaner made for carpets, your carpet should not be very wet. This means there is no need to set up a dehumidifier or fans as it should air dry fairly quickly.
We recommend you let your carpet dry for approximately 10 hours before replacing and repositioning your furniture or start using the room like normal. While this may be a bit excessive, we think it is better to play it safe than sorry.
Pro-Tip: If you have to walk across your freshly steam cleaned carpet before it fully dries, make sure not to wear shoes. Instead, wear clean socks or plastic bags over your feet.
Steam Cleaning FAQs
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about steam cleaning. Hopefully, you will find them helpful in your effort to steam clean your carpets or area rugs.
Does Steam Cleaning Carpet Remove Stains?
Many stains can be removed when you use a steam mop to clean carpets. However, you may want to spot treat stubborn stains before steam cleaning carpets to get the best results the first time around.
To spot-treat stains, you can use a professional carpet stain remover or a homemade cleaning solution. Baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and white vinegar all work well at removing stubborn stains. We recommend you try sprinkling baking soda on the stain and then using your vacuum to suck it up a couple of hours later. If that doesn’t work as well as you want, try spraying the stain with rubbing alcohol or vinegar and then repeating the process.
Is It Better to Steam Clean or Shampoo Your Carpet?
When it comes down to it, shampooing your carpet is generally the most effective option, but it is also more expensive, even if you rent a steam cleaning machine. The soap used in a carpet cleaner can clean deep into the fibres and is also able to get them wetter because it also sucks the water off of the carpet. This helps wash and removes stains better without leaving moisture behind unnecessarily.
How Often Should You Steam Clean Your Carpets?
So, how often do your carpets need to be steam cleaned? Typically, we recommend you steam clean your carpets once every three to four months.
However, a more precise answer depends on a few things. How many people live in your home or visit regularly? In other words, how much foot traffic does your carpet see? If you have a large family or entertain guests regularly, you may want to decrease the time between deep cleanings, especially in high traffic pathways and areas on the floor.
Additionally, if you have pets or someone living in your home suffers from allergies, you could also benefit from frequently steam cleaning your carpets.
Lastly, if you have older carpets, you may want to decrease the time between cleanings. This can help preserve the fibres and buy you some time before replacing the carpet entirely.
One way to extend the time between cleanings is to vacuum your carpet regularly. A regular vacuuming schedule helps reduce spots and unnecessary dirt build-up, which leads to the need for a steam cleaning session.
Cleaning Your Dirty Carpet Made Easy
Now you know how to steam clean carpet with a steam mop. It’s very easy, and we hope our guide will help you get started. Just remember to move your furniture and other obstacles out of the way before you start. Next, slowly vacuum your carpet. Then, give your carpet plenty of time to dry. Follow all these, and you will do great.
How often do you clean your carpet? Let us know what you think in the comments below.