Does your carpet have dirt dragged in by kids and pets? Do you want to get rid of it yourself but are worried about deep cleaning being a tedious task? Well, you have nothing to worry about. This post is here to save your day.
There are 3 steps you have to follow to deep clean your carpet with a steam cleaner: Step 1: Prepare your carpet. That means to clear and vacuum the area, dust the baseborads, protect the furniture and treat the stains. Step 2: Use the Steam Cleaner! That means, to buy a carpet steam cleaner, fill up the water tank, add the cleaner, and plan the route starting from the corners with long strokes and slowly moving the machine. Step 3: Dry the Carpet. You can help it dry faster by creating an airflow or turning the fans on. Remember not to step on it for a couple of hours! And that's it! Your carpet should be clean as new! The process is quite a workout, to be honest, but so worth it!
This is a simple process. Yup, it requires your energy and time. But it's not difficult if you have a breakdown of everything you need to do. Let's take a look at how to get your carpet as good as new, just by a thorough steam cleaning session.
One thing I would like to mention before we proceed is that you should schedule ahead of time. That means you need to make your kids and pets stay out of the room that is under treatment. Make sure you can clean without any distractions.
You should prepare the area before commencing the cleaning session. Don't avoid these steps, because you don't want any regrets later if the results don't come out as good as you were expecting.
-1. Clear the area:
This is something you need to do to end up with an entirely clean carpet. Remove all the furniture from the room. You should have a clear path before you start cleaning.
-2. Protect your furniture:
I understand that it may not be possible to remove all the furniture from the room. But you cannot risk it when you steam clean the carpet. Hence, it is advisable to take protective measures.
Place pieces of plastic sheet, wax paper, or foil under the legs of the unmovable furniture. That will absorb the moisture and keep the wooden legs safe.
-3. Dust the baseboards:
You don't want to knock down dust from the baseboard when you are running the steam cleaner. It is advisable to dust the baseboards beforehand. That will prevent your freshly cleaned carpet from getting any dust on it later.
-4. Vacuum the entire area:
Hoovering the carpet will remove debris, dirt, and hair, etc. Steam cleaning is for the fibers deep down. You don't want dirt pieces coming in the steam cleaner's way.
You should vacuum twice in one session. The second time, do it in the opposite direction to pick up maximum dirt.
Also, vacuum slower than usual.
Don't underestimate vacuuming. It not only makes the carpet cleaner but also loosen up the fibers. It allows them to take in the steam better.
-5. Treat the stains:
Are you tired of staring at the nasty stains on your carpet? You should work on those before you steam clean. Are you wondering why? Because heat from the steam cleaner might make the spots even tough and hence, more difficult to remove.
You can use any DIY stain remover like a mix of vinegar and water. However, off-the-shelf products can be reliable too. I conducted a research to find the best carpet spot remover, and I came across a pretty fantastic one.
It's the "Folex Carpet Spot Remover". People who have used it, term it as a miracle in a bottle. That sounds like a must-have for anyone who has carpet flooring.
You can buy this effective stain remover from Amazon. Just click here to check it out.
Now comes the stage you have been waiting for, Steam Cleaning!!
-1. Fill up the water tank:
Use hot water for this purpose. It shouldn't be boiling, though. Keep a lookout for the maximum water level line on the water reservoir of the machine. Don't overfill.
While hot water helps in better cleaning, some carpet materials don't get along with it too well. Make sure you have the manufacturer's recommendations about the right temperature the carpet can be exposed to.
-2. Add the cleaner:
You have two choices again. You can use an industry made cleaning solution. Read the label and add the recommended amount of cleaner in the water tank.
Some steam cleaners have separate vessels for the cleaning agent, while others require you to add it directly in the water. Make sure you are aware of your machine's set up.
It's perfectly alright if you don't want to use a chemical-based product. You can make a very effective cleaning solution yourself. Just add equal parts of vinegar and water. Mix the solution properly.
Vinegar kills bacteria and breaks down stains with its acidic properties. It also works as a disinfectant.
You should stick to white vinegar. It's is suggested to avoid using apple cider vinegar as it may attract pests later.
-3. Turn your machine on:
Are you thinking, "Obviously, I will turn my machine on! Why is this step mentioned separately?" Well, that's because you can't start running the steam cleaner right after turning it on.
You have to let it heat up. Some machines take up 10 minutes or so, to do it while others may get heated immediately. You should read the owner's manual carefully.
-4. Plan your cleaning route:
This is something that requires quite some thought. You have to come about such a route that will make you clean the entire area without having to walk on freshly cleaned spaces.
-5. Start in a corner:
Try to find a corner that is diagonal to the room's door or entrance. This way, you can work yourself out of the room, preventing what we talked about in step 4.
If your steam cleaner has to be pushed forward, then start by cleaning a small area in the corner. Walk along the wall out of the area.
However, some steam cleaners have to be pulled backward. If you have such a kind, then start by putting the head as close to the corner as possible. Continue cleaning by moving back and bringing the machine with you.
-6. Operate the machine as instructed:
Often, steam cleaners come with their manuals and modes of use. You should know how to handle it with the carpet fabric that you have.
One thing I can tell you is that the general approach of steam cleaning is to go back and forth. However, you need to pull or push the machine as directed. Steam cleaners work by putting hot water on the carpet and then sucking up the dirty water.
Some machines need to be pushed to release water and pulled back to suck it up. Some might require either pushing or pulling. No matter what type of steam cleaner you are using, just know it inside out.
-7. Avoid short strokes:
Walk the steam cleaner in long lines across the room. Make long passes from wall to wall if you want to maximize the effectiveness of the steamer.
Slightly overlap the new line with the old one. This will ensure that every inch of the carpet is being cleaned.
Take advantage of the attachments
Steam cleaners often come with attachments like different shaped nozzles, etc. Utilize them to clean hard-to-reach spaces.
-8. Move slowly:
Would you rather rush than have a properly cleaned carpet? No, right? Move the steam cleaner slowly, as it takes more time to work than a vacuum. It makes sense. A vacuum just has to suck up dirt, while a steam cleaner has to release water and then suck it back.
Going too fast can result in unremoved moisture. And you probably know what that means. Mold or mildew. EWW. Let me tell you that a good rule of thumb is to take one step about every 2 seconds as you walk in lines. This will give the machine sufficient time to do its job.
You are just a few hours away from having a fresh, clean, and dry carpet. This section covers the basic, but if you'd like to know more about how to dry your carpet faster after cleaning, we have a post that covers this topic in detail here.
-1. Create an airflow:
Time for ventilation. Open windows across your house. Allow fresh air to come in. The air present outdoor is usually drier than what can be found indoors. Dry air around the carpet makes the moisture evaporate faster.
-2. Turn the fans on:
Any fans can be suitable for this purpose. If you have ceiling fans, turn those on. You can also use pedestal fans. The top-notch drying fans or floor blowers can also work.
-3. Stay away from the wet carpet:
Notify everyone in your house to not step on the freshly cleaned carpet when it's still wet. You can put a visible sign, so no one forgets.
Keep pets away as well. You can block the room for them while the carpet is drying.
-4. Wait for a few hours:
The duration of the drying period mostly depends on the fabric of the carpet. Some carpets take around 6 to 8 hours before they are completely dry. Others might take 12 to 24 hours.
Congratulations! You have successfully steam-cleaned your carpet. Enjoy the deep cleaned, fresh-looking, spot-less carpet.
Steam cleaners are targetted at laying water deep into the carpet fibers and sucking it back up. They come with a nozzle and a hose.
The motor pressurizes hot-water into the carpet. It draws it back along with all the dirt, allergens, and even pests. Steam cleaning also breaks down tough stains that have penetrated the fibers.
Steam cleaning is widely known because of the various advantages it offers. Firstly, the machine doesn't leave behind any sticky or soapy residue. It is because of the way the steamer functions.
Treating your carpet with hot water also kills pests. It eliminates mold, mildew, dust, etc. Steam cleaning provides you great help in getting rid of allergens and toxins that might have been bugging you for long.
Deep cleaning your carpet with a steam cleaner will provide you with a healthy environment and better indoor air quality. No harsh chemicals are necessary for this purpose. Water or a home-made solution does amazing when used with a steam cleaner.
The steam cleaning process is easy to understand. The steamer can be manoeuvered around, pretty much just like a vacuum. You don't have to worry about breaking your bank just to clean your carpet. Steam cleaning it yourself is an affordable yet effective option.
I am positive you will experience all these attractive benefits once you have gone on a steam cleaning rampage.
I think we have covered everything you need to know to deep clean your carpet with a steam cleaner. Don't let the multi-stepped process intimidate you. Believe me, it is so worth the effort.
You just need to focus on each stage carefully to make sure you aren't doing anything that can ruin the expected outcome. I am pretty sure that you are going to kill it at steam cleaning.
If you are looking for the best carpet steam cleaner, take a look at our post that will help you choose the top one.
My name is Anne and I've been a writer at Carpet and Rug World almost from the beginning! I'm passionate about anything related to carpets and rugs, but I'm especially interested in anything related to DIY cleaning. There's a huge difference between a clean and an unclean carpet. It really makes a home shine!