Have you ever thought about the fate of carpets? Such beautiful creations that are woven so carefully and mystic motifs that add beauty and warmth to any space get trampled under feet throughout the day. It’s a pity that such gorgeous carpets are subjected to dirty feet, pet dander, food droppings, liquid spills and mess by kids. If that makes you think about a quick and easy way to clean your carpet then you are not alone.
A friend once asked me ‘can I use a handheld steam cleaner on carpet?’ The answer is ‘Yes’, and why not?’ Carpet is one of the many household things you can clean with the help of your handheld steam cleaner. The appliance contains water that is heated at a very high temperature to produce steam that penetrates into the pores to remove dust, dirt, stains, and kills germs.
Read on to find out why using a handheld steam cleaner on the carpet is considered more convenient and effective than other methods. I have also included instructions on how to clean carpets and rugs at home in easy and simple steps.
Steps To Clean Carpet With Handheld Steam Cleaner
While there are professionals who deep clean carpets and rugs using high-end carpet steam cleaners to break down the tough stains and dirt, you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself. You can use any handheld steam cleaner to conveniently do the cleaning yourself.
Just remember to follow the machine instructions carefully because every model is different and has a specific set of features. Always do a small patch test before treating the entire carpet with the steamer. Here are the steps you need to follow:
#1.Preparing The Space For Cleaning
Start the process by removing all the clutter from the floor so that you can move easily and access every corner of the carpet. Remove any paper, toy, and general things from the floor. Also, remember to remove chairs, tables, and other furniture outside. Try to have as much free floor space as you can. If there is heavy furniture, cover the legs with plastic film, foil, or wooden blocks to protect them from moisture.
If there’s not much space in the house, move all the things and furniture to one section of the room so that you can easily clean the other free side of the carpet. Let it dry completely and then move the furniture back to the cleaned area to work on the remaining section.
As you run the steam cleaner on the carpet you may knock off the dust from the baseboard, hence I would recommend that you use a dry cloth to remove dust and dirt from the baseboard. You may also dust the ceiling fan to prevent and debris from cleaning on the cleaned carpet.
#2. Use A Vacuum Cleaner For Dry Cleaning
Now, use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust, dirt, and any large particles that can be easily removed from the surface before treating the carpet with steam. The steam cleaners are designed to pull out the dirt particles that are stuck into the fibers and pores.
They are not for large particles and pet hair, so it’s better that you vacuum clean the entire room at least twice to remove as much debris as you can from the surface. Go from the opposite direction when vacuuming the second time to pick up more dirt than before.
Use the nozzle attachment to effectively remove debris from the edges of the room. Vacuuming the carpet also helps in fluffing it up so that the steam can easily get into the fibers and remove stubborn dirt and stains.
#3. Spot Clean The Stubborn Stains
If there are very stubborn and old food or liquid stains on the carpet, a steamer may not be able to lift the stain entirely. So, it’s imperative to spot clean the carpet to remove the stains before using a steam cleaner. You may use a carpet stain remover like this or other types of natural solutions that you prefer. Use a microfiber cloth to blot the stain remover or suck it with the machine.
When spot cleaning the carpet, make sure you don’t scrub the dried stains. Just dab the stains with a cloth containing natural stain removals like baking soda etc, and let it do its job deeper into the pores of the carpet.
#4. Get The Steam Cleaner Ready For The Job
The next step is to fill up the steam cleaner tank with water. Most of the machines come with an incorporated heating mechanism, but I would still recommend that you use hot water to put less pressure on the machine.
The water should be boiling hot and fill the machine’s reservoir according to the directions mentioned, without overfilling the tank. There will be a maximum limit mark in the tank and you should fill water below that mark.
Some steam cleaner models allow users to add soap or detergent for cleaning. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you use the right type of carpet shampoo for cleaning. Use only as much soap or detergent as directed because using too much can leave residues in the carpet.
The machine may have some specific compartments where you can add the soap or you may mix a specific quantity with water as directed. If you are sensitive to chemicals used in the detergent or soap, you may choose to clean with water and vinegar solution. Make a solution by mixing 50-50 quantity of vinegar and hot water to clean naturally.
#5. Starting The Cleaning Process
Start cleaning from one corner of the carpet and slowly work to cover the entire area of the carpet. Just make sure you don’t walk on the parts that have been cleaned because they will be damp and more vulnerable. If you must walk, always be barefoot to avoid leaving any footprints. Also, decide which area to clean first and which one to do last to avoid any confusion.
The steam cleaners work by emitting a strong gush of hot vapor to the surface and then it immediately sucks up the dirty water. Some models work by pushing to release vapor and pulling to suck up the dirt, while others may function the other way round, so read the instructions carefully before you start cleaning the carpet.
To get effective cleaning with a steam cleaner, walk the appliance in lines across the room, making passes from wall to wall. Pass over the same area at least twice to ensure that any soapy water that may be left behind is carefully removed the second time. Avoid the short, back and forth movement like you normally do in the case of a vacuum cleaner.
Pro tip: When starting a new line, remember to slightly overlap the previous line to ensure that you don’t leave any marks on the carpet.
The steam cleaners work at a slower pace than vacuum cleaners so remember to moderate your speed setting. If you pull the device too fast then it won’t be able to suck out the dirty water efficiently, leaving excess moisture on the carpet. This could become a breeding ground for mold and mildew later on, hence we recommend that you go slow.
#6. Tips For Drying The Carpet
After you have completed cleaning the carpet, it’s time to let it air-dry and this can take about 6-8 hours. Some heavy carpets may take about 12-24 hours to dry completely. Just make sure you don’t walk on the carpet while it is still wet. If for any reason you must walk on the carpet, cover your feet with plastic bags so that you don’t leave footprints. Here are some tips to help your carpet dry up fast:
- If it’s dry and sunny outside, take the carpet to the patio or garden so that it can quickly dry in sunlight
- If the carpet is too heavy to take outside, open doors and windows to allow warm air to come inside
- Switch on the air conditioner and ceiling fans to help the carpet dry quickly
- Put a sign outside the room to let people know that the carpet is wet and deter them from walking on it.
Benefits Of Using Handheld Steam Cleaner On Carpet
- The powerful steam is capable of removing tough and dried stains from the carpet. The heat disinfects and kills up to 99% of bacteria and germs.
- There are no harsh chemicals used in cleaning, so you don’t have to worry about damaging the color or texture of the carpet. You may or may not use detergent for deep cleaning.
- Steam cleaner mainly uses water that is heated to such a high temperature that you get strong vapors. It is also the only method that can reach down the lowest pile in a carpet to deep clean thoroughly.
- The steam produced by the appliance evaporates pretty quickly without dampening the carpet too much. This prevents the hardwood floor from getting damaged from moisture.
- Steam is capable of getting into the pores and crevices of a carpet in a way no other wet rag cloth or mop can. It helps in breaking down the stubborn and dried mess like food stains, hardened liquid spills, wax, paint, and so on.
- Chemical cleaners used on carpets only work on the surface, thus they are not effective at deep cleaning. Furthermore, some chemical residues may be left inside the carpet, and your family may get exposed to the toxic elements.
Other Uses Of Handheld Steam Cleaner Inside The House
Besides cleaning the carpet, you can also put your handheld steamer to several other uses to clean the different areas of your house. This is probably one of the most cost-effective and efficient means of cleaning the house. I have divided the uses according to the different types of rooms/ spaces in the house so that you can choose to do one section at a time. This will help you organize your tasks better. To learn about the various uses of the device, read my article that talks about the different uses of a handheld steamer.
You and your family spend a significant amount of your life in this room, hence it is important that it is not only cleaner but healthier too. This is where the handheld steam cleaner comes into the picture. You can use this easy device to sanitize the mattresses, linens, bedspreads, sheets, pillows, and so on. It can also be used to clean the drapes or just remove the wrinkles from them. You can also use them to make your windows crystal clear and remove unsightly wrinkles from your clothes.
The Living Room
This is the space where you relax and spend quality time. It is also that part of the house guests see as soon as they enter into your home. As you and guests spend so much time here, this room gets very dirty. Handheld steam has various uses in the living room to keep it tidy and well maintained with less effort. The appliance can be used to tackle the unexpected mess created by pets and kids. It can be used to clean sofas, recliners, carpets, baseboards, vents, and doors.
We may tolerate dirt in other areas of the house but the kitchen is one place that should be clean, tidy and hygienic always. You may use a handheld steamer in almost every nook and corner in your kitchen. It may be used to clean the sink, defrost freezers, sanitize the countertops, remove grease stains from oven and microwave, and remove spots from the floor. So, you can see that a handheld steam cleaner is capable of performing a lot of different jobs around the house.
No one likes cleaning the bathroom but this is a necessary evil to ensure hygiene and good health for your family. A handheld steam cleaner can make this task much easier and hassle-free. You may use it to easily get rid of the hard water stains you can see in your tub, shower, sink, and so on. It may also be used to remove the soapy rings around the tub and bring back the shine on your bathroom doors, towel racks, doorknobs and so on. As steam is highly effective at killing germs, you may also use it to sanitize toilet and disinfect the counters.
For more: 33 Uses For Handheld Steam Cleaner
What makes the handheld steam cleaners so convenient to use?
As they are lightweight, you can easily hold them in one hand and do the cleaning. They are easy to use in awkward spaces and even if you hold the appliance for hours, it’s not going to strain your wrists. Thus, they are perfect for small cleaning jobs around the house.
What makes the device so versatile?
The product comes with various multi-purpose attachments that make it possible for you to clean the different areas of the house with ease. The examples of attachments include brushes, cloths, and squeegees.
Do you need a mini or portable handheld steam cleaner?
When buying a handheld steam cleaner for your home, you need to consider your specific requirements before deciding whether to get a mini or portable model. Some of the factors that you need to consider are heat up time, water tank capacity, motor power, brand, attachments, and price.
How to remove tea or coffee stains from the carpet?
If you notice a stain and work on it immediately, you can increase your chances of getting rid of it completely. To remove stains, blot up as soon as you can. Dilute by sponging with water and blot again until the mark reduces significantly. You can then use a steam cleaner to suck out the residue.
Is there any disadvantage associated with cleaning carpet with steam?
The only disadvantage comes in the form of the moisture captured by the fibers. It takes a lot of time for the carpet to air dry unlike the other dry cleaning methods that can be used immediately after cleaning. After steam cleaning, the carpet may take between 45 minutes to an entire day to dry or even more depending on the drying tools used, weather conditions, etc.