How to Steam Clean Carpets to Get Rid of Fleas

Updated April 17, 2017

Steam cleaning carpets is an effective method of flea control but should be considered as only one part of a complete chemical-free flea-control program. Flea control is a systematic process. It requires constant monitoring and flea-control treatment of pets, their bedding and outdoor play areas. Vacuuming carpets and upholstery frequently can prevent a serious flea infestation, but only if the vacuum bag is sealed and discarded after each cleaning.

Spray the bottom of your pant legs and shoes with a chemical flea-control product to keep fleas from spreading.

Remove furniture from the room.

Vacuum the carpet. Remove used bag, seal it and discard in an outdoor receptacle.

Unlatch the clean-water supply tank of the carpet cleaner and fill it to the recommended level with hot tap water.

Follow instructions on the detergent package for use. Adding one-quarter to one-half cup of soap to the freshwater tank is usually sufficient.

Place the freshwater tank back into position. Make sure it is properly latched.

Start steam cleaning at the farthest point in the room away from the door where you will exit. Make sure the machine is set on the carpet setting. Turn on the machine.

Press the soap-and-water release button as you move the machine backwards. Clean small sections at a time and slightly overlap as you move across the room.

Release the water/soap lever when you come to the end of the row. Return to the side of the room where you started and repeat the process, row by row, until you finish the entire carpet.

Monitor the wastewater tank as you progress. Empty it when needed and refill freshwater tank as often as required.

Allow carpet to dry by opening windows and doors or use blowing fans. Keep foot traffic off the carpet until it completely dries.

Vacuum the carpet again when completely dried.


Shake food-grade diatomaceous earth onto the carpet after the final vacuuming. Let it sit for 48 hours before vacuuming again. The chalklike dust will settle into the carpet fibres, giving protection against further infestation. Diatomaceous earth is a safe product, harmful only to fleas and other insects. Bathe pets with soap and warm water. Dry with a towel and use a flea comb to remove any dead fleas from their coat. Wash their bedding in soap and hot water after carpet treatment. Dry bedding in the sun or in a hot dryer.


Wear a dust mask when spreading diatomaceous earth. It may cause lung irritation.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Flea-control spray
  • Steam cleaner
  • Steam cleaner detergent
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About the Author

Doreen Fiorillo has been writing feature and content articles online and in print since 2002. She has been published in Arizona Boating and Watercraft, as well as the "Las Vegas Bugle." Fiorillo is a former mental-health therapist who holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Norwich University.