How to Steam Clean Your Carpets

Updated July 20, 2017

Steam cleaning your carpet will remove the dirt and oil that the vacuum cleaner cannot reach. When using a vacuum, only the carpet's surface dirt is cleaned, and dirt that it cannot reach gets pushed further down into the carpet. recommends steam cleaning your carpet every six months. If you decide to steam clean as often as this, buying a steam cleaner will save you money over time. If you are looking to steam clean once a year or less, however, renting a steam cleaner may be a better option.

Sprinkle a layer of baking soda on existing stains to pre-clean the carpet. Let the baking soda stand overnight. The next day, vacuum up the baking soda. If the stains remain, create a mixture of 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water, wet the cloth and repeatedly dab the stain until it is removed. Do not scrub, as it can damage the carpet fibres.

Create the same mixture --- 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water --- for the steam cleaner. Fill the steam cleaner with your cleaning solution.

Remove all furniture from the room you are steam cleaning.

Follow the directions on your steam cleaner. Steam cleaners do not all operate in the same manner. Whether you decide to rent or buy a steam cleaner, it is important that you follow the directions exactly.

Start cleaning at the farthest point from the area of the room that you will be exiting, thereby giving yourself a way out of the room without having to tread over the wet, clean carpet. Repeat in all the rooms that you wish to steam clean.

Allow a drying time of 8 to 12 hours before you walk on the carpet with shoes.


Store-bought solutions are available if you don't want to make a homemade steam cleaning solution out of white vinegar and water.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Cloth
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About the Author

Andrew Napoli started writing professionally in 2011, contributing to "The Setonian" and "Reviewer Magazine." Napoli holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Seton Hall University.