Steam mops are a popular alternative to traditional carpet cleaners. They're more compact, and they don't require harsh chemicals to get the job done. But you need to know how to use them properly, so you don't damage your carpet. You can easily use a steam mop on the carpet with some prep work.
Remove small furniture, rugs, and other objects from the room
Before you begin, remove all furniture and rugs from the room. Toss them outside, where they belong. Next, move your furniture to the center of the room and make sure there is nothing else in there with it (like lamps or books). Don't forget to remove curtains; also, remember to remove baseboards before steaming your carpeting!
Do a thorough vacuuming of the carpet
Before you steam clean your carpet, it will be helpful to vacuum it thoroughly with a machine that has a turbo brush attachment. This is because vacuuming helps remove loose dirt and dust from the carpet's surface, which makes it easier for steam cleaning to work effectively.
You can use any vacuum for this step—an upright or canister model works just fine—but we recommend using one with a turbo brush attachment.
- Vacuum in all directions: Remember that steam cleaning isn't meant to replace vacuuming entirely; rather, this method should serve as an additional step in your overall maintenance routine for carpets. Make sure you go over every inch of your flooring after using a steam mop so that no nooks or crannies are left untouched by suction!
- Please do not use too much water: Oversaturating your pad could cause excess moisture buildup within the fibers themselves and lead to mold growth down the road (not good!). Always start out with just enough liquid so that when pulled across each area once or twice should suffice; then add more, if necessary, later on, but never let things get too wet before trying again!
Connect the carpet glider
To avoid getting scalded by the steam, connect the carpet glider before turning on the steam mop. When you turn it on, the steam mop will start heating up.
Also, follow any instructions in your user manual for attaching the carpet glider to your mop head. Specifically, make sure you attach it properly and don't force it on.
Keep In Mind
When you're ready to use your steam mop, take an extra minute to unplug any other electronics in your home so that no one gets electrocuted when you plug in your steam mop.
Fill the steam mop’s tank with water
Fill the steam mop's tank with water. Use cold or warm water, depending on how much time you have. If you don't have distilled water, use tap water instead; this will help break down dirt and grime while saving energy by avoiding heating up large amounts of tap water.
If you're using a carpet cleaner that requires boiling water, boil your distilled water in advance and then store it in a metal container until ready to use.
Add any carpet cleaner or water-softener product to the water
- Add any carpet cleaner or water-softener product to the water if the manufacturer recommends it. This will help kill germs and keep your home safe from harmful chemical residue.
- Use only the amount of solution recommended on your steam mop's instruction booklet, as too much may cause a buildup on your carpet fibers that will trap dirt and make future cleaning more difficult.
- Avoid using too much water with your steam mop as this can cause damp spots on your flooring—a common problem when using conventional cleaning methods like vacuums or brooms.
Plug in the steam mop and let it warm up
Once you have the steam mop out of the box and assembled, plug it in and allow it to heat up for approximately 10 minutes. This allows the steam to heat up and the mop to get ready for use. You can also use the mop with cold water, but it will take longer to clean the carpet.
After your steam mop has been warming up for about 10 minutes, place a few drops of your favorite cleaning solution onto its carpet-cleaning pad (or onto some paper towels). The carpet cleaner should come with instructions and specific information on how much liquid you should use per load—a little goes a long way!
Use your finger to check the steam temperature
- Use your fingers to rake across a small patch of carpet to check the temperature of the steam. If the steam is too hot, it will burn you. If it's too cold, it won't be effective in removing stains or odors from your carpeting.
- Test for heat by holding your hand near where you want to spread out the steam mop pad and running the machine over that spot. It should feel warm but not painful on your skin; if not, adjust as needed before cleaning (by moving closer or further away from an electrical outlet).
Begin steaming your carpet at one end of the room
Start steaming your carpet at one end of the room, and work your way down or up the stairs. The steam mop will clean the carpet better if you begin at one end and work your way to the other. You can also start at the top of the stairs and work down, or start at the bottom of the stairs and work up.
Steam each carpet patch in a figure-eight pattern
To clean your carpets effectively, you must keep the steam mop moving. Always move the steam mop in a figure-eight pattern, back-and-forth and side-to-side, until the carpet is completely saturated. Don’t allow the steam to rest in any one spot for too long or you will burn your carpet fibers and cause permanent damage.
It would help if you never let your vacuum cleaner or any other household appliance get close enough to touch the wall behind your carpeting; this can also cause damage.
Allow the steam to naturally dry
Allow the steam to naturally dry for at least one hour before replacing furniture or walking on the floor again. You must wait for this time to pass so that you don't risk creating a hazard for yourself or others.
The steam will evaporate, and when it does, odors from pets, mold, mildew, and other things can rise into the air as it dries. The carpet may also feel hot after using a steam mop; this is normal and will typically go away within 15 minutes of stopping use.
The extra hour also allows any moisture left behind in carpet fibers to evaporate as well, which prevents mold growth and helps prevent stains if any spills occur later on down the road (i.e., coffee grounds).
What is a carpet glider?
A carpet glider is a plate that sits on top of the carpet and provides friction to clean the carpet fibers.
This tool aims to agitate and remove dirt from your carpet as you clean it.
It also protects your steam mop against damage by preventing it from sinking into thick pile carpets.
Should I use a carpet cleaner with a steam mop?
Yes, but be careful not to get the carpet too wet! It will leave behind residue and make your carpet feel sticky for days if you do. Instead, follow your carpet cleaner's label instructions carefully and use only as directed.
Does steam cleaning kill carpet beetles?
Steam cleaning is a safe and effective way to kill carpet beetles.
Steam cleaning will kill carpet beetles. Steam cleaning is not a chemical treatment; it's a physical one. When the temperature reaches at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the steam kills the bugs by causing dehydration and rupturing their bodies' exoskeletons.
This same effect can be achieved by using an iron and ironing board on your carpet—make sure you're using a high enough temperature setting!
Tips For Steam Cleaning
- Use a carpet glider to clean your carpet. This tool is designed to help you get into all the nooks and crannies, including the corners of solid-colored carpets that are hard to reach.
- Be careful not to over-wet the carpet. If too much water soaks into the fibers, it can cause damage. Test an area before cleaning a large room with steam—if it looks like it might be too wet, removes some of the excess water before continuing with your cleaning process.
- Dry carpet completely before vacuuming. If you don’t wait for your carpets to dry completely, you won’t pick up all those nasty bits they’ve picked up over time!
Steam mops are a great way to keep your carpets clean, and they are effortless to use. You can use them to clean up spills or even freshen up old carpets with one of these steam mops. They work well on stains that other products might not be able to handle as well, so if you're looking for something new in the world of carpet cleaning, then check out steam mop reviews before making a purchase.
Last updated on July 20th, 2022