Steam Carpet Cleaning Process

Steam carpet cleaning may sound technical and difficult – and a lot of professionals will make you think it is – but in reality it’s not half as difficult as you may think. While it is important that you know what you’re doing before you start, picking up the necessary knowledge is both quick and easy. After reading this article you will be familiar with the steps involved in the steam carpet cleaning process, as well as the do’s and don’ts of steam cleaning. There is no reason to spend your hard earned money on hiring a professional carpet cleaner once a year to clean your domestic carpets – though it is recommended that you do so every 5 years or so, for a particularly thorough clean and post-cleaning treatment of your carpets which are difficult to achieve with domestic equipment.

The Steam Carpet Cleaning Process

The actual process of steam carpet cleaning is very short indeed, so this won’t be a long section. Let’s hop straight to the details:

  • The very first thing you will want to do vacuum your carpet to get rid of superficial dirt.
  • Second, you will need to apply an alkaline-based pre-conditioner to your carpet. This should be worked into the carpet – in a process called stressing, or agitating – using a grooming brush, and left to “dwell” for fifteen to twenty minutes. The only thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t apply too much pressure when working the agent into the carpet, as this will do more harm than good, simply try to ensure that it reaches the roots of the fibres.
  • Once the agent has had time to dwell, it’s time to use the high water pressure extractor (or the steam carpet cleaner) to rinse the carpet thoroughly. You will want to rinse each section of the carpet 2-3 times, or until all signs of dirt and agent are gone.
  • Finally, leave the carpet to dry – ideally undisturbed, and if you need to walk on it don’t wear shoes. This will, depending on sunlight, temperature and airflow, take in the area of 6-12 hours for most carpets.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Steam Carpet Cleaning

With the steam carpet cleaning process out of the way, let’s quickly go through some of the do’s and don’ts.


  • Vacuum your carpet regularly, and just before steam cleaning it
  • Steam clean your carpets at least once every 18 months
  • Check with your carpet manufacturer for specific instructions relating to your carpet
  • Keep children and pets away from the carpet while its being treated and when its drying
  • Try to get rid of highly noticeable stains using a spot-cleaner as soon as they appear


  • Steam clean handmade (such as Oriental/Persian) rugs and carpets – this may ruin them!
  • Use any cleaning agents not traditionally associated with steam cleaning during the process
  • Mix up steam cleaning with shampoo cleaning – applying a shampoo during the process can get messy!
  • Get the alkaline agent on your skin, check the instructions on the bottle before use


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