Can You Clean Carpet with a Steam Mop?

Have you ever thought about cleaning carpet with a steam mop? Will it leave a mess or ruin your carpet? If you’ve got carpeted rooms in your home you can understand how old and shabby they can start to look after a while, especially if they are beige or white.

You can use a steam mop to bring some of that vibrancy back to your carpet! Many steam mops are designed for harder surfaces, yet you can use some on carpeted surfaces.

There are some things you’ll need to do before you can start the actual mopping process. Below are the steps in the process which should help you feel more comfortable before you start.

Answers To Typical Questions:

If you’re not feeling totally comfortable about using your steam mop on your carpet here are a couple answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Can I Use Tap Water In My Steam Mop?

The best option for the steam mop is distilled, purified or demineralized water. If you live in a place that has a lot of minerals in the water this can cause the machine to build up calcium and magnesium deposits in the tank, causing the steamer to stop working. It could also leave residual limestone deposits on your carpet.

2. Can A Steam Mop Sanitize Your Carpet?

As you know carpet fibers can be a bastion of germs and pathogens right under your feet. The steam mop uses hot water vapor that, upon contact with your carpet, can kill the bacteria breeding inside the fibers.

Using a steam mop will also destroy dust mites. These mites tend to be very common in carpets, much more so than hard floor surfaces.

One recent study showed that caring for your carpet by steam mopping and vacuuming regularly will reduce dust mites on your floor by 85.5%.

If you own a pet there is an added bonus that steam mopping can kill fleas also. It decimates adult and incubating fleas, in addition to some of the eggs.

The humidity can sometimes cause the eggs to hatch but this shouldn’t be a problem if you continue with your consistent vacuum routine.

3. Do You Need A Carpet Glider?

Steam mops are made with a flat head design so they can easily glide over hard surfaces. In the case of carpet there will be more resistance. This is where the “carpet glider” device comes in handy.
It might come with your steam mop or you may have to buy one at your local hardware store. They are typically plastic and are placed onto the mop head.

For instance, Shark and Bissell brands usually need a carpet glider to work on your carpet.

4. Is It Important to Use Carpet Cleaner With Your Steam Mop?

It might make sense that you could use carpet cleaner with the steam mop. However, this might wreck your machine and damage your carpet. The best thing about the steam mop is that you can use it without any chemicals and it does an incredible job at removing bacteria from your carpet. This makes it a great option for people with allergies and other sensitivities.

This also means it’s good for your pets and young children.

There are companies that offer pleasant-smelling scented demineralized steam mop water. However, this might not be the best bet either. It’s important to read the directions and consult the manufacturer if you are unsure.

Step-by-Step Guide for Cleaning Your Carpet with A Steam Mop.

It may appear like a daunting task at first, but steam mopping is a piece of cake once you get the hang of it!

Try It First

It’s advised to try it out first on a small piece of your carpet before you start. You first need to see if it’s safe and compatible with your carpet. It’s called a “patch test” and what you do is find a small obscured piece of carpet and see if your carpet can tolerate high temperature vapors.

Hot vapor may damage or disfigure carpet fibers. Additionally, wool and woven carpets might contract when soaked in hot vapor. An example: Berber carpets become distorted when a steam mop is applied to its surface.

We don’t want to discourage you from using your steam mop, but we also want you to know all the facts before you get started.

1. Move Lightweight Furniture and Other Items
We know moving furniture is no fun, but we assure you it will make your job a whole heck of a lot easier. You won’t need to tip toe or maneuver around obtrusively placed items, making the whole process go by a lot faster.

There might be lurking blemishes and smudges under objects that you moved that you had forgotten about. You definitely will want to move your furniture especially if there are pets in the house.

2. Vacuum First!

Vacuuming first is a good idea. It sucks up loose dirt, dust and hair that could get stuck in the steam mop if you don’t vacuum beforehand.
This should make it easier for your steam mop to do its job of effectively cleaning stains, bacteria and dirt.

3. Attach The Carpet Glider
Secure the carpet glider attachment to your mop head. It usually takes a little muscle to get it on, but it should just snap into place. Consulting the user manual may be helpful to see if you’ve done it right.

Something to Remember…

Make sure to attach the carpet glider before turning on OR plugging in your steam mop. Some steam mops start immediately after you plug them in! Attaching the carpet glider before pluggin it in will prevent you from getting burned by hot steam once your steam mop powers up.

4. Fill Steam Mop Tank With Water
This will allow you to clean without going back and forth to the faucet multiple times. There is maximum capacity listed on the tank; it’s usually around 16 fluid ounces. Some steam mops come with a measuring cup which makes filling the tank more precise.

5. Begin Furthest Away From You
Remember it can be disadvantageous to clean part of the floor you’ll need to walk over before it’s done drying. To be more efficient, start in the farthest corner from you. Hopefully this is away from the entrance, which has the most foot traffic.
This makes it easier to move between rooms, you can simply leave the room and allow the drying to take place while you’ve moved onto another area of the house.

6. Glide The Mop In Straight Lines
While you’re dancing your steam mop from one end of the room to the next, it’s easy to move a spot here or there. Steam mopping works best when you move in straight lines like you’re mowing your lawn. You can see where you’ve been and where you are headed.

7. Let Your Carpet Dry Completely
Keep your “Do Not Walk” signs posted on your drying carpet. Allow the carpet to dry completely before you start walking on it or let your pets slumber somewhere on it. This can be anywhere from 4-10 hours. Given that you’re just using hot steam, it is less likely to take 10 hours; you’re probably looking at more like 4-5 hours.

Make sure not to wear any shoes you’ve worn outside into the house during this time. Steam mopping can make your carpet more absorbent to dirt while it’s still drying. If it’s necessary to walk on the wet carpet you can wear clean socks or plastic booties.

All Aboard… Full Steam Ahead!

Steam mops are a brilliant way to bring out the best look from your carpet. Just follow our easy steps listed above and you should be on your way to a brighter, more healthy home.

There is no need to use any chemicals or detergents. Simply harness the power of steam, a natural cleaning agent. Don’t forget the carpet glider, this can make steam mopping a whole lot easier. Make sure you vacuum before you start steam mopping!

Are you planning on steam mopping your carpet soon? We want to hear from you below in the comments section!

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