Steam cleaning carpets have gained a lot of popularity in the recent past. Nevertheless, there are still people who do not understand what it is and the need to have the carpets steam cleaned.
This article will look into steam cleaning carpets' pros and cons, the need to steam clean, how it works, and equipment used to help answer that question.
What Is Steam Cleaning And How Does It Work?
Steam cleaning uses steam which is vaporized water, produced under low pressure to thoroughly and sanitize carpets, rugs and, other surfaces.
The water is directed into a tank that acts as an internal boiler, which heats the water until it turns to hot vapor. The heat produced from this boiling weakens the bonds that hold the dirt, grime, and grease to the fibers turning them into soap.
Simultaneously, the steam produced at low pressure can quickly infiltrate into the deepest layers protecting the surface from damage caused by other harmful cleaning products.
This method ensures deep and rigorous cleaning, creating a germ-free, and ready-to-use surface.
What Equipment Is Required For Steam Cleaning Carpets?
Steam cleaning equipment has diversified over the years. There's a wide array of equipment to choose from:
• Handheld steam cleaner– Steam cleaners have come a long way from being huge and bulky to small and light. This device is preferred due to its ease of use, small size, and portability.
It can be easily operated by a non-professional just by a click of a button, and it's adequate for small carpets and rugs. This compact size makes it easy to carry around, therefore easing the workload.
Taking up minimal storage space, the steam cleaner is suitable for small apartments. However, it's not equipped for deep and thorough cleaning.
• Steam mops– This an upright, lightweight, and easy to use the machine. Some steam mops come with double-sided pads, which hastens the cleaning process saving time and energy.
Others come with a detachable water tank and can be used as a handheld cleaner with attachments like squeegees and scrubbing brushes to clean windows and floors.
However, steam mops are preferred for cleaning tiles and laminated floors, not carpets.
• Steam vacuum cleaners– It looks like the typical vacuum cleaner, but this not only cleans, it also sanitizes the surfaces. It's highly recommended due to its multi-purpose feature, i.e., cleans various surface types.
It can be used to clean large carpets easily and fast. Although it's incredibly efficient, its bulky size makes it challenging to store and is expensive compared to most steam cleaners.
• Cylinder steam cleaner– the best two features in this machine is the hose and the cylinder. The cylinder increases its dirt capacity; hence can clean a large area without being empty.
The hose makes it so easy to access every nook and cranny without having to move it anything.
Nonetheless, this device takes longer to clean larger surfaces compared to an upright machine. The hose makes it hard to store tidily.
Why Should You Steam Clean Your Carpets?
Steam cleaning is effective and more beneficial compared to regular vacuuming.
As defined earlier, not only does steam cleaning get rid of dust, it goes deeper into the surface to eliminate dirt, grime, and most importantly, pathogens from the base.
This proves it to be a great advantage to people suffering from allergies and asthma as it helps keep the symptoms at bay.
Since it only uses hot water and steam, the device is environmentally friendly. There is no use of harsh chemicals that release toxins to the environment.
Most steam cleaners do not use a lot of water. Only a minimum amount is required to achieve the desired goal, reducing the strain on water resources.
It's cost-effective and spares a lot of time. Many may not see this at first since they are more expensive than regular vacuum machines, but it does save money and time in the long run.
Kindly consider the need always to buy cleaning agents and cleansers such as floor polishers, glass sparklers, gloves, and tile blasters. Expensive right? And don't ever forget the hustle to get the right aroma for the agents.
With the steam cleaner, only water and power is needed to clean and sanitize, leaving behind a sparkling shine in just a few minutes.
Last but not least, it's fast drying. Usually, carpets would take 24 hours or more to dry.
In this time, the damp carpet fibers attract microbes that create mold, and when breathed in by children, elderly and asthmatic people would negatively impact their health.
It only takes 3 to 6 hours to dry up with steam cleaning, preventing such from happening.
How To Tell If Your Carpet Needs To Be Steam Cleaned?
Are you tired of always having to shampoo your carpet when you need it cleaned? Are you tired of the long hours it takes to have them dried? Are you frustrated with the sight of damaged carpet fibers caused by cleaning chemicals? Then you need to have your carpets and rugs steam cleaned.
As earlier discussed, steam cleaning is highly effective compared to all other methods of cleaning. It kills 99.9% of bacteria and gets rid of mold, grease, and stubborn stains.
On top of that, almost all the water released is re-absorbed back together with the dirt and germs. This reduces the drying by a significant percentage.
Since it only uses water and steam to clean and sanitize, you don't need to keep using the harmful reagents that damage your fibers.
How Often Should You Steam Clean Your Carpets?
The regularity of steam cleaning your carpets will depend on certain factors such as:
• Heavy house traffic. For someone with pets and children, steam cleaning will be required every 3 to 4 weeks.
Kids tend to be a bit messy, it's in their nature, and pets not only shed hair, but they also bring dirt and mud from outside and leave some "accidents" from time to time on the carpet.
Such carpets should be cleaned regularly to prevent hair and dirt accumulation and prevent odor, which in turn affects air quality.
• People who might be suffering from asthma and allergies. For such, carpets need to be steam cleaned at least twice a month.
This prevents the buildup of dust and germs, which may harm their delicate lungs and cause their symptoms to act up. Such also applies to the young and elderly.
• Type of carpet fabric. For carpets with high water retention capacity, they are not supposed to be often steam cleaned.
As mentioned earlier, dump conditions encourage the growth of mold from microbes, which reduces the carpet's quality and appearance and affects the general air quality, making it uncomfortable to stay near.
• Type of climate surrounding. People living in windy and dusty areas have to clean their carpets regularly. The fibers tend to trap dirt and, if not cleaned frequently and thoroughly, will harm carpet quality.
It's advisable for people in low temperature and high humid areas not too often clean as these conditions encourage mold growth.
Steam Cleaning Carpets Pros And Cons
1. Effective and Efficient– With just steam and hot water, it's able to get rid of dirt, grease, and bacteria by penetrating deep into the carpet fibers leaving them clean and sanitized without spending too much time.
2. No Chemicals needed– in a world turning to green solutions, the device is recommended as it doesn't use harmful reagents to get the job done.
3. Saves On Cost– As earlier explained, it does save on cost. One doesn't need to buy a dozen cleaning reagents and equipment to clean. With just water and power, one is good to go.
1. Loud– this device may be extremely detrimental to people with misophonia.
2. Bulky– People with large area carpets might find the steam vacuum cleaner or the cylinder steam cleaner too heavy to push and carry around.
3. Eats Up Storage Space– for people with small houses, equipment such as the steam vacuum cleaner and the cylinder consume a lot of space, making them hard to store.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Is Steam Cleaning Bad For Carpets?
Yes. It tackles the toughest stains on your rug. Not only does it remove these stains, but it also sanitizes the rug at the same time. Using the steam released at low pressure, it can go through the crevices and remove dirt that cannot be removed by regular vacuuming.
2) Is It Better To Steam Clean Or Shampoo Carpet?
It is better to steam clean. When you choose to shampoo your carpet, the process will be tedious and time-consuming as it requires rinsing off with hot water after shampooing then using a powerful water extractor.
3) Is Professional Carpet Cleaning Better Than Doing It Yourself?
A professional cleaning will ensure the hardest of stains are removed, but it tends to be expensive in the long run for someone who needs their rugs often cleaned. If you need to clean your carpets regularly, it's right for you to buy your own.
This insight provided shows the steam cleaning is the way to go. It does more than a regular vacuum machine does.
With only hot water and steam, it can effectively kill all pests and germs in the carpet and remove all dirt and challenging stains.
Some devices are easily used at home, so there is no need to have your carpets professionally cleaned regularly. Although others might say it's an expensive cleaning method, they should realise that it saves money in the long run and helps reduce the use of toxic chemicals to clean.