Does A Floor Steamer Clean Carpets?

Carpets bring to mind comfort and home, but they can also bring with them stains and dirt. Floor steamers are less expensive and require fewer components, but the question is, can you use them on carpets? We've done a deep clean search for you and found the answer.

A floor steamer can clean carpets on the surface layer. If you're looking for a full deep clean, it is recommended to use a dedicated carpet steamer. There are attachments for floor steams to make them compatible with carpets and are a great choice for in-between cleanings.

Steamers have more capabilities than ever, and you'll be able to find one that suits your needs perfectly. This article will take you through how to use a floor steamer, the difference between steaming and shampooing, plus some great carpet cleaning tips. Keeping reading to tackle anything your carpet throws your way!

A steam cleaner cleaning a violet colored carpet, Does A Floor Steamer Clean Carpets?

Carpet Steamers and Floor Steamers

As you're looking at all the available steamers, it can get overwhelming. Which is going to suit your needs best and keep your carpets looking fresh? Let's get into the advantages and disadvantages of a carpet steamer and a floor steamer.

Carpet Steamers

Carpet steamers are made for carpets. They're made with a powerful vacuum and tough bristles to reach deep into the carpet fibers. These steamers also use shampoos or detergents to clean out any tough stains. The downside to using detergent, however, is it could irritate anyone in the home with sensitive skin or nose.

Click here to view this carpet shampoo on Amazon.

Floor Steamers

A floor steamer is perfect for lighter usage and a home with less dander. You'll only use water and heat with this steamer, avoiding any harsh chemicals. The disadvantage of using only water is that you won't be able to get rooted stains out. No matter what, a floor steamer will still help sanitize and deodorize the carpet.

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Before beginning, take the time to move any loose objects out of the way. Pick up cords, toys, socks, and anything in between to avoid stopping and going with the steamer. If you can, move around any lightweight furniture to be able to reach as much surface as possible. Last but certainly not least, vacuum first! Vacuuming will help the cloth work more efficiently.

How do you use a floor steamer?

Floor steamers are thankfully pretty straightforward. Most often they'll need to be assembled, and are user-friendly, with instructions and any screws included. They also use reusable fiber cloth mop heads that you can wash after each use until it's time to toss it. You will need a separate attachment for carpet steaming.

With your assembled steamers, you'll fill the water tank, plug it in and allow it to warm up for a minute or so. Since this solely a steamer, do not add any other cleaning agents as this can cause build-up and clog the machine. Also, to reduce any other sort of mineral build-up, use distilled water in the tank.

Once the mop is heated, start in a corner that you won't end up trapping yourself in. This could mean the least used area in the room, to the most used that you'll be able to walk around. The floors will be wet after you're finished and will need time to dry.

Check out this video tutorial for more guidance:


It will be in your favor to do a patch test, whether on carpet or flooring. Steamers do have multi-functions but older vinyl flooring may not work well with that much heat. Another important method for steaming is to work in a straight-line pattern. You'll be able to keep track of where you've already cleaned easier.

Is it better to shampoo or steam clean the carpet?

It depends on what you're looking for. Are you in need of a deep clean to get dirt and stains out? Or are you looking to just have your carpet look refreshed? Both will be able to clean off the surface plus deodorize, although you'll want to use shampoo and a carpet cleaner to remove any heavily soiled carpet.

The shampoo and other cleaners you can add to a carpet cleaner help break up grease, dirt, and other pathogens locked in the fibers. Since it also has a vacuum in its system, it sucks up everything into a tank that you can pour out. This is a better method to use for a busy household with lots of foot traffic and pets.

A steam cleaner going over a gray colored carpet

Steam cleaning carpets are better to act as a mid-way clean. It increases the time in between deep cleans and is less time-consuming. You'll need an extra attachment called a carpet glider when using a steamer on the carpet. The glider essentially lifts the mop head up slightly to smoothly move over the surface of the carpet.

How often should you steam clean your carpet?

Steam cleaning can be done roughly every 4-6 months, based on how active your home is. The no-shoes inside rule and wiped feet before coming in will definitely help increase the time between cleanings. However, if you have a lot of carpets and multiple feet walking on them, a steam every 1-2 months could pay off in the long run.

While you may not need to steam clean or use a carpet cleaner once a month, it is important to vacuum at least once a week. Dirt, pollen, hair, and pet dander can build up quickly and you don't want this to sink into your carpet. In fact, hiring a company to come and clean your carpets may be more pocket-friendly in the case you don't need to clean them that frequently.

Which steam cleaner is best for carpets?

A huge pro to steam cleaners is how easy they are to store. So if you don't want to go through the trouble of lugging around a huge carpet cleaner, a steam cleaner with a glider attachment is for you. Steams do need to be plugged in to warm up, just like an iron, and come in handheld options for those smaller, tough-to-reach spots.

1. Bissell Power Fresh Steam Mop

  • Has a flip-down scrubber
  • 23-foot power cord
  • Ready to use in 30 seconds

Click here to view the Bissell Power Fresh steamer on Amazon.

Required attachment for Bissell

Click here to view the Bissell Carpet Glider Attachment on Amazon.

2. Steam Mop Light N' Easy Steam Mop

  • Weighs 3.5 lbs without water
  • Wide mopping head
  • Triple-layered pad

Click here to view the Steam Mop Light N' Easy on Amazon.

3. Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner

  • 1.6 Liter Tank
  • 20 included parts
  • Can run for 60 minutes

Click here to view the handheld Vapamore steamer on Amazon.

4. Domende Pressure+

  • 290 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Locking switch
  • Cord rewinder

Click here to view this Domende Pressure+ steam cleaner on Amazon.

All in all

A floor steamer will clean the carpet. While it is more of a top layer clean, it will deodorize and remove light stains from often used parts of your carpet. Steams are easy to use and have multiple functions to cater to your home's needs. On the other hand, if you'd like to skip the process of cleaning, there are always companies ready to assist! Check out these other articles that may be of interest to you:

Carpet Vs Laminate In A Basement: Which Is Better?

6 Best Types Of Tiles For Kitchen Floors

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