There are many makes and models of steamer on the market – whether that’s a general steam cleaner, steam mops or small hand held devices – that it can be difficult in choosing what’s the best option for your home.
Ultimately, that depends on what you want from your steamer and what you expectation are. Some people just want a general purpose steam cleaner, while others want something to carry out a particular job.
One of those jobs people want a steam cleaner for, and incidentally, one of those jobs that people tend to over-estimate the results they’ll get from their steam cleaner, is that of cleaning carpets.
Steam Cleaning Carpets
The first thing you should know is that it will take a very very good steam cleaner to completely clean a carpet. It’s an often overlooked issue when people are looking to buy a steamer or a steam mop – these are NOT Carpet Steam Cleaners, they are general steam cleaners. As such, they’ll never perform as well on our carpets as their more expensive cousins.
What steam cleaners (specifically) are good at when it comes to carpets are in spot cleaning and general freshening of the carpet.
Spot cleaning is where we have a particularly ugly stain on our carpet that we want to remove. By applying steam and a little scrubbing the stain will gradually start to fade until it’s gone completely. Some steam cleaner are very good at this and remove the stain on the first steam, while some require a few attempts over a few days. Ultimately, though, whether first time or repeated times, the stain will either have faded completely or will have faded enough that it ends in the can’t really notice it category.
When it comes to carpet freshening, people tend to expect too much in the form of results. Whereas running a steam cleaner over a carpet will give it a slightly cleaner look when complete, the real use of steam in this fashion in regards to a carpet is by sanitising it. Amongst the thread and shag of carpets live bacteria. It’s these bacteria that give off that stale smell that eventually emanates from an old carpet. Steam will kill them dead (or, as marketing people like to tell us, will kill 99.99% of them).
As a result, our carpet will start to look fresh and smell fresher. But we have to remember, unless you partake on project of using the steam cleaner over and over on the carpet over a period of time, it won’t truly clean like what a dedicated carpet cleaner will do. It’s important to remember that!