Steam mops are in vogue for their effective floor-cleaning services. They eradicate close to 100 percent of both viruses and bacteria from your floors.
But more often than not, people use them for hard surfaces — and that may leave you wondering: can I use a steam mop on carpet?
Well, it’s a yes, but is it ideal?
This piece takes you through the merits and demerits of using a steam mop on your carpet, how to do it, and more.
Read between the lines in each section to learn more about steam mops and carpets. You’ll have familiarized yourself with the best practices at the end of the read while using a steam mop on your carpet, whether it’s ideal, the best alternatives to cleaning your carpet, et cetera. Let’s dive into the read now.
How The Steam Mop Works
A stem mop, as the name suggests, uses steam to clean surfaces. It features a water reservoir, in which it heats water to about 248°F to produce steam. Steam jets then release this steam onto a pad that soaks to remove dirt from the ground.
Almost all bacteria and viruses on floors and fabrics get killed by the steam alone (without chemicals). Let’s see how to use the steam mop to clean the carpet in the next section.
How To Best Clean A Carpet Using The Steam Mop: The Steps To Follow
You’ve already known that it’s possible to use a steam mop on your carpet. In case you’re still wondering how to go about it, here are essential steps to go by. The process may seem hard during the first trial, but it’ll turn pretty simple with time. Here we go.
Remove Large Items From The Carpet
You’ll start by removing all the books, tables, chairs, and other stuff that may get in the way of your mop. Apart from getting in your way, such items often have dirt trapped underneath and on their edges.
If possible, let the house remain without anything on the floor, unless it’s permanent.
Vacuum The Carpet
Reasons for vacuuming your carpet before passion the steam mop on it are countless. One, the vacuum cleaner has relatively more suction power for larger debris and hair, which will otherwise block the steam mop’s head. So to protect your cleaner pads, vacuuming is mandatory.
Secondly, vacuuming fluffs up your carpet’s fibers so that the mop can easily go over it. Also, it leaves the mop with less task, and the advantages of that are endless.
Fill The Steam Mop With Water
You’re now getting closer to start cleaning your carpet, and it’s time to fill your steam mop with water. Kindly remember to refer to the mop’s label for any special instructions for filling its reservoir with water.
Avoid overfilling the mop to prevent boiling water from spilling all over the floor. If you’d love to use a detergent with the water, kindly try and find the recommended ones, though the steam mop doesn’t choose the kind of detergent it works with — it’s all for your safety.
Attach The Glider Onto The Mop Head
The mop glider is designed to help you move smoothly on your carpet’s surface. Without it, obstruction while moving your mop on the floor is a common thing.
Most steam mops feature a glider attachment. If yours isn’t among these, you can improve it to have it, too. Meanwhile, ensure that you secure the glider properly, checking the instructions if you may need to do so.
Plug-In The Mop
It’s time to plug in the steam mop and let it boil the water before you use it to clean your carpet. Usually, the mop will only need less than a minute to heat the water sufficiently.
Please don’t let the mop stand on your floor for long when hot, as the heat may damage that section of the floor.
Test The Steam Mop
To ensure that your carpet isn’t only going to get a burn from the mop, it’s wise to do a patch test. Test the mop on a small section of your carpet to determine its tolerance to steam.
Time To Mop!
After your carpet has passed the test in 6 above, you better start mopping now. It helps to glide the steam mop along straight lines while mopping — to avoid missing a spot.
Also, ensure that you don’t mop and find yourself in a corner without following back to the exit. Do a light mop to avoid saturating the carpet. Likewise, don’t keep stepping on done areas that are wet.
Planning is the order of the day here, and without planning, you’re easily likely to miss the point. Be sure to follow all the instructions on the mop’s label.
Allow The Carpet To Dry
You’ll want the carpet to air dry before walking on it or letting pets enjoy the comfort. Open all the windows and doors to let in air.
The carpet will dry after 6-10 hours, but some may also take as much as 24 hours! No matter the time it takes, avoid walking on the wet floor on your barefoot or shoes as you may make the surface dirty again. If you have to get in, wear clean socks and or use a plastic paper to walk on.
When the carpet is finally dry, it’s time to return your furniture and other stuff inside the house/room and enjoy the freshness.
A Few More Rules To Abide By During The Process:
Always Overlap Passes
We already discussed that cleaning your carpet along straight lines helps you know where you’ve been and what’s remaining. Better still, it’ll help if you overlapped the lines — to further avoid any undone streaks on the carpet.
Gloves help protect your hands from damage and injury. While using the steam mop, the steam it emits may easily reach and burn your hands. Gloves will help you with this.
Don’t Forget The Carpet Glider
Steam mops are mostly designed for bare floors. Using them on carpets without carpet gliders makes the pads stick to the carpet’s fibers. The glider will help the mop travel across your carpet’s surface smoothly without a hitch.
Avoid Using Hard Water
Hard water often contains minerals and limestone. The two may leave deposits on your carpet’s surface to give it an ugly look. Likewise, the deposits may pile up on your mop’s outlets and lower its efficiency.
The Advantages Of Using A Steam Mop On Your Carpet:
It Kills Bacteria And Viruses
The steam mop uses high-heat steam to clean your carpet. Almost all, if not all, viruses, bacteria, and mites cannot put up with the heat. They’ll die. Carpet cleaners and vacuums aren’t as effective in eradicating these stubborn pests as the steam mop.
The Steam Mop Is Easier To Use, Transport, and Store
Compared to the heavy and big carpet cleaner, the steam mop is relatively less bulky, lighter, and easier to handle. It also takes up only a little storage space, and it’s easier to handle.
It Saves You A Fortune
Steam mops are less expensive compared to the dedicated carpet cleaners. The good news is that they do clean as much as the carpet cleaners do.
No Chemicals Needed
Only the water (hot steam) is needed to make your carpet free from dirt and pests with the steam mop; no detergents or other cleaning chemicals are necessary.
Therefore, if you have an allergy for detergents, steam mops are what you need to keep the chemicals at bay. They use only natural stuff (heat and water) to get rid of dirt and pests.
They Remove Smaller Particles
While vacuum cleaners will only pick up large debris, the steam mops take up even the smallest of dirt particles. So compared to vacuuming, steam-cleaning your carpet is better.
Carpet Cleaner Vs. Steam Mop
You may wonder why people struggle to know if they can use a steam mop on their carpets yet carpet cleaners are always there to help.
Well, the carpet cleaner is often more expensive despite being as effective as the steam mop. Besides, it uses chemicals (unlike a steam mop that only uses water) to clean your carpet. You may already be allergic to these chemicals.
What’s more, the carpet cleaner is often bulkier and heavier than a steam mop. So mobile cleaning is a thing to forget in case you want to use them. Also, they’ll take up much storage space and prove difficult to take into the storage room.
The Bottom Line
So whenever you hear someone asking: “can I use a steam mop on carpet,” you know what to tell them; “absolutely yes!”
However, there’s a need to follow a few set of rules and steps (as explained above) to ensure the process goes smoothly. For example, attaching the carpet glider while avoiding the use of hard water helps you save your carpet fabrics as well as the mop from damage.