Steam Cleaning Carpets Vs Shampooing: Which Is Better?

Floor carpets are magnets for dander, dust particles, dust, and mold spores, just to mention a few. Regularly cleaning them is imperative if you need a healthy and good-looking living environment for you and your kids.

While there are uncountable ways to do this, steam cleaning and shampooing are the most popular methods. And you might be wondering, “is steam cleaning or shampooing better?” We delve into the details of each in this article and give a verdict based on our informed analysis.

Steam Cleaning Carpets Vs Shampooing

Read on.

Should I Steam Clean or Shampoo My Carpets?

There’s no all-encompassing solution to cleaning your carpets between these two. You can use any of them, given that you can bear the cons while fully enjoying the pros.

Steam Cleaning Carpets

Steam cleaning, also dubbed hot water extraction cleaning, uses high-temperature water vapor under pressure to remove dirt and other unwanted particles from surfaces. Grime, oil, grease, and dirt are dislodged from the carpet when the hot vapor is forced into it using a steam cleaning machine.

There are several steam cleaner attachments that you can use to spot-clean or a wide cleaning wand that covers larger areas. Some steam cleaners also have an agitation feature that enhances the removal of dirt, dust, and other unwanted materials from the carpet. After cleaning, proper drying is necessary to avoid mold build-up.

The Benefits

You need to know about the advantages of using steam cleaning for your carpets before you decide to use it in the first place. Here are the main pros, though there are more.

  • Steam cleaning is safe. Allergic people who can’t stand the smell of detergents won’t have a problem because the process only involves water.
  • Various types of attachments make it easy to navigate and clean hard-to-reach spots.
  • High temperatures will disinfect your carpet.
  • It’s the best method to use for wall-to-wall carpets.
  • Use it for stubborn stains like grease and oil, and you’ll get the best results.
  • Carpets will dry faster than is the case with shampooing.


The following are the disadvantages of choosing steam cleaning over shampooing. Understand them before spending on the method.

  • The method may not be the best for deeply soiled carpets as no cleaning agent is used.
  • Steam cleaning isn’t safe for natural fibers as it may cause damage to them.
  • Care must be taken to avoid accidents from hot steam.

Is Steam Cleaning Safe for Carpets?

Yes. Steam cleaning is safe for most carpets except those with very weak fibers. Hot steam is used, so you have to be courteous not to destroy weak fibers. Always ensure that you check the list of recommended materials to be used by your steam cleaner before you do the actual cleaning.

Using A Shampoo To Clean Your Carpet

Shampooing is older than steam cleaning. It was the norm before steam cleaning was discovered. The process needs you to have a shampooing machine and detergent. The machine contains a tank into which the cleaning solution is added.

A nylon brush is attached to the machine. It spins to inject the cleaning solution while scrubbing the carpet to loosen dirt and other unwanted stuff.

Shampooing also involves the use of hot water alongside pressure. After cleaning, there’s an additional step of rinsing the carpet to remove dirt and lather. You can use hot or warm but fresh water at this step.

Afterward, moisture is extracted from the carpet using a vacuum, often followed by air drying. Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using shampooing below to help you decide on the best method for cleaning your carpet.

The Advantages Of Shampooing

  • It works best for deeply soiled and stained carpets than steam cleaning because a cleaning agent is involved.
  • The use of a cleaning agent enhances the power of cleaning, which may help to remove deep-seated dirt. Deodorization is also added.
  • You can choose a suitable cleaning agent from the wide variety of cleaning products in the market.
  • Shampoo cleaners are always readily available for rent in most urban settings.


  • The carpet takes longer to dry than steam cleaning since more water is often used.
  • There are high chances that residue may remain after cleaning. Such residue is highly adhesive to dirt, which may soil the carpet too soon. Some cleaning agent residue does not look good themselves.
  • The shampoo cleaner features a nylon brush that can damage your carpet fibers during scrubbing.
  • Pets, children, and family members may be allergic to the shampoo detergent smell.
  • The water used isn’t as hot as it is in the case of a steam cleaner. Therefore, it may kill pests and leave behind their eggs.
  • Using this method to clean a significantly large carpet can be quite tiresome.

Is Shampooing Safe For Carpets?

Yes. Shampooing is safe for carpets as long as you do it right. Use the recommended amount and type of shampoo detergent and set the device at the right temperature. If you’re not sure about using the method for cleaning yourself, calling a professional to do it for you is a wise idea.

Our Verdict

Shampooing and steam cleaning are both safe for your carpet, and all of them remove stains, grime, and dirt. However, each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the best choice for you depends on whether or not you can welcome and bear both advantages and disadvantages of a specific one.

Meanwhile, we think that steam cleaning is more economical, healthier, and is easy to use.

Leave a Comment