Can I Use a Steam Mop on Carpet?

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steam mop on carpet

If you live with mixed flooring surfaces or have large area rugs, you probably wish you could get those carpeted rooms or rugs as clean as your hard flooring.

You might have used your steam mop on tile and wondered, can I use a steam mop on carpet?

The answer is yes!

Without having to rent a commercial carpet cleaner or own a bulky rug cleaning system, you can use your lightweight steam mop for both your hard floors as well as carpets and area rugs.

However, some steam mops are more suitable than others.

PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner
Best Choice for Cleaning Carpet:

  • Comes with a carpet glider to allow it to move easily on carpet
  • 3 different steam settings
  • Featured by Household Advice as the Best Steam Mop for Carpet

How to Clean a Carpet with a Steam Mop

You should be at least partially convinced by now that

a steam mop is a decent way to clean your carpets

. Before you start, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Always be sure to vacuum before using your mop on any flooring. While mops disinfect and clean, they aren’t meant to pick up large amounts of dirt and grime the way vacuum cleaner does.
  • Move your furniture when both vacuuming and using your mop. Dust and dirt collect around edges of furniture, especially on carpets. So, if you’re going to be steaming, take the extra few minutes to move furniture and vacuum areas you might typically ignore.
  • You only need to use water in your steam mop if you are concerned about chemicals. In fact, that is how they’re designed for use. If you don’t feel comfortable without some cleaning solution, use only a small amount of made explicitly for your steam mop. If you’re not using a natural cleaner, be sure to ventilate the room.
  • Before you begin, imagine you’re painting a floor. Don’t mop yourself into a corner. Begin on a far side of the room. Then make straight lines, so you don’t miss any areas. After you start from the corner, move toward the doorway or exit hallway. Planning will prevent you from walking over the wet carpet, as well as tracking any dirt from shoes or feet as it dries.
  • Let your carpet dry all the way before walking on it. If the weather permits, opening windows can help speed the drying process. Turning on the house fan through your furnace can help it dry faster, as well.

Pro Tip: In my experience, steam mops for carpets work best when you do a pre-treatment 15-30 minutes before steaming. Apply a light layer of a carpet cleaning solution approved for your mop and allow it to soak into the carpeting. Then steam clean as usual. This helps break down tougher stains and grime, making the steam mop’s job easier.

Reasons to Use Your Steam Mop on Carpet

reasons to use steam mop on carpet

There are a few benefits of using your steam mop on your carpets. Let’s take a look:

  • While bigger carpet cleaners are great for more severe messes, they don’t grab the tiny pieces of dirt as well. Steam mops specialize in picking up smaller particles. So, if you’re looking to maintain clean rugs or individually carpeted rooms on a regular basis, mops are great for this.
  • Steam mops are more comfortable to transport. The ease of using a mop in comparison is unmatched. Big, bulky, heavy carpet cleaners can be such a pain that they can deter you from wanting to clean your carpets at all.
  • Steam mops, of course, use the high heat of the steam as the main component of cleaning. The heat destroys nearly 100 percent of bacteria and viruses in your carpets and rugs. To do that without chemicals is reason enough alone to clean your carpets with a steam mop.

Pro Tip: I’ve found that the optimal frequency for steam mopping your carpets depends on how heavily the area is used. For high-traffic areas like living rooms or hallways, I recommend steam mopping once a week. For less frequently used spaces, once every two weeks should suffice. Remember, regular steaming not only keeps your carpets looking bright and fresh, but also significantly reduces dust and allergens.

PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner
Best Choice for Cleaning Carpet:

  • Comes with a carpet glider to allow it to move easily on carpet
  • 3 different steam settings
  • Featured by Household Advice as the Best Steam Mop for Carpet

Time to Get Cleaning

Pro Tip: Using distilled water in your steam mop can actually extend its life. Tap water often contains minerals that can build up inside the mop over time, hindering its performance. With distilled water, you avoid this issue, ensuring your steam mop stays effective for longer.

Once you see how well a steam mop can clean carpeting, you may never go back to the traditional cleaning methods you had been using before. Happy cleaning!

If you are looking for the best steam mops of 2022, check out our list here.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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