How to Steam Clean Your Carpet

Your carpet is one of the biggest air filters in your home; it catches everything from dust to dander, dirt, and more. Vacuums are great for removing these particles from your carpets. Still, sometimes a lingering smell, stain, or allergen can be hard to get rid of even after you vacuum. In these cases, steam cleaning is the best next step for the deep cleaning that you need.


For professional carpet cleaning, you’ll need to ensure you use the correct equipment. You’ll need a vacuum cleaner, a Steam Carpet Cleaner, a pump sprayer, carpet cleaning soap, and a carpet rake.

Ensure all your supplies are in working order. We recommend cleaning the vacuum cleaner before starting. Cleaning your vacuum will give it extra suction power to get as much dust and dirt out of your carpets before you begin steam cleaning.

step two: prep your home

Before cleaning your carpets, get your home ready. You should keep your home around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal drying after steam-cleaning your carpets.

Move all the furniture out of the rooms you’ll be cleaning. Alternatively, you can move furniture out of rooms one at a time or place it on blocks so you can cover as much of the area as possible.


Now it’s time to vacuum. Take your freshly cleaned vacuum and vacuum the entire floor thoroughly. Taking this initial layer of dirt off will make it easier for your steam cleaner to get down to the hard-to-reach dirt.

Next, you’ll use your pump sprayer and carpet cleaning solution. Mix the recommended water-to-soap ratio in your pump sprayer and spray your carpets. Spray the entire area evenly and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Your soap breaks down the dirt trapped in your carpet’s fibers, lifts odors, and absorbs dust and dander. You must give it time to do all this before coming in with your steam cleaner.

step four: steam clean your carpet

Now it’s time to use your carpet steam cleaner! On your steam cleaner, you’ll find a tank for clean water and one for dirty water. Fill the clean water tank with warm water up to the fill line and place it in your carpet cleaner. Depending on your carpet cleaner, the tank may or may not be removable.

This water will be used to rinse all the dirt and grime that your soap lifted out of the fibers; it will then suck the dirty water out and into the dirty water chamber.

Start in the furthest back corner of the room and work your way out. Move slowly over the entire area so your machine can complete its rinse and sucking cycle.

Try not to pass over the same area more than once or twice. The more times you pass over an area, the more water is released. If it gets oversaturated, it will be more difficult for your steam cleaner to suck the dirt and water out of the carpet.

If you run into an area with a stain or spot that isn’t coming out how you’d like after the first pass or two, do not go over it again. Spray it with soap and come back to it after 15-20 minutes. Repeat this until the area comes back clean.

Empty your dirty water tank regularly to stay within your fill line. If your dirty water tank is full, it means your clean water tank is almost empty; refill it with warm water and continue.


As you move through the house, place a Carpet Fan in the finished rooms. Opening the windows and turning on the ceiling fan will also speed up the drying process. You want to dry the carpets as quickly as possible so furniture can be moved back in without locking in any moisture. A Building Dehumidifier can be a plus to your drying if you live in a damp climate or are cleaning a large building.

It can take 6-8 hours to dry your carpets after cleaning. A carpet rake is a great tool to speed up the process. Carpet rakes pull all your carpet fibers into a standing position allowing more airflow and helping the drying process.

Once your carpet is dry, you can move all your furniture back in and enjoy the comfort of a fresh and clean home.

Northside Tool Rentals has the right equipment to get the job done in your home or on a job site. With daily or weekly rentals, you’ll have the tools you need for as long as it takes to complete your project. Click here to see our suite of rentals available today.