Steam Cleaning vs Carpet Shampooing: Difference and Comparison

Any carpet is an essential asset in any home, and its cleanliness is necessary for a nice gesture to the house owner. Carpet cleaning is done to get rid of all the dirt, stains, and minor residues that accumulate on the carpet during the years of its use.

Key Takeaways

  1. Steam cleaning uses hot water and steam to clean carpets, while carpet shampooing uses a foaming solution to scrub and clean carpets.
  2. Steam cleaning is more effective at removing dirt, stains, and bacteria from carpets, while carpet shampooing is better at removing pet hair and other debris.
  3. Steam cleaning has a shorter drying time than carpet shampooing, which can take several hours or even days to dry fully.

Steam Cleaning vs Carpet Shampooing

Steam cleaning is a method of cleaning carpets that involves injecting hot water and cleaning solution into the carpet and using a vacuum to remove dirt and cleaning solution. Carpet shampooing involves using a specialized shampoo and machine to scrub the carpet fibers, then using a vacuum to extract the shampoo and dirt.

Steam Cleaning vs Carpet Shampooing

The steam cleaning method includes a vacuum and pump system using hot low-pressure steam that removes soluble substances from the surface. Steam cleaners are used on a surprising amount of household surfaces effectively to get rid of stains and stubborn dirt.

It kills around 99.9% of household germs on the surface, like Salmonella. Carpet shampooing requires a specially-formulated liquid detergent compound used to clean carpets called carpet shampoo.


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The general idea of a carpet shampooer is to create a thick foam to attract and suspend dust particles on the carpet or rug. Carpet shampooing also kills and eliminates mould spores, algae, and other contaminants.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSteam CleaningCarpet Shampooing
WorkingSteam cleaning works with a combination of heat and pressure.Carpet shampooing works with a cleaning shampoo or foam-forming solution.
Expense It’s expensive.It’s less expensive than steam cleaning.
RequirementsA technician does steam cleaning.It can be done independently.
SanitizationIt kills almost 99.9% of bacteria and mould.It kills fewer microorganisms than steam cleaning by “surface clean”.
Residues leftCleans almost all the residue.It leaves more residues. Shampoo particles.
Drying timeIt takes less time(approximately 6 hours) to dry.Drying time(around 6-24 hours) is more than steam cleaning.

What is Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning is a method that uses high-temperature steam generated after converting water to steam. This steam does the cleaning of the carpet by breaking the dirt-grease adhesive bonds that extract the dirt into a collection tank.

The instrument used is called a steam cleaner. Professional carpet cleaners do it.

The process of steam cleaning involves a procedure of four basic steps. The carpet is first opened up by lifting bulky furniture from the room to expose dirty areas of the carpet. 

Such parts are placed below bulky furniture and other materials in the room. Next step, a cleaning solution is introduced on the dirty carpet surfaces and retained for a few minutes.

Now, hot water and steam are used to rinse the carpet fibres set at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for the extraction of the soap residue using a powerful extraction machine. Carpet cleaning helps us remove tough stains and is essential for the proper maintenance of the carpet.

 Finally, the carpet is dried using a drying source such as a drying machine or the room’s fan. Drying takes some time.

Steam cleaning also doesn’t leave toxic detergent residue after the carpet cleaning and enhances the beauty of the carpet furthermore. 

steam cleaning

What is Carpet Shampooing?

Carpet shampooing is a cleaning method that involves the use of a suds-based detergent for cleaning. The suds are mixed with hot water and then scrubbed into the carpet.

The shampoo is extracted with a wet vacuum. This shampoo is called carpet shampoo or cleaning shampoo.

Carpet shampooing is done in a simple procedure. The carpet is pre-inspected to check for stains and dirt.

Then, dry soil is made to remove from the carpet. Bulky furniture and room materials are eliminated.

A carpet shampooer emulsifies and breaks down traffic areas and general spots for a more thorough cleaning. This is done with a professional carpet groomer or a rotary brush to loosen the carpet fibres further.

The carpet is finally thoroughly rinsed either with a powerful extraction cleaning system or roughly without over-wetting the carpet and leaving a bit of residue behind. The final process includes drying, which takes about 6-24 hours.

Drying is made easier with high-velocity air movers, which promote faster drying. Carpet shampooing doesn’t kill all the microbes after cleaning, and some of the left residues also can give growth to mildew and other contaminants, which is hazardous.

carpet shampooing

Main Differences Between Steam Cleaning and Carpet Shampooing

  1. Steam cleaning sometimes becomes a safety concern, whereas carpet shampooing is hand-held manual work done freely and independently.
  2. Steam cleaning is more expensive to use, but it gets advantageous by the fact that it only needs water as an ingredient which produces high-temperature steam, whereas carpet shampooing uses not only water but different toxic chemicals too in carpet shampooer.
  3. Steam cleaner simply uses the power of hot water by injecting hot-vaporized water and kills bacteria by breaking down dirt, whereas carpet shampooer equipment has a rotating brush that loosens dirt in the carpet fibres while its powerful suction lifts dirt, stains, and grimes.
  4. Steam cleaning is expensive, whereas Carpet Shampooing is cheaper.
  5. A technician does steam cleaning, whereas Carpet Shampooing can be done independently.
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