Steam Cleaning Carpets vs Shampooing

So you have some filthy carpets and are wondering what works best, Steam Cleaning Carpets vs Shampooing? In today’s marketplace, there are so many different products that can be used for a multitude of tasks. We’ll help you figure out which is right for your situation.

First, let’s have a look at the steam cleaners we recommend this year!

Our Top Steam Cleaners List

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Steam Cleaning Carpets vs Shampooing

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen some entirely nasty carpets. Not just a few spots but the whole thing. Shampooing carpets is an excellent idea when you really need to revive some old or dirty carpet. You’ll often see carpets shampooed between tenants in rental properties as well to give a fresh, clean look and smell.

Steam cleaning


  • Steam vapor has been tested to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria
  • Will kill dust mites and bed bugs
  • Steam vapor contains very little water, carpets will be mostly dry when complete
  • Does not use chemicals to clean
  • Steam cleaners are usually smaller, lighter and more versatile


  • Spot treating may need to be done prior to steaming for heavy stains
  • May not be suitable for large rooms or entire houses
  • Most do not vacuum. You’ll need to come back with a vacuum once the carpet is completely dry
  • Not suitable for heavily soiled carpets



  • Highly effective at extracting  heavy dirt from carpets
  • More suitable for large soiled areas
  • Kills off allergens and bacteria
  • Extracts water and dirt in one pass


  • Large, expensive machines needed
  • Can leave the carpet wet, sometimes for 24-48 hrs
  • Can cause damage to carpet backing if too much water is applied

If you have carpets at home, chances are you often find yourself pulling your hair out because they can be a pain to clean. Since many people and most possibly pets step, eat, sleep, and do all sorts of things on the carpet, stains, dust, grime, and other harmful items accumulate, making it difficult to keep clean.

Today, there are two ways to clean a carpet: using a steam cleaner and using a traditional carpet cleaner. However, people are starting to see the benefits of steam cleaning and comparing them with those of traditional carpet cleaners. Which one is best?

The traditional method of cleaning a carpet is the dry carpet cleaning method or bonnet cleaning. In this type of cleaning method, the carpet is cleaned with chemicals by spraying the formula directly on the carpet and then scrubbed with a special type of pad.

The pad then absorbs the dirt that was accumulated in the carpet. In some cases, the chemical itself may create crystals which in turn siphons up the dirt. Once the chemical has crystallized, you can easily vacuum it away.

On the other hand, steam cleaners actually clean the carpet with the help of hot water sprayed in the carpet and immediately removed. Dirt becomes trapped within the water before it is removed.

If you have had your rugs professionally cleaned with a steam cleaner, they usually add chemicals to the carpet before steam cleaning, it as this will assist in removing any deep down dirt. However, in some cases, and depending on the machine used, the use of chemicals to remove stains is unnecessary.

A Deeper Look

People who prefer traditional carpet cleaners cite several good qualities of this cleaning method to be considered. First, people who want to use their carpets immediately after cleaning like this method, making the cleaning job done with this machine easier and more efficient.

In comparison to the 24 hours waiting time when one does wet carpet cleaning, dry carpet cleaning means no wait whatsoever. It would also remove the necessity of hiring staff to clean the carpets after office hours or opening the offices just for cleaning on the weekends when it comes to professional or commercial establishments.

One also does not need to spend a lot of water just to clean a carpet fully, because, with this cleaning method, you don’t need to use too much detergent. Additionally, since you don’t use too much water, you also protect the furnishings from water damage like shrinkage and splitting.

Furthermore, dry carpet cleaning would also reduce the risks of mildew or mold from developing, since wet carpet cleaning or even steam cleaning may take a while before it dries properly.

On the other hand, users of steam cleaners for their carpets argue that it has the capacity to remove at least 97% of bacteria and dirt in the carpet. It is also the only known cleaning method that gets within the lowest layer of the carpet to make sure that the toughest stains can be removed with ease. It is also capable of killing mites and fungus that can trigger allergy attacks for users.

People who are also wary of possible chemical exposure from dry-cleaning should opt-in using steam cleaning due to the lack of use of chemicals. It is also affordable in comparison to traditional carpet cleaning because of this lack of chemicals and because the machine itself is cheaper than the usual vacuum or cleaner.

What are the benefits of steam?

Today’s steam cleaners use tap water to create super-hot steam vapor that can be sent through a variety of attachments for all kinds of applications. Tackle your entire bathroom with steam, clean that used couch, or you can even use steam to keep your baby toys sanitized without the need for chemicals.

One of the biggest perks to steam is with its ability to kill bed bugs, mold, viruses, bacteria, dust mites and essentially any other living organism in your carpets.

Wrapping up

Different jobs will call for different plans of attack. We recommend for very dirty carpets that you go ahead and shampoo them as a steam cleaner will not do the task as intended.

I recommend using a steam cleaner to clean your carpet when you know your carpet is mostly clean and you just want to freshen up or clean lightly soiled areas. You can always pre-treat problematic areas with shampoo as directed, then follow on with a steam cleaner as you do the rest of the room.

I do recommend owning a steam cleaner as they come with many different attachments and are not designed solely for one job like a carpet shampooer is. Check out our steam cleaner recommendations and get started today.

Our Steamer of Choice

Dupray Neat


Ease of use











  • Durable
  • Quick heat-up, high temperature
  • Easy to use
  • 2 year warranty, lifetime on the boiler
  • Added fragrance boost


  • No place to rest the hose on cleaner
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