Difference Between a Carpet Cleaner and a Steam Cleaner

Newly installed carpets in your home bring a sense of style, warmth, and comfort. But when they become dirty and soiled, just vacuuming them is not enough to keep them looking fresh and clean.

This is where you will need either a carpet cleaner or a steam cleaner. This will be to remove the dirt, stains, grime, and other harmful items that have accumulated in and on your carpets.

But you find yourself asking the question what is the difference between a carpet cleaner and a steam cleaner? And which is the best way to clean carpets yourself?

They both have their benefits as well as their disadvantages.

In this article, we discuss the differences between a carpet shampooer and a steam cleaner. We also give you the important pros and cons of each. You will then be able to make the choice of the best cleaner for your needs and your home.

Before we get stuck into the details of the carpet washer vs steam cleaner. You should first vacuum the loose dirt from your carpets. Vacuuming your carpets should always be the first and last steps in your cleaning process.

A Carpet Cleaner

Carpet Vacuum Cleaner

A carpet cleaner known by most as a carpet shampooer has been the way of washing, removing stains, dirt, and allergens from your carpets for many years.

The shampooer uses warm water and a specialized carpet cleaning detergent. With this, it creates a foam layer solution that the shampooer applies to the carpet. The cleaning brushes underneath the machine then releases the shampoo foam into the fibers of the carpet and scrubs to loosen the dirt. It then lifts the dirt with powerful suction, removing it from your carpets.

How regular should you shampoo your carpets?

To answer this question would depend on a few different factors. Factors like the number of people living in your household. It would also depend on if any of the members of your family suffer from asthma or has any other allergies.

Under normal circumstances, carpets should be shampooed every 12 to 18 months. But for a household that has allergy sufferers, it is best to shampoo your carpets every 6 months.

Benefits of a Carpet Cleaner or Shampooer

  • Shampooing your carpets with a carpet cleaner helps you to extend the life of your carpets
  • It helps to restore the appearance of your carpets
  • Provides your carpets with a deep and effective clean by removing heavily soiled dirt and stains
  • Great for high foot traffic homes with many occupants, like children and pets
  • Can be used without professional help and at your own leisure

Disadvantages of a Carpet Cleaner or Shampooer

  • A shampooer can often over wet a carpet that prolongs the carpets drying time which leaves your carpets smelling musty and old
  • The rotating brush can cause damage to the fibers of your carpet
  • A chemical solution is used to sanitize the carpets to kill germs
  • The carpet cleaning solution leaves a sticky residue behind that helps to attract more dust and dirt to your carpets
  • A carpet cleaner or shampooer can only clean carpets and rugs
  • Large carpets take longer to dry
  • A lot heavier than a steam cleaner

A Steam Cleaner

Steam Vacuum Cleaner

A steam cleaner uses steam from hot water to loosen dirt. It blasts the steam through your carpets and the water and dirt are then vacuumed up into the holding tank. Using a steam cleaner is a great way to remove stains, disinfect, and leave your carpets fresh and clean at the same time.

Benefits of a Steam Cleaner

  • A steam cleaner will get rid of dirt as well as disinfect and sanitize your carpets at the same time
  • The steam also helps to get rid of fleas, bed bugs, grease, mold, and other germs and allergens
  • Steam cleaning is ideal for wall-to-wall carpet cleaning
  • A steam cleaner comes with various attachments that are easy to use to reach difficult places
  • It cleans not only carpets but also various other types of surfaces
  • No cleaning chemicals are used, so it is safe for both kids and pets
  • Steaming carpets dry fast
  • There is no residue left behind to cause re-soiling fast

Disadvantages of a Steam Cleaner

  • Steam can damage carpet fibers
  • Removing stubborn stains without a carpet cleaning solution can be a  hard job to do
  • Needs time to heat up
  • It operates at very hot temperatures
  • Using a steam cleaner to clean carpets needs to be done more often
  • More expensive than a carpet cleaner

Other uses for a Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners are extremely versatile as they can clean a lot more than just your carpets. They come with a selection of attachments that can be used to clean:

  • Floors and tiles
  • Upholstery, blinds, curtains, and mattresses
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Mirrors and glass doors
  • Kitchen appliances like your oven
  • Patio furniture

Note: You do need to be careful not to get a steam cleaner near electrical wires or any humans or pets. Due to the high temperature of the steam as this can cause serious injury and damages

Once you have gone through the above benefits and disadvantages for each cleaner carefully. Deciding on which cleaner is the best way to clean a carpet and is better for your cleaning needs which have now become a little easier for you. Your decision will also depend on your personal preferences, the size of your carpets, and how dirty your carpets are.

The obvious difference between a carpet cleaner and a steam cleaner is that a shampoo carpet cleaner cleans with warm water and detergent. While a steam cleaner cleans with water that converts into steam. Another difference is that a carpet cleaner can only be used to clean rugs and carpets but a steamer can be used to clean a variety of items. Both these cleaners have their own obvious advantages and disadvantages. It all comes down to the type of cleaning job you have and your personal preference.





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