Steam Cleaning vs Shampooing A Carpet

It’s important to have the carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year.  Vacuuming removes visible surface dirt but does not remove all the dirt than sinks way down to the bottom of the carpet fibers.  When choosing a professional cleaning method, there are generally two options, shampooing or steam cleaning.  Let’s explore the differences between the two and how to figure out which is the best method to use on your carpet.

Shampooing is probably the oldest method of cleaning your carpet.  Shampooing is a highly effective way to clean heavily soiled or stained carpet.  A good shampoo should generate a thick lather of foam in order to effectively remove dirt.  Dirt particles adhere to the carpet with a static electric charge.  A good shampoo will break that bond, and help loosen the dirt.

Shampoo should also have a lubricating agent to help protect the carpet from the strong brushes used by the machine to agitate the foam.   One disadvantage of shampooing carpets is that the shampoo can leave a sticky residue behind.  This residue eventually attracts more dirt.  This method is rather counterproductive due to this.  Some shampoos also use a brightener which can have a yellowing effect on the carpet over time.  Shampooing is a method that uses chemicals to help break down dirt and grime.

Shampooing will not kill all the germs and allergens buried deep within the carpet.  In the case of bugs such as bedbugs or fleas, shampooing may effectively kill the bugs, but their eggs may be left behind so the problem will reoccur.

Steam cleaning, on the other hand, dislodges dirt by blasting hot water and steam through the carpet.  When the dirt is dislodged, the accumulated water and dirt is vacuumed up.  Steam cleaning also helps to sanitize carpets by effectively removing mildew spores and mold from the carpet.  As long as the carpet is allowed to dry thoroughly, no residue is left behind to attract more dirt.  The carpet will usually dry faster when cleaning using steam.  Steam cleaning will help maintain your carpet in good condition with no danger of the yellowing caused by many shampoos.  Steam cleaning your carpet also kills bugs, and their eggs, thus effectively putting an end to the bug reproduction cycle.  The one disadvantage of steam cleaning is that is may not be as effective at removing heavy soil or staining.

To recap, shampooing is a chemical method of carpet cleaning which may be more effective at removed stains and cleaning very heavily soiled carpets.  However, shampooing uses chemicals and may leave behind residue which eventually attracts more dirt.  While shampooing will generally kill bugs, their eggs may be left behind, and the cycle will continue.  Shampooing usually takes longer to dry than steam cleaning, and may leave a yellowing effect on carpets.

Steam cleaning is a more natural way to clean carpet which also effectively sanitizes the carpet.  There is no residue left behind to attract more dirt, and carpet tends to dry faster than after shampooing.  Steam cleaning also effectively removes mold and mildew spores, and kill insects and their eggs, thus stopping problems from reoccurring.



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