Nowadays, steam cleaning is becoming more and more popular. This way of cleaning has also been termed as 'green cleaning' because of its ability to kill germs, disinfect, and remove stains without the use of any artificial chemicals.
Steam cleaning carpets and area rugs are one of the most effective ways to disinfect it and also remove stains at the same time. People mostly prefer this cleaning method to its alternatives, although very few actually know how to clean an area rug with a steam cleaner in an effective manner.
In order to discuss how to properly clean an area rug or carpet with a steam cleaner, we should know what it really is and how a steam cleaner works. Because most people don’t understand how it works and why it is good for area rugs.
What Is Steam Cleaning?
A steam cleaner consists of a steam vacuum, a tank, a boiler, a detergent compartment, and other accessories like brushes and attachments. Water is heated in the boiler and with high heat and pressure, and with its steam, the area rug is vacuumed.
Many times, the cleaning also involves the use of detergent for stain removal and disinfection.
Mechanism of Steam Cleaning
The steam itself doesn't clean, but the high heat does. This process uses little water compared to carpet cleaners, which use gallons of hot water.
Inside the boiler, the water is heated to a very high temperature of approximately 240ºF to 310º F, and its low-pressure vapor is applied to the cleanable surface. This breaks the dirt bonds in the area rug.
As a result, the contaminants are released into water suspension, and the vacuum then sucks all that dirt, providing a fantastic clean. However, since water is involved in this process, no matter how little, the rug should be given enough time to get dry before use.
How to Clean an Area Rug with a Steam Cleaner?
We know you love steam cleaning your area rug, but are you really cleaning it properly as it should be cleaned? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean it yourself.
Step 1: Remove Things from the Room
You don't want the contaminants to get stuck on the furniture in the room. So, first, move the furniture to clear the room. Pick up the books, toys, papers, and any general clutter from the floor too. Take all this stuff to another room for the time being.
There could be some heavy furniture which is hard to move. In that case, wrap around some wax paper or aluminum foil around and under the legs of that furniture. This is to protect those from the moisture of the high heated steam.
Step 2: Clean the Room
Now you should dust the wall, the ceiling fan, the curtains, etc. thoroughly so that no excess dust remains on them. As you run the steam cleaner, those dust might fall on the rug, or the steam might make them stuck to the surface harder.
Step 3: Vacuum the Floor and the Rug
This time use a normal vacuum cleaner to pick up all the hair, loose dirt pieces, and crumbs from the floor and the rug. Because a steam cleaner cannot remove hair and larger particles off a surface.
For extra cleaning, run the vacuum twice in the entire room. Vacuum the rug slowly than usual. For the second time, vacuum it in the opposite direction to suck as much dirt as possible, including large debris and even some parasites like the bed bugs.
Step 4: Treat Spot Stains of the Rug
You don’t want to take chances with the stains on a precious area rug. So, use a carpet stain remover by blotting it with a piece of cloth. Then press it on the spot so that it soaks in the treatment solution.
Step 5: Prepare the Stain Cleaner
This is actually quite easy. Just remove the water tank of the steam cleaner and fill it with hot water. You can also add some detergent or white vinegar into the tank along with the water for better results.
Step 6: Steam the Entire Area Rug
Now is the time to run the steam cleaner on the rug. Choose a corner and make a straight line to the other end. Overlap each line with the next so that no spot is missed.
Be careful not to walk on the spot you have just cleaned. If you really have to, make sure it is your barefoot, so you don’t leave any marks. Move the machine slowly on the rug to allow it to work properly.
Step 7: Dry the Area Rug Completely
We have already mentioned that it might take some time for the rug to dry itself completely. Allow it at least 6 hours to dry and all the moisture to escape.
One of the most popular methods of renewing and refreshing area rugs is steam cleaning. It relies on the natural cleaning power of steam without the need for any chemicals.
So, it is high time that you learn how to clean an area rug with a steam cleaner properly to make your precious area rug good as new.