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How to Use a Steam Vac

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Updated June 27, 2022

Figuring out how to use a steam vac can feel intimidating, especially with the warnings on their packaging. However, they aren’t inherently dangerous, and your household will feel so much cleaner when you harness the power of a high-performing vacuum cleaner and professional cleaning.

Moreover, there’s a big difference between steam cleaners vs vacuum cleaners. Steam cleaning vacuums tend to have more power to wash your carpets effectively, like you’ll see in our Wagner power steamer 915 review. The only downside is that they can’t be used to clean without water, in which case you need a regular vacuum cleaner.

Read on to learn how to use a steam cleaner vacuum the right way. 


  • Without using pricey professional carpet cleaning services, steam vacs are great for getting out stubborn stains in your carpets, such as bodily fluids or pet stains.
  • Using a steam vac isn’t very difficult, and anybody can set up and operate one so long as they look into the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • You can get an even better clean by using a carpet cleaning solution made for steam vacuums or a carpet deodorizer.

Use a Steam Vacuum Cleaner on Your Carpets

First, you’ll want to know how to use a steam vac, the same way you learned how to use a regular vacuum cleaner. Investing in a system for steam cleaning carpets is a big step since they can be pricey, and you shouldn’t take it lightly.

Insider Tip

Overall, steam cleaning systems are fantastic for almost any type of carpet.

How to Use a Steam Cleaner

Using a steam cleaner on your carpet is a pretty straightforward process. A lot of the directions will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions, however. Make sure you always read the documentation that comes with your vacuum, unless you’ve modified a vacuum using a water hose. You should also pay at tension to the directions of carpet manufacturers and what they have to say about steam cleaning their products. And don’t forget, you also need to know how to keep your vacuum smelling nice.

How a Steam Cleaner Works

A steam cleaner works in a few steps. It’s a straightforward process. Here is what your steam cleaner is doing when you turn it on to use it:

  • Water is quickly heated until it is boiling.
  • The created steam is pushed out through tiny holes in the head of the carpet.
  • Steam is then able to loosen whatever dirt and debris it comes into contact with.

Who Should Use Steam Cleaners

There are a few categories of people who would benefit from using steam cleaning regularly. If you have allergies, they’re great for removing common household allergens. If you have many pets or track a lot of mud in, then getting a portable model may be best. Overall, steam cleaning systems are fantastic for almost any type of carpet.


Investing in a system for steam cleaning carpets is a big step since they can be pricey, and you shouldn’t take it lightly.


Should you steam-clean your carpets?

You absolutely should. There are a plethora of health reasons, as well as just keeping your environment more sanitary. Keeping your carpets well maintained will extend their lifespan, too.

Should I use tap water for a steam mop?

Aim to use water with your steam cleaner vacuum that is either demineralized or distilled for best results. Hard water can present a problem due to the particles in the water. This can lead to your mop head getting clogged, which can cause the mop to be faulty or break altogether.

What kind of stains can carpet cleaners remove?

There is a vast range of stains that carpet cleaners can help with. Some of them are specifically formulated to take care of a specific type of stain. Here are some of the most common categories:

  • Liquid Spills
  • Food Stains
  • Ground-In Mud
  • Pet Messes
  • Bodily Fluids

Can carpet cleaners remove pet odors?

This depends on the severity of the mess. If you have left it for too long and urine has gotten into the padding underneath the carpet, it becomes much more challenging to do. Using a steam cleaner alongside a pet odor remover can be hugely beneficial.

STAT: HEPA filters will capture 99.97 percent of airborne particles, including pollutants and allergens, as long as they are above 0.3 microns in diameter. (source)

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