coffee spilled from orange cup

Does Steam Cleaning Remove Stains (+ Step By Step Guide)

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We’ve all had to deal with the occasional stain on our carpets especially after hosting a party. These stains can give you the stress of your life if not handled well and soon enough!

However, there is no reason to panic. Steam cleaning is highly effective in removing stains that found their way onto your clothes or carpet – if you know the different steps required for each type of stain removal.

But there’s a catch. To make sure you get rid of very stubborn stains like red wine, blood, or cat pee, you need to do some prepping. So today, I am going to walk you through these steps and also highlight the benefits of steam cleaning.

But first…

How Does Steam Cleaning Work on Stains?

Ever tried to hand-wash a greasy frying pan using cold or lukewarm water and detergent?

If yes, you’ll know just how futile it is. You can rub and scrub to your heart’s (dis)content to little or no effect.

Well, steam cleaning works by blowing extremely hot blasts of pressurized water vapor onto surfaces to disintegrate dirt, grime, and germs. Some steam cleaners come with a suction mechanism that kicks in to pull out all that filth afterward.

So basically, you have 3 things working together against the stain.

First, there’s the piping hot steam that breaks down the grease.

Second, there’s high pressure that forces the steam as deep into the material as possible. So no matter how thick your carpet or upholstery is, the hotness will whoosh in and dissolve the goo.

But those nasty little particles also need to get out, not just break down. That’s where the suction comes in.

Now, the problem is, not all steam cleaners have this suction mechanism. If yours doesn’t have it, you’ll need some more effort to finish the stain. (More on it later!)

Steam cleaning has been widely termed to be more efficient than other traditional cleaning methods as it gives your carpet that deep-cleaning solution you always wish for!

The best thing about it is that it’s eco-friendly since the process only uses water and doesn’t require you to add any chemical cleaners to get results. You can also bet that it’s faster and more affordable considering the value it brings to your home maintenance.

So Will Steam Cleaning Remove Stains From Your Carpet?

Steam cleaning offers the best solution for removing the mildest to the toughest stains from your carpet.

Its simple yet highly effective process works into carpet fibers to lift stains from wine spills, yogurt drips, ketchup drops, and whatnot with more or less ease!

Well, how can you go about it? Check out the steps below…

Step By Step Guide to Steam Cleaning Stains


  1. Remove furniture. Ensure that you declutter the space if there is any furniture atop your carpet. Creating more space gives you an easy time to move around and clean every spot.
  2. Use a vacuum to remove excess dirt, dander, or pet hair that may cause a messier stain when blasted with hot steam. 
  3. Pre-treat present stains using either vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, or cornstarch to break them apart. Spraying the stain and leaving it for 5 minutes before steam cleaning should do the trick!
  4. Use a soil emulsifier to loosen the soil that’s bound on your carpet. Once you’ve sprayed it, leave it for 5-10 minutes before adding some fabric shampoo on top. Brush these all over the stained spot to get all the deep-seated grit. (No need to rinse as the steam cleaner takes care of that)
stain on carpet


  1. Fill your steam cleaner’s water canister without exceeding the maximum capacity as doing so can cause the steam cleaner to malfunction.
  2. Plug your steam cleaner on the nearest power outlet so that you may cover the entire space easily.
  3. Let the water heat first to a point of vaporizing (normally 200 – 300 degrees Fahrenheit) to get the best cleaning temperatures.
  4. Steam your carpet. The best way is to start from one corner of your carpet to the opposite end and work your way in. Do NOT exert extra pressure on the steam cleaner and ensure that you do not walk over the already cleaned areas.
  5. Let the carpet dry. Open your windows and turn on your fan(s) to allow your carpet to dry faster before putting your furniture back on.

Are Stains Still Visible?

If stains marks are still visible after steam cleaning, then you should:

  1. Use water and dish soap to blot out the stain. Rinse and repeat until the stain is gone.
  2. You can also use vinegar to saturate the stained spot. Once sprayed on, leave it for 5-10 minutes before gently rubbing in circular motions to clean off the stain. Sponge-rinse it with water and also repeat until you’re satisfied. 

Note: If your steam cleaner doesn’t have a suction mechanism, then you may as well use a separate vacuum cleaner to suck away all the broken-down grime and dirt when cleaning.

Can Steam Cleaning Remove Stains From Your Clothes? Step By Step Guide

stain on clothes

Steam cleaning will also remove stains from your clothes without much hassle.

And the steps are also very simple!

  1. Take out your stained cloth and place it on a hanger.
  2. Fill your steam cleaner with water, turn it on, and allow it to heat.
  3. Fire the steamer to test the temperature and pressure. You can adjust these accordingly when they’re too high or too low.
  4. Point the nozzle 6 inches away from your cloth and steam away.
  5. With stubborn stains, you can move the nozzle closer to prove you mean business!
  6. Repeat the steps until you’re satisfied with the results.
  7. If the stain’s still there, use a 50:50 mixture of distilled water and white vinegar instead. Follow the same steps above and you’ll get the results you’re looking for!

Note: Check whether your clothes’ fabric has been cleared for steam cleaning on their labels. This is because some materials may react to the hot steam produced and end up compromising the quality of your garment.

Benefits of Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is awesome because:

  1. It’s very fast.
  2. Great against all stains.
  3. Extends your carpet’s lifespan.
  4. It offers a fantastic way of removing odors from your favorite carpets and fabrics.
  5. It removes stubborn pests, like fleas, that may have been brought into your carpet by pets.
  6. It’s safe for pets and children since there are no chemicals involved.
  7. It’s cheaper than most cleaning methods.

What else can steam cleaners clean?

Steam cleaning also does wonders when cleaning:

  • Acidic stains
  • Tiles, ceramic, porcelain, and other hard floors
  • Limescale from shower rooms
  • Ceiling fans
  • Exterior walls, clevises, and pavements


How does a steam cleaner remove stains from carpet?

Steam cleaners use highly pressurized hot water vapor to remove and blow dirt, grime, and germs from your carpet.

It’s very fast, precise, and only uses water as the active ingredient (other users may include organic fragrances to bring a different scent after cleaning).

Why should you steam clean your carpet instead of vacuum?

Steam cleaning is better than vacuuming because it gives a deeper cleaning solution.

Vacuums only remove superficial dust or dirt while steam cleaners also take care of stains and fully nourish your clothes, curtain, and carpet fibers, making them look fresh and new!

Do steam cleaners work on all surfaces?

Steam cleaning works superbly on most surfaces. Examples of materials that may get affected by steam cleaning include silk, waxed jackets, and so on.

On the other hand, most cotton fabrics are not affected and give the best after-clean results!

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