Professional carpet cleaning technician using steam cleaner on white carpeting

As a homeowner, keeping your carpet clean seems like a never-ending war. All carpet fibers trap dirt particles, pet dander, dust, and other detritus. You can get rid of some of it with regular vacuuming, but what’s leftover and can’t be sucked up by vacuuming will accumulate. That means your carpet continues getting dirty over time even though you vacuum regularly. Deep cleaning your carpet annually helps maintain a relatively germ-free environment for you and your loved ones. But if you’re like many homeowners, you’re not quite sure which method – steam or shampoo – is the best to go with. Before scheduling Boulder carpet cleaning, educate yourself about the differences between the two so you can make an informed decision.


Steam cleaning is a preferred method because it only utilizes heat and high-pressure water or steam to get rid of heavy dirt and other particles. Professional steam carpet cleaners will use a truck-mounted steam cleaning machine to inject heated water and steam into the dirtied carpet. The high pressure and high-temperature combination successively extricate particles that cling to carpet fibers. Newer commercial steam cleaners feature an agitation component to dislodge deep-set particles. A powerful vacuum then removes the loosened particles and the moisture.


When professional truck-mounted cleaning services are used, steam carpet cleaning is a good way to remove deep-set dirt. It’s even better at removing mildew and mold. Thanks to the power of commercial-grade carpet cleaning equipment, larger quantities of water and dirt are removed than what is expected from a consumer-grade carpet you can rent. Also, the required drying time is minimal, and walking across the carpet if it’s still wet shouldn’t result in related staining. Steam cleaning is an effective means to revitalize carpeting and to lengthen its lifespan, but it’s not always the best at getting rid of deep or stubborn stains from damaged carpets and rugs.

What else should you know about steam carpet cleaning? Keep in mind the following:

  • It's an all-natural method that only uses heat and water.
  • Bacteria, germs, and allergens are killed thanks to the high temperature, while the carpet is disinfected at the same time.
  • Pests and their eggs are killed by Boulder steam carpet cleaning.
  • No residue remains because only hot vapor is utilized in the cleaning process.
  • Carpeting takes less time to dry because only steam and limited moisture is utilized.


Cleaning carpeting with shampoo requires the use of a shampoo cleaning machine. The machine normally includes a reservoir that holds water and the cleaning solution and an empty tank that gets filled as dirt and water are sucked out of the carpeting. Some machines heat the water during usage and inject the water-cleaning solution into the carpet with the touch of a button and vacuum it up when you let go of the button or switch.

Before using a shampoo carpet cleaning machine, you must vacuum the carpet to eliminate loose dirt, then again once the carpet has dried.


If you’re an average consumer, you see shampoo-based cleaning machines for sale or rent nearly everywhere you look. In some cases, these kinds of carpet cleaning machines may work well.

Generally, such cleaners work well for heavily soiled carpets and when removing loose dirt that’s rooted in the carpet. And, as we already mentioned, they can be rented from just about every kind of store imaginable for anywhere from a few hours to a day or longer. Of course, shampoo carpet cleaning has a few drawbacks.

Frequent scrubbing with a shampoo carpet cleaner can harm and weaken the carpet fibers, especially when soap residue stays behind in the carpet and soaks up more dust and dirt. Finally, using a shampoo-based carpet cleaner means you need to allow for significant drying time – often overnight.

What else should you know about shampoo carpet cleaning? Keep in mind the following:

  • The shampooing process requires a solution made of multiple cleaning agents.
  • Heated water isn't always used, so allergens and germs may not be eliminated.
  • It gets rid of pests but not their eggs.
  • The chemical residue sometimes remains behind.
  • The carpet is soaked with water, resulting in several hours or days to fully dry, meaning the carpeted area can’t be used.


Like so many other potential DIY chores around your home, choosing the right carpet cleaning method often boils down to personal choice. If you remembered at the last minute, for instance, that you need to clean the carpet in a guest bedroom for an overnight visitor, you may not think you have the time to schedule an appointment with a Boulder carpet cleaning professional. Some consumers also feel money is an issue and sometimes make the rash decision of using a shampoo cleaning rental machine because it appears to cost less in the short term – but is it really less expensive if you’re not happy with the results?

Even though our recommendation is to go with professional steam carpet cleaning, you should try shampooing your carpet if it's heavily soiled and decide for yourself if the effort was worth your time and money.


Steve’s Carpet Care has been a leading Boulder and Westminster area carpet cleaner for more than 40 years. We’ve served hundreds of satisfied residential and business customers during that time, and pride ourselves on affordability and using cleaning methods that won’t harm your carpeting, dirty tile or stained upholstry. Call us today at 303-530-4900 for more information.

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