Main Differences Between Steam Cleaner And Carpet Shampooer

Best Buy Steam Cleaners is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you love laying carpets all-around your house, you have got a good aesthetic sense.

These carpets give your place a sense of style, warmth, and comfort. But when these carpets get dirty and a lot of accumulation of dust, dirt, soil, food, and some sticky particles make stains on them, your biggest concern is to clean them. 

For cleaning purposes, there are wide options that may confuse your selection. Whether you want to have a carpet cleaner (also known as carpet shampooer) or a steam cleaner, you must know the difference between them.

Knowing a complete comparison of steam cleaner vs carpet cleaner can not only clear your concept, but you can also decide which one you must opt for.

The main difference between a steam cleaner and the carpet cleaner is the technology they use. A carpet cleaner is a chemical detergent that cleans a carpet with the help of brushes using water whereas a steam cleaner uses a steam mechanism without needing any harsh chemicals or detergents.

You might still want to know the difference between a steam cleaner and a carpet cleaner along with the technology they use and their pros/cons of them.
To solve this query our expert’s team have written down a complete guide of the difference, benefits, and disadvantages of having them. Also knowing the pros and cons of steam cleaner vs carpet cleaner can help you buy one among them. 

So without further delay let’s start. 

Comparison Between Steam Cleaner and Carpet Cleaner

The Working Method of Carpet Cleaners 

A carpet cleaner is a chemical solution or a detergent that is used to remove dirt, dust, stains, allergens, and washes your carpet while using water. Another name of Carpet cleaner is Carpet Shampooer.

The carpet cleaners usually work by using warm water and a cleaning detergent for cleaning. This cleaner makes a dry foam and spreads it on your carpet and the brushes present under the cleaner scrub the dirt to loosen. Then applying suction completely removes the dirt from the carpet. 

The Working Method of Steam Cleaner 

 A steam cleaner is a device that uses steam from the hot water to remove the dirt, stains, from your carpet and completely disinfect it.

The steam cleaner usually works by using the hot water steam. It passes the steam through your carpet and loosens the dirt than by using a vacuum removes the dirt from the carpet. The water pressure forces the dirt particles to leave the surface and the vacuum sucks the particles. Some steam cleaners also use cold water and then boil the water before use. 

Although both the carpet cleaners and the steam cleaners are used for cleaning and removing dirt, they are different from each other in some factors. Let’s have a look at how they differ from each other. 

Cleaning Method 

A steam cleaner differs from a carpet cleaner in the cleaning method as well. One uses detergents and brushes for cleaning the dirt while the second doesn’t use both of these elements and uses steam instead. 

Use of Chemicals 

Another major difference between both types of cleaners is the involvement of chemicals. Carpet cleaners are chemical-based while steam cleaners are based on steam mechanisms. So anyone looking for a chemical-free method for their expensive carpets can opt for a steam cleaner or vice versa. 

Killing the Germs 

The killing of germs is also an important difference between these carpets and steam cleaners. 

The carpet cleaners are mostly used to remove dirt, solid, and stains. They also remove germs but not so effectively as the temperature of this method is not as high to kill dangerous germs. 

While the steam cleaners work at high temperatures and use steam for cleaning purposes. They are mostly used to kill harmful bacteria and other germs from your carpets, and floors. It usually cleans 99% of germs. 

Cleaning Time 

Both the cleaners also differ based on their washing time and ease of use. As we don’t have a whole day to clean a carpet, steam cleaner gives quick results.

The washing time of the carpet cleaners is 24 hours. They usually take a whole day to clean your carpet. 

On the other hand, the washing time of the steam cleaners is 6 hours. As compared to a carpet cleaner, the steam cleaner is easy to operate.  

Time for Drying 

The drying time of both the cleaners is also different from each other. 

The drying time for the carpet cleaners is between 3 to 24 hours. This drying time usually depends on the amount of moisture absorbed by the carpet and the size of your carpet. 

But the drying time for steam cleaners is 15 minutes only. This is because they use steam for washing and it evaporates easily in a short time. 


Along with all the above differences, the cost of the cleaners makes them different. 

The cost of carpet cleaners is low because of the use of detergent and warm water. While the steam cleaners are quite expensive because of the use of high-pressure steam at high temperatures and the cost of devices well. 

Benefits of Carpet Cleaners 

The carpets cleaners offer you a large number of benefits that make your life easy and enable you to clean your carpet without any difficulty. Some important benefits are given below: 

  • Used for extremely dirty carpets.
  • Deeply clean your carpets with brushes. 
  • They can clean large-sized carpets. 
  • Remove stains and allergens. 
  • They are usually cheap. 

Disadvantages of Carpet Cleaners 

Carpets cleaners also have some disadvantages such as: 

  • Quite bulky and difficult to operate 
  • Brushes can damage your carpet 
  • Large washing and drying time
  • Germs killing is not effective 
  • Use of chemicals  

Benefits of Steam Cleaners 

Just like carpet cleaners steam cleaners also have some important benefits that make them the best option for cleaning purposes. The versatility of the device is also an important thing. You can not only steam clean the walls but also use a handheld carpet steamer in case you want cleaning while standing. 

 So before buying the best carpet steamers, see the advantages below. 

  • Effective germs killing 
  • Don’t use chemicals 
  • Small washing time and drying time
  • They are versatile 

Disadvantages of Steam Cleaners 

The disadvantages of the steam cleaners are also given below.

  • Not suitable for extremely dirty carpets 
  • Hard to operate 
  • Work at high temperature ‘
  • Not suitable for large-sized carpets 
  • Expensive 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ’s)

Does steam cleaning remove carpet stains? 

Yes! The steam cleaning can remove stains from your carpet, but they are not much suitable for stain removals. Sometimes, the stains are left behind on the carpets even after steam cleaning. 

Are steam cleaners suitable for carpets? 

Yes! The steam cleaners are a good option for carpets because they use only steam for removing stains, dirt, and dust from your carpets. They didn’t use any kind of chemicals and kept your carpet safe. 

How do you remove old stains from carpets? 

One of the most simple and effective methods for removing the old stains is by using baking soda and vinegar. Simply spread the baking soda on the stained surface and add vinegar mixture water and dishwashing soap on it. Leave for a little time and clean your carpet. 

Can professional carpet cleaners remove old stains? 

The professional carpet cleaners can remove the dirt, dust, and even old stains from your carpets by using some advanced cleaning agents for cleaning solvents. 

Bottom Line

Well, now you completely understand the difference between carpet cleaners and steam cleaners. Whether you want to have a carpet cleaner for cars or a steamer for grout, choose them wisely. You know all about the benefits, disadvantages, and working methods of both the cleaners and can easily differentiate between them. Both the cleaning methods are effective in their way. And you can easily select the best one for you based on your requirements. The carpet cleaners are mostly suitable for large and very dirty carpets you can also have dry carpet cleaners for delicate surfaces. But the steam cleaners are mostly used for removing dust and killing germs in your carpets. 


Leave a Comment