Where Does the Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?

Steam cleaning is a way of trading harsh chemicals with steam to deep clean your surfaces.

It is used to banish stains from upholstery, carpets, grout lines, and bathrooms, and emulsifies grease on the stovetop. It has endless uses of cleaning, including sanitizing and killing germs and deadly bacteria.

However, many people wonder where does the dirt go when you steam clean?

Does it evaporate into thin air?

Does it just spread here and there or absorbs in the carpet once again?

Where Does the Dirt Go When You Steam CleanWhere Does the Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?

The dirt doesn’t simply disappear into thin air. Instead, the steam from steam cleaner loosens the bonding that adheres dirt to surfaces. It is what steam does – loosens the dirt, and the work of the steam ends here.

Now, the dirt can be removed from the surface in any of the three ways. It depends on the type of vacuum cleaner or attachment you are using.

  1. Dirt is absorbed into the microfiber cloth or removable towel that is attached with a mop head.
  2. If you are not using a microfiber pad attachment, it will leave residue behind. After that, this dirty water needs to be wiped down.
  3. Some steam cleaners suck the moisture and dirt with high-pressure back into the dirty water reservoir. Then, the dirty water can be flushed.

The dirt removal depends on what kind of steam cleaner and accessories you are using, and type of surface you are cleaning.

Steam Cleaners with a Microfiber Pad Attachment

Steam Cleaner with Microfiber Pad AttachmentSome steam cleaners have a microfiber pad attachment that absorbs the dirt into it. This attachment is commonly found in steam mops.

You need to change it more often and keep an extra pad at hand if the first cloth gets dirty. You can also attach any towel or rag for cleaning.

Some handheld cleaners and upholstery cleaners also come with microfiber cloth attachments that absorb the dirt.

Where Does The Dirt Go if You Are Not Using Microfiber Cloth?

You may need to use detailed brushes, stainless scrubber, jet nozzles, or any other cleaning accessory, depending on our activity.

These accessories are for various purposes such as steam cleaning tiles and grout, eliminating grease from kitchen appliances, and cleaning sanitary fixtures, etc.

The steam from the steam cleaner melts the dirt from the surface and leaves the dirty water. This dirty water needs to be wiped from the cleaning cloth or microfiber cloth manually.

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Clean the Carpet With a Steam Cleaner?

Steam Cleaning the CarpetWe use a different type of steam or carpet cleaners while cleaning the carpet because you can’t remove the dirt by simply steam cleaning the carpet with a microfiber pad attachment.

To extract the dirt effectively, a different method is used that is called a hot water extractor. The term steam cleaning is also used for the hot extraction method; in actuality, it works on a different principle.

The main difference between them is the temperature. Steam cleaners use high temperature to turn water into steam. This steam enters into the pores of the surfaces and weakens the dirt, and melts the grime. It is how steam cleaners work.

In hot water extraction, the temperature is not as high as turning it into steam. And the method begins by spraying a cleaning solution on the carpet. After that, it is agitated by a counter-rotating brush (CRB). The brush type is chosen according to the material of the carpet.

This hot water or cleaning solution is then applied to the soiled carpet. The hot water loosens the grime, and then a powerful vacuum extracts the dirt.

The dirty water is then accumulated into a reservoir. You will notice the full line indicating that it’s time to empty the reservoir which you can flush into a toilet or sink.

Vapor Steam Cleaner or Dry Steam Cleaner

Vapor Steam CleanerThe type of steam cleaning that doesn’t leave behind lots of water except condensation is called vapor steam cleaner. It delivers dry vapor. Here, dry simply means that the steam ratio is significantly higher than water. For example: 95% vapor and only 5% water.

And what happens to the dirt when you are using a dry steam cleaner?

The answer is simple: you wipe it down, and it’s fairly easy as it doesn’t leave a lot of moisture behind.

Now, let’s understand the scientific logic behind it.

The steam in dry steam cleaner depends on the pressure of steam coming out of the nozzle. The higher the pressure, the more volume of steam will be released. Once this high-pressured steam hits the surface, it will create condensation, and you will see the water molecules or dampness on the surface.

If you want a dry surface or less condensation/dampness, you can lower the pressure that is being released from the nozzle.

This dry steam clean cleaner removes dirt from the surface, and you can wipe down the dirt and moisture easily.

Another significant benefit of these steam cleaners is that they are highly effective in eliminating microbial contaminants. It also helps in removing the urine odor of your pets in carpets and couches.

Here you can read a comprehensive guide on How to Choose a Right Steam Cleaner

According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) research, dry steam cleaning reduces the level of house dust and mite allergens in carpets.

Conclusion

No matter what type of steam cleaner you use, the manufacturers have carefully thought of ways to extract the dirt from the surface. Depending on the cleaning task, accessories, or steam cleaner type, you will either need to wipe away the dirt and moisture. Or the powerful suctioning process will lift out all the dirty water, which you can later dispose of anywhere.

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