You probably vacuum your carpets on a weekly basis like most people but you also know that a deep clean is still needed. Without a thorough Tampa carpet cleaning service, you might find your carpet filled with dirt and stains that can’t be so easily removed with just vacuuming.

If you’re looking to give your carpets a better clean, you’re probably wondering: is it better to shampoo or to steam clean carpets? Both methods work well, but we’ll give you the low down on which method is better.

Is It Better to Shampoo or Steam Clean Carpets?

The straight answer is: you’ll want to go with steam cleaning over shampooing, if only because this is the option that works well and is the most practical. 

It’s likely that you’re not cleaning a huge chunk of carpeting regularly, after all, and if your carpet doesn’t have a lot of heavy stains on it, you don’t need the shampooing either.

Your best bet will be steam cleaning, and here’s why.

Steam Cleaning vs. Shampooing: Effort Involved

Steam cleaning is often preferred by many people because it’s such a simple method. It uses water and steam to get to the dirt. Then you only need to vacuum up that dirt to get rid of it. Finally, you only have to wait for the carpet to dry before you walk across it.

The only real issue with steam cleaning is that it doesn’t reach deep stains very well as compared to shampooing. 

Shampooing the carpeting will use water just like the steam cleaning with the additional element of the shampoo, which helps to bring dirt to the surface before you need to scrub it away. 

If you shampoo your carpet though, not only does it need to be rinsed with hot water too, but that moisture needs to be extracted as well. You can’t just let it dry as you would do with steam cleaning

Ultimately, this makes steam cleaning easier, with less effort involved in the process. If you don’t have deep stains or a lot of stains, you’d be better off not trying to mess with the shampoo.

Cleaning Power

Ultimately, you can rest assured that you are getting a lot of cleaning power with both of these methods. Your carpeting will no doubt be cleaner regardless of the method, but with steam cleaning, you’re killing bacteria and germs along with stains. 

You can’t clean stains that are too deep, but you can prevent further dirt from rising to the surface.

You can also get rid of the eggs of pests when you use steam cleaning as well, because of the high temperature. This all-natural method might just benefit you more in the long term.

Cleaning Agents

This is one of the biggest differences between the two: what you clean with. 

When you’re steaming your carpeting, you’re only using steam and water to get the job done. When you’re shampooing your carpeting though, you’re likely using a chemical agent to help bring the dirt to the surface and remove it.


Steam cleaning and shampooing both use water to clean your carpet, but shampooing uses a lot more moisture. This means that it can take as long as 48 hours for your carpet to dry once you’re done with the shampooing process. 

By contrast, when you only steam clean your carpet, you’re using a lot less water and your carpet will therefore be dry in just a few hours. Especially if you have a family running around or you need to walk on your carpet again, you might prefer a shorter cleaning time.


When choosing between steam cleaning and shampooing your carpet, you really can’t go wrong with both, but steam cleaning would be the better option. It removes more unseen pests and dirt, and can handle heavy-duty cleaning without making you wait long for drying. 

You may not be able to get some deep stains, but you can get a great, disinfecting clean without any chemicals left behind.