Your carpet is an integral part of your home—and probably one of the most challenging parts to clean. Dirt, dust, pet dander, and viruses get trapped up in those fibers, but unlike dirt or pet hair, you can’t exactly vacuum up all the bacteria. Both steam cleaning and shampooing can help keep your house clean, but when it comes to killing viruses, which is better?

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What is Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning is also known as hot water extraction. As the name suggests, it will help clean your carpeting using steam. Basically, water is heated until it’s almost steaming and applied to your carpeting. When the hot water goes through all the carpet layers, all of the stains are lifted, and you can vacuum away the dirt and solution.

This is a cleaning method that you will certainly need a professional for. That’s because the water needs to be pressurized, and all that pressure plus the heat is what removes the dirt in your carpeting.

What is Carpet Shampooing?

Carpet shampooing is similar in some ways. It works by using high temperature and high-pressure water to remove dirt from your carpeting, with the only significant difference being that carpet shampoo is used too.

The carpet shampoo is usually a foam cleaning agent, although what type of shampoo you use will depend on the professional that you’re working with. The shampoo is applied to your carpeting using a cleaning machine that scrubs it in before your professional uses hot water to rinse it out. To prevent the water from sitting in your carpeting, they use a powerful vacuum to remove it.

Which Treatment Kills the Most Viruses?

Both of these options will definitely clean your carpeting, but even if your carpeting looks clean, the real question is whether there are still viruses and bacteria left in your carpet fibers. You want to make sure everything is clean especially with COVID, influenza, and the usual common cold.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaners are touted as an effective way to clean and disinfect your carpets. Various health agencies recommend steam cleaning your carpeting to get rid of pathogens and allergens sitting in your carpeting.

That’s because this method cleans deeply using hot water, which kills bacteria, allergens, parasites, and germs sitting in your carpeting. This includes any stains like pet urine. It’s also eco-friendly and doesn’t require you to worry much about drying the carpeting afterward.

Carpet Shampooing

Because shampooing also uses hot water, it will still work to provide a deep level of cleanness. That means that it will still work to disinfect your carpeting and provide some deodorization as well. It can even remove some stains that steam cleaning can’t quite get.

The only problem with this method is that there’s so much more water used in this method, which isn’t immediately removed. This will force you to spend more time waiting for it to fully dry. There may also be more residue left in the carpeting, which means more bacteria left along with it or clinging to it more easily in the months to come. 

The Better Option

Ultimately, when it comes to getting rid of viruses and bacteria, you will want to use steam cleaning since it gets hot, pressurized water right into your carpeting, and will not leave your carpeting wet.


You might want to look into steam cleaning to get your carpeting cleaned and free of all viruses. While both steam cleaning and shampooing will get your carpet cleaned, if you want to ensure that your carpeting is properly sanitized and dried too, call us today, and we’ll help you give your carpet a thorough clean with hot water extraction.