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How to Steam Clean to Remove Odor & Stains

Steam cleaners are similar to vacuum cleaners, but they use hot steam to deeply penetrate carpeting and remove stains that a vacuum cleaner simply cannot do. To remove odor and stains, you need to combine the water in the steam cleaner with a few inexpensive household items that will remove stains, kill bacteria, plus remove odor in the carpeting.


  1. Sprinkle the carpeting with a dusting of baking soda one hour before cleaning. The baking soda is a natural odor absorber that will get the work started on removing unpleasant smells.
  2. Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the fluid canister of the steam cleaner. The vinegar will dissolve stains plus kill bacteria in the carpeting.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the fluid canister as well. This will clean and deodorize the carpeting.
  4. Pour two tablespoons of laundry detergent into the fluid canister, too. The detergent works to clean the carpet the same way it would to clean clothing, plus leaves the carpeting with a clean, laundry-fresh scent.
  5. Pour hot water into the canister until you reach the fill line. Place the canister into the steam cleaner, turn on, and allow steam to develop.
  6. Run the steam cleaner over the carpeting as you would with a vacuum cleaner. Move the steam cleaner in slow, even strokes, then pull backwards to clean all carpet fibers thoroughly. Spend extra time on heavy stains, moving the steam cleaner back and forth on the area until the entire stain has been removed.

Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Laundry detergent

About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.