Steam Cleaners vs. Carpet Extraction Cleaners

Steam Cleaners vs. Carpet Extraction Cleaners

A “Steam cleaner” is what a lot of people refer to as carpet cleaners. You’d think a carpet extraction cleaner would be better to use due to its speciality and popularity in the past. However, steamers are becoming more popular day by day and can be used on a great range of surfaces. So could a steam cleaner take over a carpet cleaner? More specifically a cold carpet extractor. This blog will introduce the two cleaners and express their functions, strengths, and weaknesses. Throughout this blog, you will explore the debate of hot vs. cold machines and see which one best fits you.


The purpose of a carpet cleaner is to remove dirt, stains, and allergens from the carpet. A carpet cleaner composed of a pump/spray (injects water with pressure into the carpet), a solution tank (stores solution), scrubbing brushes (on some models – to scrub and loosen stains and dirt), and a vacuum (sucks and removes dirt, hairs and stains). At Cleaning Equipment Services we provide non-heated carpet extraction cleaners, thus this blog will mostly be focusing on this type of carpet cleaner. Focusing on non-heated carpet cleaners vs. steam cleaners may also give you a basic understanding of the pros and cons of using cold vs. hot carpet cleaners.


Healthier – by using cold extractor carpet cleaners, the chemicals stay within the carpet and do not evaporate into the air and your lungs which are unhealthy.

Cheaper – to buy and hire than a steam cleaner.

Safer – due to the extraction carpet cleaner being cold, it avoids the possibility of harmful injuries that can be caused such as burns. Also as it isn’t evaporating into the air which is less harmful to the lungs.

Faster – Carpet extraction cleaners can clean larger areas faster than steam cleaners


Limited – due to being specifically designed for carpets and upholstery, it is limited to only be used for that purpose.

Leaves the carpet wet – as the carpet extractor is not a heated product, unlike the steamer which generates hot steam, the carpet would be left to dry which can take hours.


A steam cleaner is water vapour used on various surfaces to loosen out dirt, stains, grease, and kill germs, mould, and more. A steam cleaner can work along with chemicals to boost a cleaner effect. However, by using high temperatures, the need for chemicals can be unnecessary.


More hygienic – due to the high temperatures of a steamer, it kills more bacteria and subsequently odours caused by the bacteria.

Requires less/no chemicals – the high heat can kill bacteria and moulds without requiring chemical substances.

Great for deep cleaning carpets – using the combination of heat and chemicals, it can deeply pick up dirt and stains that have sunk into the carpet. Your carpet is likely to look as good as new.

Can be used on multiple surfaces – a steam cleaner can clean on a wide range of surfaces such as all types of flooring, glass, furniture, appliances, etc.


Hazard – due to high temperatures to ensure maximum effectiveness, there is a chance you can injure and burn yourself. Awareness and understanding of how to use the tool safely will help avoid any injury.

No vacuum – Steam cleaners may not have a vacuum installed within the steamer, whereas the carpet cleaner does, meaning you’d use another vacuum to do the suction. However, steam cleaners with vacuums are accessibly out there. We also provide steam cleaners with the extra vacuum cleaner function that you can find here]

Slower – Steam cleaners perform a deeper clean, however, they need to be used more slowly than an extraction cleaner and so aren’t so good for larger areas of the floor.


Steam cleaners are becoming a more popular choice than carpet cleaners as they are efficient, require fewer chemicals, perform a thorough job, and are multifunctional. On the other hand, if you are looking for a healthier, safer, and cheaper option, the carpet extractor may be for you.

Check out the selection of steamers and carpet cleaners we have available to hire here

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