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Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?

If you love steam cleaning your carpets and hard floors, you’ll know how well it works to give your home a thorough clean. A steam cleaner avoids the use of toxic chemicals and relies on steam alone to clean, sanitize, and freshen up surfaces around the home.

Does a steam cleaner really remove dirt effectively? A steam cleaner uses pressurized hot steam that dislodges dirt and debris from surfaces, so it does work well to clean up your home, plus it requires less effort on your part.

That said, steam cleaners are surrounded by a bit of a mystery. You might be wondering where all that dirt goes when you steam clean your home. Read on to find out everything you need to know about steam cleaners, how they work, and how they eliminate dirt. 


How Does A Steam Cleaner Actually Work? 

How Does A Steam Cleaner Actually Work? 

Before we look at where dirt goes when you steam clean your home, it helps to know how a steam cleaning device actually works.

A steam cleaner heats up water so that it’s very hot and this produces vapor. The pressurized steam gets forced out of an attachment of the steam cleaner, such as a brush or nozzle, so that it can be directed to where you need it.

It works to loosen dirt and debris, and the high temperature kills germs. What’s great about steam cleaners is that they don’t require any suction power.

Their hot vapor and moisture dry up quickly, so you can walk on the floor soon after cleaning it instead of having to wait a long time for it to dry. This also prevents unpleasant odors and mold from forming on damp carpets.

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean Your Home?

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean Your Home?

This is a common question and concern when it comes to using steam cleaners. The interesting thing is that the dirt doesn’t actually go anywhere. Instead, it remains in the areas of the home where you have used the steam cleaner.

This is why you have to clean up the debris that the steam cleaner has loosened otherwise you won’t remove the dirt from your home. 

Some types of steam cleaners on the market come with a mop or microfiber-cloth pad attachments that collect the dirt which the steam cleaner loosens. Some steam cleaners have terry cloth attachments that also help to remove dirt after a cleaning session.

There are also models that come with actual mops so that you can remove the dirt in the same way you’d use a regular mop. This enables you to pick up the dirt so it can be eliminated from your home. 

How To Remove Dirt After Steam Cleaning

How To Remove Dirt After Steam Cleaning

When removing dirt that’s been loosened by steam cleaning, you have various options available to you if your steam cleaner doesn’t have a convenient attachment to help you out.

Note that even if your steam cleaner does, it might battle to remove thick dirt, so you will have to remove it manually. Here are some easy ways in which to do so.

  • Use a cloth. This is an easy way to remove the dirt, whether it’s loose debris or thicker dirt that’s accumulated on the floor. Make sure you choose a microfiber cloth as this will capture more dust and dirt from your surfaces.
  • Use your vacuum cleaner. If you’ve steam cleaned your carpets and/or furniture, you can vacuum clean them afterward to remove any leftover dirt. For increased convenience, some steam cleaners come with a vacuum feature. If you’ve steam cleaned your carpets, vacuuming them afterward is a good idea. This is because it will remove dirt deposits that can penetrate your carpet. However, make sure that the carpet is properly dry before you use your vacuum to clean it.

Pro tip: It’s a good idea to remove the dirt that’s been loosened by the steam cleaner before the moisture dries. This will make it easier to do and it will also keep your floors protected against scratches from the loose debris. That said, note that dry vapor steam cleaners don’t leave any moisture on surfaces because they produce low-moisture vapor. This dries very quickly, so you have to move faster! 

Related Questions

What surfaces can you steam clean?

You can steam clean a variety of surfaces, such as vinyl, polyurethaned wood, laminate, and tile. You can also find steam cleaners that can clean mattresses, curtains, and upholstery for increased versatility.

What should you not steam clean?

What should you not steam clean?

You should avoid using a steam cleaner on unsealed floors, such as cork, hardwood, and unglazed tile. Moisture and steam can damage them. You should also avoid steam cleaning painted walls.

Does steam cleaning remove stains?

Steam cleaning does remove stains, but how well it does this depends on the type of stain you’re dealing with. Some stains can bond with fibers in carpets and this makes them tougher to remove, so you might need a stronger cleaning solution to eliminate them. 


If you want to start steam cleaning your home, that’s a good way to keep your home clean and hygienic. A steam cleaner uses hot steam to loosen dirt and dust, and it doesn’t require the use of potentially harmful floor cleaning chemicals.

However, you might find yourself wondering where the dirt goes after you’ve used a steam cleaning device on your floors and surfaces.

In this article, we’ve provided you with information about where the dirt actually goes and whether or not you have to manually clean it.