Does Steam Cleaning Remove Odors? Best practices

Are you struggling with stubborn odors in your home? With home remedies failing, you’re now considering giving steam cleaning a chance to get the job done, right? But does steam cleaning remove odors? 

The answer is yes! Steam cleaning does wonders when paired with proper treatment. This powerful cleaning method uses high-temperature steam to penetrate deep into surfaces and materials, helping to remove dirt, grime, mold, and bacteria that traditional cleaning methods may miss.

Stay focused thorough out this post there is an efficient fix for your problem, whether it’s the smell of your furry friend’s accidents on the carpet, ever-lasting nicotine ashes in your couch, or pungent musty odors emerging from your clothes.  

Does Steam Cleaning Remove Odors from the Carpet?

Hot water extraction aka steam cleaning greatly reduces the stinking odors of pet urine from your carpets. The high temperature of steam destroys and prevents the growth of microorganisms (emitting unpleasant sour odors) including bacteria, mildew, and mold in your water-flooded wet carpets.

Depending on the intensity of foul stench you can choose one of two options. 

  • DIY (Limited supply of carpet cleaning equipment)
  • Outsource the job to some cleaning company (They are normally equipped with truck mount forums).
Does Steam Cleaning Remove Odors?

Certainly, the option for a multi-pet household is the latter.

How to Clean Carpet with Steam Cleaner?

If you are wondering how to steam clean a carpet with a steam mop to remove odors, the process is deciphered below. Before we start, understand that steam cleaning alone can’t achieve the desired results!

First Step

You’ll want to thoroughly vacuum the carpet to get rid of small particles like dirt and debris.

Second Step

Treating your house/car with the below-mentioned solutions will do half of the job. We’ll share three different types of remedies. You can use any of those or all, depending on the intensity of the odor.

Remedy 1

Mixture preparation: ¼ cup of the concentrated urine stain and odor remover + Pre Spray 4 cups.

How to apply? Spray the mixture and dwell for 15 minutes, it is done for hydrophobic action

Suitable Implementation: In houses with pet odors 

Remedy 2

Mixture Preparation: 1 cup of baking soda + 10-15 drops of any essential oil + Two tablespoons of the borax if you have it. This technique is pretty universal. 

How to Apply? 

Sprinkle the mixture over the surface and do an even coating. Let it rest for almost 20 minutes – 2 hours. (Avoid the area with kids and pets, it works great if you don’t have pets or newborns/kids).

Suitable Application: Wet smell of the flooded carpet.

Baking soda is safe for the vacuum, don’t forget to cleanse your vacuum. 

What if the smell doesn’t go away? After checking remedy 2 now is the time to move to the third fix.

Remedy 3

Fill a plate of vinegar and leave it in the room for a few hours. If nothing works then hand the job over to professionals.

Fun fact: Vinegar can be used to unclog the steaming head.

Third Step

After applying one of the aforementioned solutions you would want a carpet-cleaning roller brush.

  • It forces the pre-spray into carpet fibers
  • Removes pet danders & debris that the vacuum may not be able to pull out. 

P.S.: For higher efficiency in cleaning, hiring a professional is not a bad idea because they use (a counter-rotating brush). It is used for scrubbing the carpets, it is pair of brushes moving anticlockwise toward each other, 

  • A counter-rotating brush works like cld brushes for carpets. 
  • Adjusts high-traffic soil spots
Does Steam Cleaning Remove Odors from the Carpet?

Fourth Step

Now is the time to bring in the main player of this game. Use the steam cleaner twice on the carpet which will destroy the microorganisms (using high-temperature steam) eliminating the foul smells. Tip: Start by cleaning the closets and behind the doors.

Fifth Step

Set up the air movers to speed up the drying process.

Once you have completed this thorough cleaning process avoid foot traffic in this cleaned area for 48 hours and feel the luxury of odor free pleasant environment in the house around. 

Does Steam Cleaning Remove Odors from the Couch?

steam cleaning is a great way to remove odors. Let’s walk you through the process of cleaning a couch properly to dampen the smells after a steaming session. 

How Steaming Removes Odor from the Couch?

This steam cleaning session is carried out in the following steps.

  • Every steam cleaning job always starts with vacuuming the fabric. 
  • Apply baking soda powder or spray if you want the job done quickly.

Prepare the spray by mixing 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a warm water spray bottle with a few drops of essential oil. 

Essential oils help to conceal odors. While baking soda leaves a light layer on the surface to start neutralizing the odors. 

You need to be careful about the proportion of each so that oil is not overwhelming and baking soda doesn’t leave a residue, simply it is a hit-and-try approach. You need to be more careful in the case of a couch instead of a carpet. 

Do Not Spill Steam Droplets on Rug

  • Before Sanitizing with steam take the carpets out. Remove floor rugs off of the floor before cleaning the couch or seats so that debris or liquid after hot water extraction cleaning does not fall on the carpets and stain them or create some foul smell there later on. 
  • Move the steamer head quickly on the sofa fabric and do it more often. 

Because couch fabric is in a hatch pattern you need to follow these movements. Cover all possible angles to steam clean the bacteria and mildew. 

up down, left-right, and both diagonals

Triangle Nozzle for Best Results

  • For getting optimum results use the triangle nozzle for deep cleaning.
  • Give it time to dry.

Baking soda won’t be enough if the smell is pungent. After using the baking soda apply another diy spray solution.

½ tablespoon dish soap + ¼ cup of white vinegar + ¾ cup of water 

Rember vinegar is acidic and harms the delicate material. Test the vinegar solution first on some unobtrusive areas before using it. 

Add on: If you can rent out an ozone machine and put it for 6-8 hours in the room you can greatly reduce any pet pee, kids’ vomit or yogurt spills smells from the couch. 

Does Steam Cleaning Remove Odors from Couch


You can save yourself from mistakes by doing this.

  1. Cover the steamer nozzle with a white terry towel. So that couch padding doesn’t get wet or towel dye doesn’t bleed into the couch.  Don’t use microfiber towels that are dyed. 
  2. Do not steam that part of a couch which are affixed with glue, because melted glue can settle again and deform the couch fabric. 

Does Steam Remove Odors from Clothes?

A handheld steamer doesn’t only work for removing wrinkles. A few out there in the market have an odor-removal feature too. Does steaming clothes really get rid of smells like sweat and cat pee? Yes, those who have already tried this out might feel skeptical about this feature which most brands claim. 

Here’s the drill: you need to move the steam cleaner over and over again 5-10 times to get the desired results. I tried it on one of my shirts using Beautural, my shirt was smelling like a cat pee which was playing me up. Fortunately, it went away after steaming the shirt over and over again. After doing a few smells didn’t banish completely, although the foul smelling fainted.

Does Steam Cleaning Remove Pet Odors?

Steam cleaning is a hot topic when it comes to odor removal. Now the question is whether are they strong enough to remove the pet urine smell from the carpet. The simple answer is NO, it hasn’t proven successful. However, deep cleaning is inevitable if you are one who can’t live with such smells. 

Unfortunately in severe conditions, you might need to change the whole carpet. If you have rented out a new property and this is not the option for you (use the pet and odor remover, they just work fine). Then follow the below procedure. 

If you have tried upt (urine pee-treaters), deodorizers, enzyme bases & home remedies, and pungent smells are still there now is the time to peel off the carpet. 

What actually you will notice is that the pee spots circle underneath. It got into the latex backing of the carpet (which is the glue that holds everything together). In places where upts were used, you won’t notice any urine circles. Still, you need to take care of the rest. 

In such a situation workable fix will be going from the bottom to the top. Taking the carpets and padding out, washing and sealing the concrete underneath. It is gonna have a cure time of 48 hours. 

This process comes with a higher cost. You might need a new pad, the same carpet might serve the purpose (after pressure washing).

Does Steam Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Car?

Yes, steam cleaning with shampooing can get rid of the smoke smell in the car mainly. The smoke smell is really disturbing for nonsmokers. After you have purchased a used car that was owned by someone who was a chain smoker?

Does Steam Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Car

Don’t worry it can be fixed. Steaming the car with some treatment can fix it. 

  1. Start by vacuuming the soil from the car first. 
  2. In the next phase treat seats and overhead dashboard with absorbent material (fabric carpet headliner) & Tobacco odor counteractant.
  3. Use the steam cleaner after shampooing the foot pads and seats.
  4. Deep clean leather and plastic, and scrub the windows. 
  5. Put out the seat belts and pressure wash them. 
  6. One of the important points is to change the cabin air filter. 

After applying all these fixes, get an ozone treatment (costs 100 bucks on average) from some detailing company a day after when the car is completely dry. 


Why does Clothes Steamer Smell Bad?

If you neglect to change the water in your clothes steamer regularly or leave it unused for an extended period, it may emit an unpleasant odor due to the growth of mildew inside the machine. To get rid of the smell, turn on the steamer and allow the water to boil for a few minutes. Afterward, run the steamer for some time until the unpleasant odor dissipates.

What Can You Put in a Steam Mop to Make It Smell Nice?

Add essential oils, scented water, or lemon juice to the water tank of your steam mop to make it smell nice. These ingredients help deodorize and infuse your home with a pleasant scent while cleaning. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use safe cleaning solutions.


Steam cleaning is an effective way to remove the odor from a variety of surfaces including carpets, couches, cars, clothes, or even pet odor. The high-temperature steam can abolish the bacteria and mold from different surfaces which produce bad smells. For thorough removal of the microorganisms make sure the steam mop is heating properly. 

You can not overlook the fact that steam cleaning may not be able to remove entrenched smells. You are wanting a thorough guide to know how steam cleaning removes odors. Refer to the comprehensive details in this article which covers all the complimentary treatments along with steam cleaning to fix lingering odors. 

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