Where Does Dirt Go When Steam Cleaning?

where does dirt go when steam cleaning

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Steam cleaning is one of the most effective ways to clean different types of surfaces especially if they cannot be washed. It is also a great way to disinfect surfaces that need to be handled with care.

When it comes to loosening tough stains and grime, steam cleaning comes forward as a clear favourite since the high temperature and moisture can loosen clingy dirt and stains with ease.  

Unfortunately, most people who use steam cleaners still do not know the first thing about them, especially when it comes to how the equipment works.

One common question that comes up time after time is, where does the dirt go when steam cleaning and how is it removed? Read on to find out the answer to this question…

How Steam Cleaning Works

Steam cleaners can clean surfaces without damaging them because they use water vapour and mild cleaning solutions to remove stains and dirt. 

Water is loaded into the equipment, where it is heated past the boiling point and forced out as pressurised steam. The steam then emerges through a nozzle, brush, or any other attachment that you decide to use.

The vapour coupled with the pressure loosens dirt, stains, and kills mould, germs, and other harmful bacteria that is present on the surface. 

Read Also: Does Steam Cleaning Kill Mould In Carpet?

Where Does Dirt Go When Steam Cleaning?

a pile of dirtFor light dirt and stains, dirt is usually removed and carried away by the terry cloth lining that is attached to the cleaning head.

You will notice most steam cleaning heads have a line of terry cloth or a brush attachment that sweeps the dirt off the surface.

Other models come with actual mops to remove dirt like a regular mop. These are great for steam-cleaning kitchen floors.

The microfiber cloth has a unique texture that makes it a magnet for dust and dirt, which means you can remove dirt from surfaces as you steam, and they stay lodged on the cloth.

However, what if you are cleaning thick, caked dirt? I recommend using a clean rag to wipe off the dirt after it has been steam cleaned.a woman using a cloth to clean

Steam is often not enough to thoroughly remove a thick layer of dirt, so you will need to wipe it off while the area is still moist.

After wiping it, give another pass with the steam wand to remove the rest of the stains. You may need to do this a few more times until the stain is thoroughly removed.

You will know that you have removed all of the stains if the affected area is no longer discoloured. 

Steam cleaning is one of the best ways to clean and disinfect surfaces without using harsh chemicals.

Even if you are dealing with large amounts of dirt and grime, you can still effectively restore surfaces so that they can remain clean and stain free.

Just use the right attachments and have a terry cloth wipe handy so you can wipe the dirt away when needed. 


If you are cleaning surfaces that are caked with dirt, make sure you have a old cloth handy and try to go for steam cleaners that have a high power output to ensure that they can tackle the toughest of stains and dirt.

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