Steam Cleaning vs. Chemical Cleaning

As a homeowner, you know that taking care of your carpets, upholstery, and other items are of paramount importance.

That’s because you want your home and your belongings to last as long as possible, while also remaining in pristine condition to avoid repairs, replacements, and downright dirtiness.

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining these parts of your home, there is no shortage of options available. You can do it yourself with routine cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, and scrubbing are always recommended). You can rent some equipment, like a carpet shampooing machine. Or, you can hire a professional to perform certain cleaning services that fit your budget and your needs.

When it comes to the latter, it’s important to understand that different companies apply many different methods when it comes to cleaning your carpet, upholstery, and even your bathrooms and kitchens.

The primary methods are chemical dry cleaning and steam cleaning, and it’s important that you understand the distinct features of each method in order to get the most bang for your buck while also getting the best deep cleaning possible.

In this blog post, we’d like to lay out the pros and cons of each method, chemical dry cleaning and steam cleaning, in order to help you make the best decision for you and your home.

At Alamo Steam Team, we offer a variety of steam cleaning services in San Antonio. If you’re interested in learning more about the many benefits of our steam cleaning services, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Now let’s break down the tale of the tape.

About Chemical Cleaning

First of all, it’s important to recognize that almost every cleaning method utilizes some type of chemical compound. However, there are some chemicals that are not conducive to the environment or the people that interact with them, whether that be directly and indirectly. When it comes to cleaning carpets with chemicals, here are some of the pros and cons.


Cleaning carpets with dry chemicals like dry powders, spray-on chemicals, or dry foams are typically pretty fast. The process requires applying these chemical compounds onto the surface of the carpet, allowing them to settle, and then removing them with a vacuum. The main selling point with chemical cleaning is just that: it’s quick and efficient, allowing you to get back to your daily activities without having to wait extended periods for drying. But, there are some things you need to keep in mind when you’re thinking about just going for a quick fix.


Because we often don’t know what chemicals are being used, there are a wide range of negative side effects associated with chemical dry cleaning for things like carpets, mattresses, and upholstery. The cons associated with the chemical method include:

  • Adverse Health Effects: Because new chemical compounds are constantly being developed and implemented without complete identification, there’s a high likelihood that they will have negative effects on some people. These side effects may be minor, such as allergic reactions, or they could be more severe and lead to diseases such as cancer. When people or pets come into contact with unknown chemicals used to clean their carpet, it can be a risk. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what is being used.
  • Not-So-Deep: When dry carpet cleaning solutions are applied, they typically only penetrate the top layer of the fibers. That means odors, pollutants, and dirt trapped deep within the carpet still remain. This can leave you with a seemingly clean carpet, but soon enough you will discover that the problem of a dirty carpet still remains.

About Steam Cleaning

So what about that other option? When it comes to steam cleaning, there are a few things that you need to understand. First of all, as we said above, steam cleaning does still utilize chemicals. However, it’s important to note the distinction between the chemicals used by other methods and the chemicals used in the steam cleaning services provided by Alamo Steam Team. The process works a little something like this:

  • First, a steam cleaning professional will inspect your carpets and employ a dry vacuum to pick up any loose surface dirt.
  • Then, a pre-treatment solution using a biodegradable, environmentally friendly enzyme detergent is applied.
  • Next, a truck-mounted cleaning unit boils water and sprays it directly onto the carpet, which helps dissolve the detergent along with the dirt and grime in the carpet fibers.
  • The steam machine then uses heavy suction to extract the moisture, dirt, and other contaminants.

It’s as simple as that! Now let’s take a look at some pros and cons to steam cleaning.


Steam cleaning from Alamo Steam Team is among the most green methods around. That’s because it only uses environmentally friendly and safe detergents. However, there are many other unique benefits that you will receive when you opt for steam cleaning no matter where you are. They include:

  • A Deeper Clean: The high-powered units utilized by professional steam cleaning companies penetrate the carpet’s fibers on a deeper level, allowing for a more thorough and reliable clean.
  • No Chemical Residue: Again, the chemical solutions used by steam cleaning services are almost always more environmentally friendly. Not to mention, the units are able to extract the chemicals much more efficiently, ensuring all that’s left behind is a nice, clean carpet.
  • Allergy Relief: In addition to the chemicals and dirt that are being blasted by steam and sucked up, steam cleaning also allows for allergens, odors, and dander to be virtually eliminated. This makes for a healthier floor and a healthier you.
  • Quick Drying: One of the knocks on steam cleaning is that it takes forever to dry. Well, the pros can expedite this process with heavy duty drying equipment that can be used to get you and your floors back together in no time.

When it comes to choosing the right method for your home in San Antonio, the answer is a no-brainer. Contact the pros at Alamo Steam Team for top-notch steam cleaning services that will leave your floors fresh and fabulous!


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