By Samuel Williams

Ever pondered the dual capabilities of your cleaning arsenal? Today, we’re unraveling the question: can a carpet cleaner be used as a vacuum? Before we dive into the cleaning symphony, here’s the straight scoop – while they both play key roles, a carpet cleaner is not a substitute for a vacuum.

Vacuum cleaners excel at picking up loose dirt and debris, while carpet cleaners are designed for deep cleaning. Join us on this exploration of cleaning tools, understanding when to let your vacuum shine, and when to bring in the carpet cleaner for a revitalizing performance.

Get ready to conduct your cleaning routine with precision, ensuring each tool plays its unique part in maintaining a spotless home!

Working Mechanism Of A Carpet Cleaner And A Vacuum Cleaner

Before we understand the differences between a carpet cleaner and a vacuum cleaner, we need to comprehend what they are and how they work, so let’s start with this:

Carpet Cleaner

A carpet cleaner has a water tank in which water and a carpet cleaner are mixed. The liquid is released when you turn on the machine and use it on the carpet. The carpet cleaner’s brush washes the carpet thoroughly, removing dirt, stains, spills, and residues from the carpet fibers. I mean, it thoroughly cleans the carpet. It then absorbs the liquid from the carpet and dries it.

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is just a gadget with a small and compact fan. When the fan pumps air out of one end of the cleaner, it creates a “vacuum” effect on the other, sucking debris and dirt from the carpet. It has a suction cup for this purpose. You have to empty the dirt box in the machine after vacuuming, and it requires no further setup to do so.

Can A Carpet Cleaner Be Used As A Vacuum? Here Are Some Differences

difference between the vacuum cleaner vs carpet cleaner

So, now that you have a general understanding of how both (a vacuum cleaner and a carpet cleaner) work. This section is a step forward in answering the question: can a carpet cleaner be used as a vacuum. Once you understand the roles they play in cleaning, you will understand why it is not a good idea to mix the two and will never substitute one for the other. So let us look more into the subject:

  • A vacuum cleaner does not thoroughly clean a surface. Unlike a carpet cleaner, it does not remove stains or sticky spills from any surface. It can only remove dry material such as leaves, hair, loose dirt, dust, biscuits, etc.
  • A carpet cleaner requires a cleaning fluid to function well, whereas a vacuum cleaner merely needs a suction mechanism to remove dirt particles and make the area appear clean.
  • Vacuum cleaners are essential household cleaning tools. However, you can use carpet cleaners only in emergencies, such as deep stains or spill marks on your carpets.
  • Vacuum cleaners are simple to use, with only one button to press; however, carpet cleaners are more challenging to set up and run.
  • A vacuum cleaner is portable and convenient. However, a carpet cleaner is not.
  • A carpet cleaner can remove dog litter, liquid food spills, chemical stains, or residues stuck in carpet fibers that a vacuum cleaner cannot.
  • Carpet cleaners are limited to carpets, whereas vacuum cleaners can be used on any flooring, from hardwood to carpet.
  • Vacuum cleaners thoroughly vacuum out only dry dirt particles from the surface using their inbuilt suction mechanism, while carpet cleaners remove deep-seated stains and liquid stains from the carpet.

As we have discussed the primary differences between the two cleaners in depth, we have included a comparison chart for a quick look.

FactorsCarpet Cleaner Vacuum Cleaner 
Frequency to use Only in emergencies (when the carpet is filthy)Regularly 
FunctionDeep clean the carpet including the liquid stainsClean only dry stains 
Easy-to-use A simple and convenient methodNo special setup is required
Setup Setup is complicated No special set-up is required
Sites Used only on carpets It can be used on any surface like sofas, floors, carpets, etc
Table: Differences Between Carpet Cleaner Vs Vacuum Cleaner

Drawbacks Of Using A Carpet Cleaner As A Vacuum

There are two primary drawbacks to utilizing a carpet cleaner instead of a vacuum. Let us have a look at them:

  1. First, it will not have the suction power of a vacuum. As a result, it will not be able to remove all the dirt, dust, and debris from your carpets.
  2. Second, you risk ruining your carpet cleaner, leaving you without a vacuum or carpet cleaner.

Can A Carpet Steamer Be Used As A Vacuum?

It is another common question that most people ask: can a carpet steamer be used as a vacuum? So before we answer you that least know what carpet steamer is: 

What Is A Carpet Steamer?

what is a carpet steamer

A carpet steamer is a phrase used to describe carpet cleaning appliances that include water tanks. Most current carpet cleaners are marketed as carpet steamers. The cleaning solution remained inside the carpet after cleaning in older versions of carpet cleaners with a water tank to protect the fibers and did not remove the water afterward to clean the carpet.

However, contemporary technology has transformed carpet cleaners into carpet steamers, and after cleaning the carpet, the cleaner removes the cleaning fluid, and the carpet dries smoothly.

Answer To Question

Let’s now answer your question: can a carpet steamer be used as a vacuum? So the same truth holds for a carpet steamer. “NO”; a carpet steamer should not be used as a vacuum. Although it has suction, it is not designed to dry clean your carpets. Carpet steamers are designed to wet the carpet and suck up water, debris, and stains. It is wise to use them only for steaming or cleaning carpets and never as a vacuum cleaner.

Is There A Vacuum And Carpet Cleaner In One?

You must be disappointed by our response that you cannot use a carpet cleaner as a vacuum, and you must be wondering whether there is any way to acquire a vacuum and carpet cleaner in one. Well! The good news is that this time the answer is “Yes.”

Carpet Cleaner Vs Vacuum Cleaner: Which Is Best For Your Cleaning Needs?

We are happy to inform you that a combination includes the vacuum and the carpet cleaner in one device. These cleaners are frequently robotic in design and run on built-in rechargeable batteries.

How Do They Work Together?

So, if you’re ready to clean your carpets, ensure that before you steam the carpet, you thoroughly vacuum to remove any debris. After the carpets have dried completely, re-vacuum the area to remove or lift the fibers and detergent residues.

Benefits Of Having A Vacuum And Carpet Cleaner In One

benefits of having a vacuum and carpet cleaner in one
  • It can simply cut your time in half.
  • These multifunctional cleaning products make cleaning a breeze. They enable quick cleaning and can collect dust and debris.
  • While the appliances perform differently, the key is that you don’t have to handle them separately; you don’t have to buy both.

So, opt for a combined product rather than purchasing separate products such as the best homemade carpet cleaner or a vacuum cleaner.


  • Combination devices integrate vacuuming and carpet cleaning, reducing the need for separate tools.
  • Using a single device for both tasks can significantly speed up the cleaning process.
  • These devices quickly collect dust, and debris, and perform thorough carpet cleaning.


  • Combination devices might not offer the same deep cleaning as dedicated, high-end vacuum or carpet cleaning machines.
  • Multifunctional devices might not have the same advanced features as specialized equipment.
  • Combining functions could lead to more complicated maintenance and potential breakdowns.

How Can You Clean A Carpet At Home?

Cleaning your carpet at home involves several essential steps to maintain its appearance and cleanliness. Begin by thoroughly vacuuming the carpet, making sure to go over it in different directions to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. 

Once you’ve addressed surface dirt, focus on spot-treating stains using a carpet stain remover or a mixture of white vinegar and water. When preparing a cleaning solution, either follow the instructions on a commercial carpet cleaner or create your own by diluting warm water with a few drops of dish soap.

Depending on your equipment, you can choose to use a carpet shampooer or a steam cleaner. In either case, it’s crucial to work in small sections and make multiple passes for a thorough cleaning. 

After the cleaning process, it’s important to rinse the carpet thoroughly if using a shampooer or make a separate pass with just water if using a steam cleaner to eliminate any residue. Once you’ve completed the cleaning, allow the carpet to dry fully by opening windows and doors to encourage airflow and using fans if necessary. It’s essential to refrain from walking on the carpet until it’s completely dry to prevent re-soiling.

How Baking Soda Ruins Vacuum’s Electric Motor?

Baking soda can damage a vacuum cleaner’s electric motor by causing abrasion, clogs, and residue buildup. The abrasive nature of baking soda can wear down motor components over time. 

Additionally, baking soda particles can clog the motor’s air pathways, leading to overheating. The residue left behind by baking soda may interfere with the motor’s electrical connections, potentially causing operational issues. Overall, it’s important to use baking soda cautiously when cleaning with a vacuum to avoid motor damage.



This post has clarified all of your concerns. It will help a lot if you do not use carpet cleaner as a vacuum. Although it may appear a bright idea at the time, it might damage your carpet in the long run and break your carpet cleaner because the vacuum and carpet cleaner are designed to perform different jobs. So, the next time someone asks you, can a carpet cleaner be used as a vacuum? You know what to say to them.


Is a carpet cleaner the same as a vacuum?

A carpet cleaner is not the same as a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner removes dry dust and debris from any surface. On the other hand, a carpet cleaner thoroughly cleans the carpet and uses liquid to do it. As you can see, these cleaners have not only diverse operating systems but also distinct functions. As a result, a carpet cleaner differs from a vacuum cleaner.

Can you use a carpet shampooer on a rug?

It is not good to use shampoo on a rug. The fibers in an area rug differ from those in a carpet. Furthermore, because a carpet shampooer is primarily designed for carpet fibers, using it on a rug can damage it. As a result, you should never use a carpet cleaner or shampooer on a rug.

Do you vacuum before steam Cleaning? 

Before steam cleaning the carpet, it is usually required to vacuum it to remove any clay, dirt, hair, or other dry debris. Steam cleaning gets faster and more effective when dry debris is removed first. You should also vacuum the carpet regularly to avoid sticky buildups. As a result, vacuuming is required before steam cleaning.

Can you use your Hoover carpet cleaner as a vacuum?

A Hoover carpet cleaner is primarily intended for carpet cleaning. It cannot vacuum the carpet because its functioning mechanism is entirely different. If you try to clean with a Hoover carpet cleaner, you will ruin it. It is, therefore, not suggested to use a Hoover carpet cleaner as a vacuum.

When should I use a carpet cleaner or a vacuum?

Use a vacuum for regular maintenance to remove surface dirt and debris. Use a carpet cleaner for deep cleaning, especially when dealing with stains and embedded dirt.

What is the best home carpet cleaner?

Use a vacuum for regular maintenance to remove surface dirt and debris. Use a carpet cleaner for deep cleaning, especially when dealing with stains and embedded dirt.

Does baking soda really absorb odors?

Yes, baking soda can effectively absorb odors due to its natural deodorizing properties.

How Long does it take for baking soda to deodorize a carpet?

Baking soda typically takes 15 minutes to a few hours to deodorize a carpet, depending on the level of odor and the amount of baking soda applied. Vacuuming afterward helps remove the absorbed odors and baking soda residue.

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