Steam cleaning, on the other hand, is more traditional. Apart from the waiting times to dry the carpet, you can benefit from low costs, milder cleaning, and better smells from your carpet. Steam cleaning involves using steam, coupled with some detergent to dilute and break up the grime on your carpet, and then finally wash it off using steam (instead of water). Steam cleaning yourself involves some hot water, rented machine and detergent. And well, a few hours of dedicated time, some muscle work, and some dedicated effort into cleaning the carpet. What you can instead opt for, is hiring a steam cleaning company.