Carpets bear a lot of wear and tear, especially those placed in high foot traffic areas. Figuring out how to clean them can be daunting if you plan to do it without any machine or professional help.
Professional cleaners and machines give outstanding results, but their superb work comes with a hefty price tag, accompanied by harsh chemicals. Such chemicals are likely to degrade the quality of the carpet over time.
Fortunately, there are various methods for deep cleaning a carpet with things already available in your pantry. These simple methods rely on using household ingredients as a cleaner, but carpet cleaning should be a part of your daily chore.
With a little know-how and elbow work, you can reduce the cost of professional steam cleaners and carpet cleaning machines and eliminate even the most stubborn carpet stains.
Possible Items & Solution Required
|Equipment/ Tools Needed||Materials Needed|
|Broom & dustpan/Carpet Sweeper||Commercial Carpet Cleaning Powder/Shampoo|
|Paper towels||Club soda/ Ice cubes|
|Clean cloth/ Rags||Shaving Cream|
|Rug Paddle/ Beater||Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide|
|Lint roller/ Brush/ Squeegee/Plastic Tape||Dish Soap/ Mild detergent|
|Soft-bristled Scrubber||Pet Odor deodorant|
|Vacuum Cleaner||Commercial Carpet Spot Cleaning Solutions|
|Spoon/ Butter knife||Commercial Urine Cleaning Solution / Pre-treatment for Urine|
|Hair Dryer/ Fan||Backlight for urine detection|
Things to Remember
- Always test cleaning solutions and products in a small section before applying them to the whole carpet.
- Make sure to blot with a washcloth or plenty of paper towels for spot cleaning.
- Be sure to rinse and clean any product residue. Cleaning products are chemicals and will damage the carpet if left on too long. Please ventilate rooms after the cleaning process.
- Try working on a section while cleaning the whole room.
- Wear masks while cleaning up dust and debris or paddling rugs.
- Use doormats and remove shoes indoors to minimize dust intake in the future.
- Use felt protectors to minimize any future furniture dents.
- The amount of Pet fur shedding depends on the breed but brush your pet at least twice a week to help them shed excess fur.
- Please do not use bleach on carpets as it will cause discoloration and damage.
- Clean carpets for dust and debris regularly for proper maintenance. At least twice a week in the worst-case scenario.
- Always start at the far end of the room and work your way towards the back to avoid walking over the cleaned area before it dries completely.
How to Clean Carpet Without Machine
The best way to clean carpets without a machine is to remove all dust and debris from the carpets regularly. Use cleaning products on the carpets and remove/rinse any residue. Ensure the carpet is dried completely, as moisture will cause moldings later.
Apart from these general cleaning techniques, cleaning spills immediately, spot cleaning for stains, and always checking for hair and pet fur on the carpet are recommended. Follow the steps & alternatives below for maximum cleaning results.
Remove Dust & Debris
Cleaning dust should be the first action on our list. The proper tool to use is a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum the whole room and make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned.
Alternatively, you can use a stiff-bristled broom with a dustpan and do it in an old school. Our carpets are generally low pile or high pile.
- Low Pile Carpets: These carpets typically have tighter fibers compacted, making the carpet look flat and smooth. Use the stiff-bristled broom and remove all dust and debris. Collect the dust in a dustpan at the end.
- High Pile Carpets: High piles, on the other hand, have a bit of fluff or shag. Use a rubber band and wrap the bristles to make the broom more rigid. This action will help remove the dirt and debris from the shag or long fibers.
- It will be harder for thicker, high piled carpets or shag carpets with just bristled brooms. Use a wide rubber band and wrap the bristles. The band will make the broom more rigid and help remove dirt and debris.
- Carpet brushes or specific sweepers at easily available at local stores. These sweepers are best for high pile carpets; you can brush the debris from them.
If you are trying to clean a rug, it is always best to bring it out of the house, hang it if possible and whack it with a paddle. Dust should start flying away. Make sure you cover your face with a mask. You will be amazed by the amount of dust that comes from rugs.
If you don’t have a paddle, you can get it at your local mall, hardware store, or online. The price generally ranges from $7 to $50. An alternative to this is an old tennis racket.
There are also manual carpet sweepers found in the market now with attached electrostatic lint rollers embedded in them. These cost around $25 to $90, depending on the brand.
Clean Stain/Spills Immediately
You should give high priority to Stains & Spills and clean them immediately.
If the stain caused by the spill is wet and sticky, start blotting the area with an absorbent cloth or plenty of paper towels. We recommend you use a Carpet Spot Cleaner / Stain Remover.
Once the stickiness has gone, use a carpet spot remover solution like Spot Shot, Folex, Spot Chomp, Resolve, Chem-Dry, etc. The cost generally ranges from $8 to $30 depending upon the brand and volume of the product.
Caution: Do not rub or scrub the carpet fibers, as rubbing will push down stains into the fibers.
Make sure you follow manufacturing instructions while using these products; multiple applications are required.
After you are satisfied with the spot, rinse the cleaning products gently with a spray bottle of clean water and dry the area with a dry cloth or rag. Then remove any traces of cleaning product residue from carpet fibers.
Let the area dry completely and hoover or vacuum the area once done.
If getting a commercial cleaner isn’t possible, apply the homemade solutions stated below:
- Vinegar & Dish Soap Mixture:
- Use around ¼ cup vinegar mixed with a tablespoon of dish soap diluted with water. Spray the area generously and blot it consistently with paper towels or a cloth. Multiple applications may be required. Do not use soap or dish solutions with bleach. They are too corrosive.
- Club Soda:
- If the stain is fresh, a bit of club soda will help to minimize stain formation. These should be your go-to items for instant spills. Club soda is carbonated water, so it won’t be sticky or acidic on the carpet. Club soda works wonderfully for alcohol spills.
- Baking Soda:
- Get some baking soda from the kitchen and sprinkle it on the stain. You can also mix it with water and spray it on the stain. Let the solution dry for about 20-30 minutes and clean it up afterward. Multiple applications may be required.
- Hydrogen Peroxide:
- Dilute one part hydrogen peroxide with around five parts warm water and use it on the blood-stained area with a sponge or soft-bristled brush.
- Mild detergent & Water:
- For stains caused by food, it is best to use a mild detergent that doesn’t contain bleach. Dilute the detergent with water and use a sponge for the stain. You may need to scrub the area.
- For an extra kick, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the stain, and spray it with vinegar & water solution. Clean the area with a rag or brush. Use clear water to rinse afterward. Once done, dry the area with a rag.
- Shaving Cream:
- You can also use shaving cream on areas with muddy footprints, smudges, or normal dirt stains. Apply the cream and let it sit for about 15-25 minutes.
- Once it sets, blot the area with a dry cloth or paper towels. We recommend a vinegar-water spray pass on the area for an extra kick.
The after-cleaning process is the same as stated above.
Remove Pet Fur or Stranded Hair
You won’t be able to remove pet fur with just a broom. The best tool is a lint brush or lint roller that catches hair and pet fur strands.
Focus on areas where your pet sits often. Use packaging tape on the spots or a damp squeegee if you don’t have a lint roller.
Erase Urine Smell & Stain
If you ask professional carpet cleaners, they will tell you urine is the hardest to remove and the nastiest stain once they have had time to get inside the carpet’s fabric. Cleaning urine on carpets should be the highest priority once noticed.
Use Commercial Urine Cleaning Products
The best-recommended method to use is enzymatic cleaners found at your local hardware store. These break down odors and urine stains from the carpet. These generally cost around $15 to $50, depending upon the brand and volume of solutions. You can get it in spray bottles or gallons.
Some of the popular brands in the market are Simple Solution, Rug Doctor, Bioda, Bubbas, Rocco & Roxie, Biokleen, etc. These cleaners also work for feces or pet vomit.
If you do not have time to buy any of these products, do a homemade solution for the bare minimum.
Sprinkle some baking soda powder on the urine stain. We recommend a 50/50 vinegar-water mixture as the urine stains are hard compared to other stains.
This mixture will create a thin foram as vinegar reacts with baking soda. Place a damp towel at the top or plastic tape the area and let the solution sit for an hour or so. Blot the stain with clean water with plenty of towels or rags. Make sure you dry the area with a dry rag afterward.
You can use hairdryers to dry it but do not use full heat settings. The recommended setting is cold for a long period till the carpet is dry.
Plenty of pet order eliminator deodorants are in the market for an extra kick to eliminate the pungent smell.
Use Urine Pre-Treatment for Deep-clean
If you have taken the carpet off the floor to clean it properly or if it’s a rug, we recommend using urine pre-treatment on the backing and fiber of the rug or carpet. You can get these products for around $15 to $30. Some popular brands in the market are Mister Max, CTI, etc.
Pro Tip: Blacklights will show pet pee stains as dull green or yellow areas. Mark the stains and start cleaning.
We recommend going over the process 2 or 3 times for the best results. You can also get enzyme deodorant which works till moisture is present in the carpet. These products range from $10 to $40, depending on volume.
Let the solution sit and rinse it properly. Let the rug dry properly for a day or so if hung outside. You can also use a hairdryer at a distance or leave a fan on. Whatever you use, the principle is to remove the stain and odor.
Scrape Out Gums and Slime Stuck on the Carpet
Gums are disastrous to remove with the normal method. Gums and slime are naturally sticky, so they get hooked on the carpet’s fibers.
The best option to clean slime and gums from the carpet is to apply ice cubes to them. Ice cubes help harden the gum. Scrape it gently with a spoon, butter knife, or toothpick.
Multiple applications may be required, and this will be a grueling process. Get ready to cut some strands in the worst-case scenario.
Deep Clean Whole Carpet Without Machine
Once isolated individual stains are taken care of, it’s time to clean the whole carpet area.
It is best to use commercial carpet cleaning powder. Sprinkle the product all over the carpet. An alternative is a baking soda powder (bicarbonate soda) or solution-based carpet cleaners.
Commercial carpet powders aren’t expensive. We recommend investing in them. The general cost ranges from $15 to $50 depending on the volume of the product and the brand. Some popular brands in the market are X-mite, Oreck, Glade, Capture Carpet, Arm & Hammer, etc.
Commercial carpet cleaners also help in sanitizing and deodorizing the carpets. Follow manufacturing instructions for leaving time on carpet and application.
If you are using baking soda, leave in the powder for 30 minutes to an hour and vacuum the area once done.
Warm water and dish soap approach
- Our goal is not to let the carpet get saturated by moisture.
- Mix some warm water with mild dish soap or cleaner and clean the area on the surface with a sponge or brush.
- Do it in sections and make sure the floor isn’t soaked.
- Use a dry towel or rag to soak up any water or moisture left behind. You can use fans to dry the carpet up.
Wash Rugs if Possible
This step entirely depends on the rug. Some are washable, and some aren’t. Check the label on the rug’s back. If you can wash it, that’s great. If you can’t, the best things to do are spot clean, paddle the dust, and clean with a damp sponge.
Remember to dry the rug properly outside, as moisture will cause the backing to wick in the long run.
We can use snow to clean the rugs without having to use any equipment. Cleaning outdoor rugs with snow is an old and natural method preferred in areas with snow. Follow the steps below to do it.
- Shake and paddle the dust and debris from the carpet.
- Lay down the rug on the snow. Shovel up snow and sprinkle it on top of the rug.
- We recommend using a stiff broom to distribute it. Do the same procedure on the other side of the carpet.
- Shake the snow off the rug and dry it completely before placing it back in.
Clean up Carpet on Stairs
- Vacuum the area thoroughly. Use a broom or brush to get all that loose debris out of the stair carpet.
- We recommend using carpet shampoos on stairs with a scrubbing brush. These products generally cost around $10 to $30. Some popular brands are Oxiclean, Bisell, Resolve, Carpet Miracle, Chemical guys, etc. Follow manufacturing instructions on how to use and dilution requirements.
- A household with wet vacuums should use it. Alternatively, we can use dry rags, towels, etc., to absorb moisture. This process is very time-consuming.
Do a final vacuum pass once the area is completely dry. We recommend letting it dry for at least a day.
Cleaning Vehicle Carpet
- Vacuum the floor mats thoroughly to remove the heavy dirt and debris.
- For vehicle carpets, we can get commercial carpet cleaners specifically tailored for floor carpets in your car. Some popular brands are chemical guys, Armor All, Carpet Miracle, Adam’s Carpet, etc. Follow manufacturing instructions while using these products. They generally give dilution instructions too.
- Use a soft-bristled nylon brush. And work the stains off the carpet. You can also purchase brushes attached to the drill for maximum rotation. We generally do not recommend brushes, but floor mats/ carpets in cars are usually filthy compared to indoor ones.
- Spray the area with clean water.
- Use a cloth or rag to clean any fabric clean from the floor mats/ carpets.
Let the carpet dry completely before reinstalling it in your car.
How do I remove wine stains from the carpet?
club soda and water are your best option if it’s a fresh spill. Always blot the stain, do not rub. If the wine stain is already dried, your best option is to use a commercial spot & stain cleaner specifically targeted for carpets.c
What to do about furniture indents on the carpet?
Well, there isn’t much you can do about it as the pressure caused by the weight of the furniture causes it. The best possibility is to use a couple of ice cubes and place them on the indents.
Blot the excess water and iron it with low heat settings. Make sure you have a towel between the carpet area and the iron; otherwise, scorching chances are high.
Use felt protectors with cushions in the future to minimize these indents.