Many homeowners hold onto the notion that cleaning carpet without a machine is impossible. That’s actually not the case!
Sure thing, a steam cleaner injects super-heated steam to eliminate stubborn dirt and stains deep in carpet fibers. But that doesn’t mean that there are no alternative ways to deep clean carpet if a steam cleaner is out of reach.
With the right carpet cleaning solutions and a bit of elbow grease from your part, it’s possible to clean the carpet without a steam cleaner. The best part? There’s more than one method to approach carpet cleaning by hand.
So if you’re looking to restore your carpet's original condition without bringing in any heavy machinery, you’re in the right place. Let’s jump right in…
How Can I Clean My carpet Without a Steam Cleaner?
To clean your carpet without a steam cleaner, there’s a list of products you should have in your arsenal. For the most part, those products are inexpensive.
There’s a good chance that you already have some of them in your home. Here’s what you need to remove stain from your carpet without a carpet cleaner:
- Broom and dustpan (or vacuum cleaner)
- Scrub brush or bristle brush
- Packaging tape (for pet guardians)
- Clean towel or paper towels
- Spray bottle
- Bucket or large bowl
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Table salt
- Warm water
- Detergent (dish soap)
Now that you have cleaning tools at hand, it’s time to start cleaning the carpet. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you restore a clean carpet without hiring a professional carpet cleaner:
Step 1: Remove Loose Dirt and Dust
Start by vacuuming the entire carpet to get rid of loose dirt and dust. If there’s no vacuum cleaner around, use a scrub brush or stiff-bristled broom and a dustpan.
Sweeping the carpet using a broom and dustpan may seem like an old-fashioned method of cleaning. But it’s a very effective way of removing ground-in dust and debris from the carpet.
The best method is to brush the carpet in one direction in short strokes. This way, it becomes easier to sweep all of the dust into the dustpan.
For thicker, high-piled carpets, it’s best to use Palmyra bristles as they’re tough. Such a broom or brush will bring out any dirt you can’t see in your carpet fibers.
Horsehair and polypropylene bristles may not be effective in getting rid of dirt from carpets. Their bristles are soft and make carpet cleaning quite a chore.
Step 2: Sprinkle Baking Soda Over the Carpet
Sprinkle baking soda over your floor to soak up stains from your dirty carpet. Let the soda sit on the carpet for about three hours to absorb the stains and grime.
Then, grab your brush and agitate your carpet to remove stubborn soil, dust, and other pollutants. You’ll need to get on your knees and apply some effort when scrubbing the carpet.
After agitating the dirty carpet, run a vacuum across the floor to suck up loosened dirt and debris. The beauty of baking soda is that it also works to remove odors.
Make baking soda your ally if you’re looking to keep your carpet fresh-smelling without using a steam cleaner. The solution does magic in absorbing carpet stains and odors.
To spot clean the carpet in high traffic areas, sprinkle baking soda with warm water from a spray bottle. Make sure the stain is completely covered to soak up and absorb carpet stains.
Also, allow the soda to create a paste before you start agitating the carpet with a brush. Then vacuum the floor to blast the stains away.
Vacuuming with baking soda is an alternative method of steam cleaning high traffic areas. It will make your carpets super clean and fresh smelling.
Pro Tip: A broom and dustpan can be used instead of a vacuum. Sweep the carpet gently to prevent the dust from blowing to other parts of the room.
Step 3: Tackle the Fur and Hair
You know how hard it is to remove pet hair and fur from the carpets if you're a pet owner. For this cleanup task, you need a light adhesive like the packaging tape.
If you had sprinkled hot water in the previous step, you might need to wait for the carpet to dry. Depending on how wet the floor is, the drying process could take a few minutes to a few hours.
Once the carpet has dried, press the packaging tape firmly onto the carpet fibers to pick up pet hair and fur. Then lift it up to remove stray hairs.
A packaging tape may also pick up any loose debris lingering on your carpet. But there’s a catch— it may not be the ideal way to clean a large carpet.
Even so, using packaging tape is a quick method for removing pet fur stuck on your carpet. Be careful not to leave the packaging tape on the carpet for a long time.
A packaging tape may leave a sticky residue if left on the carpet for longer. It’s better to be safe than sorry because that residue may end up ruining your carpet.
Step 4: Prepare Your Homemade Cleaning Solution
Who said you could not deep clean the carpet without a machine? Cleaning your carpet by hand requires a few household ingredients plus a little hard work.
To get started, prepare your inexpensive, toxic-free cleaning solution for deep cleaning carpet. In a large bowl or bucket, pour 2-5 cups of hot clean water.
Add 1 cup of white vinegar, two teaspoons of table salt, and some mild detergent like the dish soap. Swish the bowl around until the ingredients form bubbles on the surface.
White vinegar makes an excellent carpet cleaner because it contains about 5% acetic acid. Therefore, it can destroy a lot of germs lurking in the fibers.
Vinegar is known to destroy the cell structures of bacteria such as E. coli. That means it protects your family against various disease-causing organisms.
It’s in your best interest to ensure that your white vinegar is properly diluted before using it on your carpet. Also, don’t use scorching hot water; just make it warm.
Poorly diluted vinegar and scorching hot water might cause irreparable damage to the fibers. This defeats the whole purpose of ensuring a deep clean carpet.
Caution: Don’t use any other vinegar except white distilled vinegar. Other types of vinegar are not recommended, particularly for carpets made of silk, wool, or natural fibers.
Step 5: Spot Clean the Entire Carpeting
Spot cleaning is perhaps the most crucial part of maintaining a clean carpet without a machine. To achieve a deep clean carpet, summon your clean, dry towels or paper towels.
Dip your towel in the solution and start scrubbing the stain from the carpet. Make sure you scrub the carpet in one direction only.
By brushing the carpet in a single direction, you’re helping the debris to gather on one end. That way, the dirt won’t spread all over the floor.
You must always shake off the excess stain removal solution when cleaning your carpet. Avoid saturating the carpet with too much solution, as that will prolong the drying process.
You might want to blot the carpet with clean, dry towels to remove as much liquid as possible. If you notice the towel is getting too wet, dip it in another bowl of freshwater.
Then, squeeze the towel to remove the excess moisture and continue blotting to absorb even more liquid from the floor. Ideally, you want to ensure your carpet retains its original color.
If need be, repeat the process until the carpet is clean. Then let the carpet dry naturally. You can speed up the drying by opening all windows or running fans.
Pro Tip: For tougher stains, use hydrogen peroxide to achieve a deep clean carpet. However, be careful as too much of it might bleach the carpet.
How To Clean the Carpet With Baking Soda?
It goes without a doubt that baking soda is a cost-effective carpet cleaner with various benefits. It helps to maintain a clean carpet without polluting the environment.
In addition to stain removal, baking soda can also help to deodorize and refresh your carpet. Here’s how to approach the cleaning using baking soda:
For Non-Greasy Stains
It’s relatively easy to clean a carpet if there’s no greasy mess lingering around. Non-greasy stains may include things like wine, tea, ink, and soda.
Follow the below tips to remove non-greasy dirt from your carpet:
- Start cleaning by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda over the affected area.
- Lightly spritz the area with some hot water to make it slightly damp.
- Leave the mixture to sit for at least 3 hours. The longer, the better.
- Finally, vacuum the area thoroughly, and the carpet should be clean.
For Greasy Stains
Greasy stains have an underlying residue such as fats or oils. Cleaning your carpet can be a tough chore if there’s any grease in the dirt.
Follow the below tips to remove greasy stains from the carpet using baking soda:
- Blot up as much of the grease as possible using a paper towel. Be careful not to rub it around as the stain could spread, or worse, set in the carpet.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stain. Make sure the soda covers every inch of the stain.
- Gently brush the carpet with a soft brush to work the soda deep into the fibers. Then let the soda sit up to eight hours or overnight to absorb as much of the stain.
- In the morning, vacuum the carpet area thoroughly. Make sure you’re targeting the stained area.
- If there’s still any stain left, take one drop of the dish soap and blot it over the stain again. You can add more depending on the size of the stain.
- Take some fresh water and a clean towel and gently remove the soapy residue. Continue to blot the area until everything is absorbed.
- Repeat steps 1-6 if necessary. If not, proceed to the next step.
- Blot the area dry using a clean cloth or rag.
- Vacuum the area once more and inspect your clean carpet.
- If it looks good, allow it to dry. Never step on the carpet before it’s fully dry.
Can I Use Rug Doctor Detergent Without the Machine?
Sure, you can use Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent to deep clean carpet without a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner. To do that, pour about 225ml of carpet detergent into a spray bottle.
Then, mix it with water to dilute the detergent. Spray the mixture onto your carpet fairly liberally, and leave it for a few minutes. Typically, it may require 3-5 minutes of contact time.
Take a microfiber cloth and gently blot the moisture. Be mindful of scrubbing because doing so could damage your carpet.
Generally speaking, this technique is only ideal for cleaning carpet in limited high-traffic areas. Otherwise, the manufacturer recommends using Rug Doctor Detergent with their machine.
How To Clean Disgusting Carpet by Hand?
There’s no need to buy or rent an expensive steam cleaner for cleaning your carpet. With a few household cleaners, it’s possible to get your carpet cleaned by hand.
Here’s how the cleaning should go:
1. Agitate the carpet with a brush to loosen and remove the debris. This will require that you get on your knees and put in some hard work.
2. Combine a small amount of soap and hot water in a large spray bottle. You can add other cleaners like salt and lavender oil to the bottle.
3. Shake the mixture thoroughly until it blends well.
4. Spray the liquid soap mixture evenly on your disgusting carpet. Don’t flood it, though.
5. Allow the mixture at least 15 minutes to set in the carpet.
6. Start brushing the carpet with a soft brush. Maintain the brushing toward a single direction to allow the brush to gather as much grime and hair as it can.
7. Take your towel and press it into the carpet. The idea is to absorb as much moisture as possible.
8. Now, sprinkle clear tap water over the entire carpeting.
9. Again, press clean, dry towels on the carpet to dry up the excess moisture.
10. Finally, let the carpet dry up at room temperature.
Easy way to clean carpets by hand
Using baking soda is the easiest way to deep clean your carpet by hand. It’s impressive just how much this household staple can do on its own.
An all-natural cleaner, this fantastic product absorbs the grime and neutralizes musty odors to restore a clean carpet smell.
Just make sure you let the product sit for at least 3 hours or overnight. And then vacuum up the surface the next morning.
This way, your favorite carpet won’t just look cleaner, but it’ll smell fresher too. In most cases, the product will work with just a little scrubbing.
As you can see, you don’t always need to rent or buy a fancy steam cleaner to deep clean your carpet. All you need is a few household ingredients and a little hard work—and the job will get done sooner than you can imagine.
What’s more, most of these household cleaning items are free of harsh or toxic chemicals, which means that they’re 100% safe for your kids and pets. Happy cleaning!