Whether you have a small stain or want to clean your entire carpet, you don’t need an expensive carpet cleaner from the store, and you don't need to hire a professional. There are great products that you have in your pantry that will erase stains, clean carpets and deodorize smells.
Not only can you do it yourself, but by cleaning your carpet without hiring a carpet cleaner, you control the chemicals and substances that you use. Cleaning your carpet the natural way not only avoids needing a professional carpet cleaner, but keeps your home healthy and away from those pesky carpet beetles that can live and feed on your rugs.You can also avoid renting the large carpet cleaning machines for small stains by taking the time to do it yourself. With hard work, natural products, and a simple inexpensive vacuum, you can learn how to clean carpet without carpet cleaner.
Big, industrial carpet cleaners are very good at removing dirt, debris, and stains from the carpet, but they don't always do it in the safest of ways. Many times professionals use high powered chemicals that work well, but leave you wondering what is in your carpets.
Learning how to clean a carpet without a carpet cleaner is a great choice for a chemical free home. Even the toughest stains can be cleaned without harsh chemicals or extensive scrubbing.
As with most cleaners you put on your carpet, it is always a good idea to test a small area before you apply on a larger spot. This will ensure your choice cleaner does not discolor your carpet.
Even when you are using natural products, it is always a good idea to wear gloves for protection. This will keep your hands clean from any bacteria on the floor.
Also, while you may be focusing hard on the stain that is on your carpet, this first step is mainly for cleaning the area. While most times, a simple cleaning can lift the stain, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t. We will cover stain lifting treatments a little further down in this article.
The first step in carpet cleaning is to remove anything from the top of the surface. Whether you just need to vacuum up small debris or if there is a larger mess sitting on the top, this needs to be picked or scraped off.
Without picking up the debris first, you're actually going to end up grinding it deeper into the carpet, even with your vacuum.
Even if you don’t see any obvious mess on your carpet, it is always best to begin your carpet cleaning with a quick vacuuming. This will get up any dirt and debris that can be lurking just under the surface.
When you vacuum your carpets, then that allows the cleaning solution to penetrate into the carpet fibers and work on the area without any interference of dirt smudging.
Make sure that you are using a powerful vacuum, especially when you are planning to clean your carpets, this way you are getting the best overall suction power to pull up dirt, dander and hair that can be embedded in the fibers.
There are a few different cleaners that you can use from your pantry to help clean your carpets.
Vinegar is by far one of the most referenced and used natural products when it comes to carpet cleaning. This is thanks to white distilled vinegars high acidity that is able to break down stains and lift them from surfaces. To cut down on the acidity content in vinegar you will want to dilute it 50/50 with water.
White distilled vinegar is also a popular choice for dried messes. Spray a good amount of the 50/50 water-vinegar mixture on the area. The water will rehydrate the dried stain while the vinegar works to break down the dirt.
The diluting also adds water to the cleaning mixture which is good for rehydrating crust stains and creating a transitional element for pieces of stuck on dirt and debris to be lifted off of carpets fibers.
If you don’t really like the smell of vinegar then you can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to lessen the bright odor. Popular essential oils to use for cleaning are:
By adding a citrus based essential oil it can double as a smell deterrent to keep pets from using your carpet as their restroom. While not harmful to pets, dogs and cats tend to deter away from bright citrus smells, so they don’t become comfortable enough to use that corner of your carpet for an indoor potty.
Dawn dish soap is also something you can add to a vinegar mixture or use it alone by adding a few drops to warm water. Just like the advertisement states, just a few drops is all you really need!
Once activated, the suds will penetrate into your carpet and break down the dirt or stains. The dish soap suds also create a vessel for dirt to stick to instead of the carpet fibers. The suds work to liberate and trap any residue in your carpets so that you can lift stains easier.
Using a brush or cloth to scrub your carpets really does more damage than good. While at first, you can see the scrubbing action working to remove the stain, afterwards you may notice that your carpet is looking a little dull or frizzy in that area.
This is because scrubbing your carpets over agitated the carpet fibers. When this happens, the ends of your carpet fibers will begin to fray or seperate. This is why blotting is so important instead of scrubbing.
Blotting may seem anti-climatic, but it is a proven way to lift stains, you just need a little patience and a good cleaner.
Dawn dish detergent is a great cleaner that you can add to a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture to help add an extra oomph to your carpet cleaning. If you feel the need to scrub then you can use your gloved hands to gently massage the mixture into the fibers. This will agitate the suds and help get them deeper into the carpet, without potentially damaging your carpet fibers with scrubbing.
This is a pretty low maintenance step, but always important to never skip it. There are a few different techniques for drying your carpet that you can try to help finish your cleaning treatments.
It is very important to make sure that you are limiting how much moisture you are allowing on your carpet while cleaning. If you are cleaning up a wet spot then first make sure that you are blotting up most of the moisture before you start to clean it.
When you overload your carpet with too much water or cleaner then you run the risk of soaking the carpet and carpet pad below it. Once that happens it is very difficult to dry the lower layers and it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
For using liquid cleaners to clean carpet without shampooer, then it is best to use a spray bottle. This will allow you to control how much liquid gets on the carpet. You will want to dampen the stain, not completely soak it.
It is also important to make sure that you dry your carpet in between treatments. Overloading sprays will make it harder for the carpet to dry.
There is no best method for how to clean carpets without a carpet cleaner - only the best method for your unique situation. You will need to find the best fit for each stain that you encounter. You also may need to repeat the method two or three times in order to get your carpets clean overall.
Learning how to clean carpet without carpet cleaner starts with cleaning the carpet, and then moves on to tackling the stains. In this next portion we are going to look at the different ways that you can lift the stain.
Once your carpet cleaning efforts are no longer helping the stains or spots, then it is time to start stain treatment. Most cleaning efforts will lighten a stain, but a final stain removal treatment is needed to restore your carpet.
The following stain treatment products will help you learn how to clean carpet without a shampooer. If you can catch stains and treat them in time then you eliminate having to rent a large machine to clean your carpets.
For bold color stains, you can grab a bottle of club soda. This is a great stain fighter for red wine, blood or coffee spills.
To use, pour club soda onto a cloth and blot the area. If you pour the club soda directly onto the stain then you run the risk of over saturating the area and causing a risk for mold and mildew.
Club soda is primarily used with fresh spills and stains, when it comes to older stains then it won’t help much. For older stains you will want to use another product that can rehydrate and break down the enzymes.
For lighter stains, shaving cream is a miracle cleaner that you can spray on and leave. It does not cause discoloring, nor will it leave a greasy area to clean up after. You should let the shaving cream sit for twenty to thirty minutes, then you can blot it up with a damp paper towel.
You can also use the bubbling power of baking soda plus vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain, then spray the baking soda with a water and vinegar mixture. As the two start to react, place a towel over the area and apply pressure.
This will push the cleaner deeper into the fibers instead of allowing it to bubble on the surface.
If you have lighter colored carpets then you can use hydrogen peroxide. It can discolor darker carpets, so test a spot if you are unsure. For the hydrogen peroxide you will want to spray the area and let it sit. After fifteen minutes you can blot it up with a damp cloth.
For stains that also need sanitizing you can use vodka. A cheap brand will work just as well. Vodka is a triple threat cleaner that will absorb odors, fight stains and kill any lingering bacteria.
These natural products lend a huge helping hand when it comes to knowing how to clean carpet without carpet cleaner. They are cheap to keep on hand and will work just as hard as brand name carpet cleaning solutions.
You've got a clean carpet, and you've removed all of the stains. Chances are you might have some areas that still have a residual smell, and you will want to deodorize the area.
While adding essential oils to cleaning mixtures may refresh carpets, it may not always be the best option. When you are deodorizing your carpet, then you want something that will absorb the odor, not just mask it.
Baking soda is a cheap and safe product to use for this task. This powder is a natural odor eliminator. Most of the carpet deodorizers you can buy start with the base baking soda ingredient before adding other chemicals and smells.
Using baking soda is also a great option for people who have allergies to overwhelming smells. Baking soda will leave the carpet refreshed without adding a perfume-like strong smell.
To use, you will liberally sprinkle the baking soda over your carpet. Then use a broom to lightly sweep the baking soda. This will distribute the powder a little more evenly around the area.
Let the baking soda sit at least an hour. For stubborn odors you can leave it out overnight and vacuum it up the next morning. Do at least two rounds with the vacuum to make sure that you get it all up.
It is also important to make sure your vacuum has HEPA filtration so that the baking soda won’t blow out into the air. The HEPA filter helps fight tiny allergens by trapping dust, dirt and small particles in the vacuum and not allowing them to go back out into the open air once vacuumed up.
If you want more of a deodorizer with a smell then you can add essential oils to the baking soda. Simply add a few drops of your choice oil to a jar of baking soda and mix it well.
If you don’t have a box of baking soda on hand then cornstarch or borax works just as well for killing carpet odor. Sprinkle it on the carpet and let it sit for fifteen minutes before you vacuum it up.
These natural methods are a great option to help your wallet and to keep your home green. While chemical based cleaner may promise quick results, when you opt for a chemical free cleaner you know what is going into your carpet.
Now that you know how to clean carpet without carpet cleaner, the next time you have a spill you can walk to the pantry with confidence. And, when you want to give your carpet a deep clean, you need to call a professional in to do the job.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.