How to Clean Your Carpet Without a Machine (7 Ways)

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It doesn’t matter how careful you are, carpets will still get dirty. Vacuuming removes some of the dirt, but it’s usually ineffective against stains. Carpet cleaning machines are expensive to buy, especially when you only use it a few times a year. You can always rent one, but it’s a hassle to get home, set up, and then return on time. Want to know how to clean your carpet without a machine? There are several ways using household cleaners and other items you may already even have at home.

Here are some ways you can have spotless carpets, and not have to worry about using a bulky machine to get them.

How to clean your carpet without a machine

Here are five ways you can deep clean your carpet without a machine or hiring a professional service.

1. Use baking soda

You need to gather,

  • A box of baking soda
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Salt
  • Old rags
  • Water and dish soap

Fill the spray bottle with water and add a few drops of dish soap and some salt. Sprinkle the baking soda across the carpet. The baking soda will eliminate odors, while the mixture in the spray bottle removes stains.

After spraying the carpet with the cleaner, use the brush to scrub out the stains. When the stains are gone, respray the carpet with clean water and blot up the excess with the rags.

2. Clean carpets with vinegar

This method does require physical labor, but it is cheap and effective. Fill a spray bottle with three-parts cold water and one part vinegar. You want to use distilled vinegar, other types may stain your carpeting. You’ll also need a microfiber or other type of soft cloth.

Spray the carpet with the mixture and let it soak in for a few minutes. Use the cloth to blot up the mixture. The stains should disappear. It might take a second application with stubborn stains. When you’re finished, let the carpet dry before using the room.

3. Use your vacuum

A vacuum cleaner like the Bissell Cleanview doesn’t scrub your carpets, but its powerful suction does remove dirt and grime. Over time, carpets will start to look dingy even with weekly vacuuming.

Running your vacuum daily, especially in high-traffic areas will prevent your carpet from looking dingy and discolored. The Bissell Cleanview comes with a triple-action brush that loosens ground-in dirt. Its ability to swivel around corners and furniture ensures you don’t miss a spot. Add in the specialized tools, and you can keep every in of your carpet spotless.

4. Steam clean your carpets

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You don’t have to rent or buy a machine to steam clean your carpets if you own a steam mop with a carpet cleaner attachment. Steam mops are great at cleaning hard floors, and you can also use it on carpeting. There are advantages to using steam. It not only cleans, but it also disinfects your floors.

Before using your steam mop on your carpets, check to see if it’s safe. Some carpet fibers can’t handle high heat.

If your steam mop doesn’t come with a carpet attachment, you’ll need to get one. A carpet glider attaches to the bottom of the mop and allows it to glide over the carpet. The attachment is inexpensive, a breeze to slide on and off, and makes steam cleaning your carpets a quick and easy job.

5. Shampoo your carpet by hand

Carpet shampoos are designed for use with a machine. However, if you have a bristle brush and a bucket you don’t need a carpet cleaner. There is a lot of scrubbing involved with this method, but it will get your carpet clean.

Carpet cleaners are usually concentrated and work best when mixed with water. Pour one-part cleaner and three-parts water into the bucket. Your can also use a spray bottle if you want to cover the entire area. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, and then use the brush to lift and remove stains.

Refill the spray bottle with clean water and remove any residual soap residue.

6. Scrub with hot or cold water

Sometimes you don’t have time to scrub your carpet, but you also don’t want to let a stain sink in.  When you’re in a rush, grab a clean cloth and soak it in either hot or cold water. The type of stain determines water temperature.

Grease and oil stains come out faster and easier with hot water. The heat helps to dissolve the stain. Rub the area gently with the cloth and blot up any excess moisture with a dry cloth or towel.

Fruit juice, coffee, and wine typically come out of carpeting better with cold water. You can also lay a dry towel over the damp spot. It will help absorb the moisture, while also preventing the stain from reforming.

7. Sweep your carpet

You can’t remove stains with a broom, but you can get out dirt, mud, and other debris with a stiff bristle broom. You also want to use a dustpan to easily pick up the debris.

Mud and dirt are easily tracked in, especially in areas by outside doors. Your vacuum will usually pick it up, but sometimes dirt gets trapped in the fibers. Take the broom and sweep over the dried mud. You want to sweep in one-direction to prevent the bits of dirt from scattering across the room. It’s also better for the carpet fibers since there’s less wear and tear.


A carpet cleaning machine makes your dingy carpets look like new, but it’s not your only option. Chances are you have something at home that will also give your carpets a deep cleaning.

Baking soda and vinegar remove stains and freshen up carpeting. It is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it’s also eco-friendly and inexpensive. Your vacuum can also help keep your carpets spotless. If you own a steam mop, add a carpet attachment. It’s easy to use and dramatically shortens the amount of time you spend cleaning.

Whatever method you choose, by the time you’re finished you’ll have carpets that look brand new when you’re finished.