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How to clean a rug without a carpet cleaner using easy steps?

Rugs and carpets can trap dirt and dust particles that you'd prefer not to breathe in, whether you have pets or kids running around the house or you're just bringing dirt from your shoes inside, stains are going to be constant concerns. However, using harsh carpet cleaners may have adverse effects not just on your skin, but also the rugs. Here is a detailed guide on how to clean a rug without a carpet cleaner?

Of course, you don't want the carpets that your cleaning products are supposed to clean to become even more contaminated with possibly dangerous materials. This is where learning how to clean carpet naturally is an incredibly appealing idea.

However, before learning how to clean a rug without a carpet cleaner, here are some fundamental guidelines to follows:

  •   Make sure the carpet has dried completely as moisture that is not  released may cause mold and mildew issues or subfloor damage
  •   Rinse out any residue solution on the rug
  •   Use soaps and cleaners sparingly to not leave harmful residue

Benefits of cleaning rugs without a carpet cleaner

Check out the points here to know why learning how to clean a rug without a carpet cleaner is an excellent option:

Affordable option

Because the chemicals are quite pricey, keeping your carpet clean may require you to reduce your spending in other ways. Compared to using chemicals, using water to clean carpets is much more affordable. 

Lesser toxic residue

Some of the liquid may linger in dried-powder form after washing your carpet with chemical treatments. Both your children and dogs may become sick from the powder. In addition, they create a lot of dust, which is bad for asthmatics and other people who are allergic to fine particles.

Requires experts

Chemical cleaning is not a task you should attempt on your own. Due to the risks associated with all procedures only people would consider it necessary to purchase the necessary equipment, the process must be carried out by a professional carpet cleaner who is insured and licensed. 

No harm from piled cleaner

When the cleaner is applied and washed, it may not be completely eliminated, especially in carpets with plush pile, and so it accumulates over time. This could shorten the lifespan of your carpet and put your family's health at risk from the chemical. Therefore, irrespective of how labor-intensive it is, steam cleaning is still preferred by many households.

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Preparing for rug cleaning without a carpet cleaner

There are a few things you need to prepare before cleaning your carpet. If you're learning how to clean carpet naturally, you'll first need to understand the cleaning process to determine if it's safe and effective. An expert will know which cleaning process is appropriate for your particular carpet. Always conduct a spot test and refer to the manufacturer's recommendations.

The gentlest cleaning technique should be your first choice when learning how to clean a rug without a carpet cleaner. If your carpet has any loose dust or debris, you might be able to use a vacuum or brush to clean it. You can also use club soda to blot away fresh stains. Alternatively, you can use one (or more) of the options below:

  •   Baking soda
  •   Carpet cleaner
  •   Cleaner for carpet in powder form
  •   Hand soap
  •   Vinegar

Dry cleaning methods

A carpet cleaning technique that doesn't use water is called dry carpet cleaning.  For instance, if you're cleaning your carpet in the winter, you may not want to wash it because it would take a while to dry.  Besides, using cold water to rinse carpets during the harsh winters is never the best idea. 

On the other hand, it's also crucial to perform this type of approach on your carpet occasionally to maintain it from looking shabby and soiled. A few of the methods for cleaning your carpet without water or other liquids are listed below for your reference.


Knowing how to clean a rug without a carpet cleaner and remove tough stains is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to proper house upkeep. You will find it much more difficult to keep carpets clean if you don't regularly check on their condition. Vacuuming should be done every alternative day, which translates to three times each week.

If your pets shed a lot, use a brush to remove the hairs, and vacuum at least once every other day. The use of wet/dry vacuums is a blessing, but you must move swiftly before the liquids have a chance to settle. Additionally, there are vacuums designed specifically for eradicating dust mites that might trigger allergic reactions.

Using a rug beater or shaking the rug

You may believe that beating or shaking carpets is a thing of the past, but there is more to it.  Many people no longer do this activity since multipurpose household appliances are so widely available and are thought to eliminate pollution as effectively as a regular vacuum cleaner.

Meanwhile, beating carpets outside still has a lot of benefits. This activity aids in properly cleaning carpets of dust, sand, and other debris that a regular vacuum cleaner is unable to remove. Additionally, frequent use of the carpet increases its lifespan and keeps the fleece in excellent shape for longer. Everyone may use this really simple carpet cleaning technique.

Brushing the rug gently with a soft-bristle brush to further loosen dirt

Regularly comb your shag carpeting, just like you would to prevent your dog's hair from matting! To maintain your shag rugs and to keep them fluffy and clean, it’s best to develop this practice.

Pull any knots out of your shag rug by brushing it in a single direction. The rug will begin to tangle if there is any foot traffic, whether it is with socks or without them. No matter how spotless it appears to be, if you aren't combing your shag carpets, those won't look good.

Any extra stubborn knots can be broken apart using your fingers. The more frequently you comb through your shag rug, the simpler it will be to prevent knotting. Although there are various kinds of shag rugs, those with higher pile and larger sizes require the most untangling.

Utilizing a dry-cleaning powder or foam for deeper cleaning

A powdered carpet cleanser can be applied similarly to baking soda. The majority of supermarkets or departmental stores have these cleansers, which are a wonderful choice for wool since the fiber does not react well to wetness. Make sure to read the instructions on the package. You'll typically need to sprinkle the cleaner on the rug, let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then vacuum it up.

Simply, the technique involves spreading a dry powder that has been combined with a powerful cleaning solution uniformly over the carpet. After that, the dry powder combination is brushed into the carpet using a brush. It will soak up dirt, and the powder is subsequently vacuumed away. Moreover, with this technique, drying time becomes less.

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Spot cleaning and Stain Removal

Prior to learning how to clean a rug without a carpet cleaner fully, you must spot-clean any stains, ideally right away. Each carpet cleaning technique has benefits and drawbacks. While some are aggressive but can remove more difficult stains, others are soft and less effective. Club soda is a good way to start because it's usually safe unless you pour a lot of it on a wool rug that can't take dampness.

Use paper towels to blot

Blot any recent liquid spills from your hands with a white paper towel or an absorbent microfiber cloth right away. Before the stain sets, you might be able to completely blot it up. If not, try a different approach.

Try club soda

Use a white paper towel and a small bit of club soda to gently blot your stain rather than scrape it. Use only enough to completely cover the area. A fresh stain can be lifted and diluted with this technique. If the stain has already dried, it won't remove it effectively; in that case, try the following technique.

Utilize a homemade vinegar and dish soap solution

For a potent homemade spot cleaner, combine vinegar and clear dish soap. Remember that because vinegar is acidic, it may lift some of the dye off a carpet. So, use the solution to perform a spot test first.

Apply the solution to the stain using a clean sponge or cloth, dabbing from the stain's edges to its center. Blot it with a dry towel after letting it sit for a few minutes to lift the stain. If necessary, repeat the procedure. When you're finished, dab the area with water with a fresh cloth. You wish to get rid of the remaining cleaning agent.

Make a paste of baking soda

To get rid of tough carpet stains, use a paste made of baking soda. Follow these easy steps for a smoother process:

  •   Mix baking soda and water in a 3:1 ratio to make a proper paste
  •   Use a toothbrush to deeply embed the paste in the carpet.
  •   Wait a few hours before using the paste.
  •   Vacuum well once the paste has dried up
  •   You can blot the area with warm water if you are unable to remove all of the paste.

Wet cleaning methods

Steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is simply another term used for hot water extraction cleaning method. It is one of the most popular wet carpet cleaning techniques, steam cleaning is frequently the first thing that comes to mind. Although there are various other techniques, more people are choosing steam cleaning nowadays.

While the extraction and injection process is being carried out, it is common for frequent steam emergence from the cleaning wand. However, the process is not just about steam cleaning. Instead, the carpets are sprayed with special solutions in advance to achieve the most desirable results. 

You will have to start the extraction procedure after the pre-spraying is done properly. In the extraction process, you have to inject completely hot water into the carpet. You will find hot water extraction happening constantly during the process due to the high pressure. Both residential and commercial carpet cleaning can be accomplished with steam cleaning.

Carpet shampooing

Carpet shampooing is one of the oldest and most traditional cleaning techniques that is used to this day, for both residential and commercial carpet cleaning. This process is especially helpful if the rugs are exposed to heavier foot traffic. Besides, in industries such as hotels and hospitality where aesthetics matter a lot, shampooing is an ideal cleaning process. The same procedure works well for carpets at home too.

Using a rotary floor machine, rug cleaning shampoo is brushed into the carpet. The foam is spread into the carpet using stiff bristles. Cleaning tools for this procedure not very delicate unlike those for steam cleaning. That’s why it is not a good idea to use rotary cleaning for delicate rugs. 

Drying and post-treatment

There is no better method to dry your rug than by hanging it outside in a warm, sunny space if the weather is fine. To hang smaller rugs straight, use clothespins or clips; for larger rugs, you may need something more solid, such an over-the-line rack system, which will keep things organized and let airflow on both sides of the fabric.

The use of fans is a possibility if taking a rug outside to dry is not an option. With your rug supported by heavy books or other sturdy items, point the fan at the floor on one side. For optimal dryness, make sure there are no obstacles in front of either side so air can circulate freely across all sides equally!

Post-treatment of carpets is also a must to ensure they remain shining for a longer time. Follow these simple tips for that:

  •   Before replacing any furniture, it is advised to wait for 24 hours. It is possible to damage carpet fibers and transfer stains from furniture finishes by moving furniture before the carpet is fully dry.
  •   Wet carpet can be extremely slick, posing a safety risk for pets and kids. To prevent slips and minimize dirt from dragging into wet carpet, less foot traffic must be maintained.
  •   Try to restrict walking with footwear when you have stylish carpets at home. It ensures the prevention of dirt and dust build-up.


How do you clean a large area rug without a carpet cleaner?

There are several ways to clean large area rugs such as by steaming, vacuuming, brushing with vinegar or soda solutions, and more. None of these procedures require chemical carpet cleaners. However, make sure to follow the right steps to achieve best results.

How do you manually clean a rug?

To clean a rug manually, mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, mist the stained rug with this solution. Next, you will have to start brushing the rug with a soft-bristle brush to scrub off the dirt. Finally, rinse with normal water, extract excess moisture, and dry well. You can try the same process by replacing vinegar with baking soda or alcohol.

Can I clean all types of rugs without a carpet cleaner?

Yes, it is possible to clean almost all types of rugs without using chemical carpet cleaners. However, the results may vary, so you may hire professionals or resort to mild/neutral carpet shampoo for cleaning.

How often should I clean my rug without a carpet cleaner?

Even with proper deep cleaning, there are high chances of dust and dirt build-up on the surface of your rugs. Therefore, to keep it clean, regular vacuuming- at least every alternative week is mandatory.

What supplies and equipment do I need for cleaning a rug at home?

While the answer here varies based on the cleaning procedure you are choosing, the common supplies and equipment you will need include water, soft-bristle brus, cloth rags, mild carpet shampoo, bucket, gloves, and more.

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