How to Clean a Carpet
Without Water

Many carpet and rug owners wonder how to clean a carpet or a rug without water. And it's a great question because some carpets can't be washed without water.

How to Clean a Carpet Without Water

Table of contents

Introduction

We all know that water is great for cleaning but there are some situations where it’s better to avoid it.

But when? Well, it’s easy. Water works horribly with mud for example. And using water to clean it it’s only going to make it worse. Another reason to avoid using water when cleaning your carpet at home is because of the time they take to dry afterwards. You’ll probably not have the time to wait or it’ll be freezing cold by the time it has finished drying!

Either way… If you’ve searched “how to clean carpet without water” is because you need alternatives. And you’re in luck. It’s really possible!

Small dog looking up

Nowadays, it seems like most carpet cleaning methods use water with some kind of cleaning agent, but there’s always an option to clean your carpet without water.

Follow along on this step-by-step guide:

1. Begin with Mechanical Cleaning

Carpets attract all kind of creepy crawlers, dirt, and bacteria, so step #1 is to get it all out. Start by sweeping the dirt out of the carpet. The broom’s bristles will loosen up the dirt and all other undesirable particles.

You may think any broom will do. Well, only if you repeat this process a couple of times… a regular broom only has nylon fibers, which work great for other types of floors but not for carpets. if you want a great and affordable broom that will get you the job done in no time, here you have two options (the first one is better for pet owners, but the second is cheaper):

Option 1: RAVMAG Rubber Broom & Squeegee

(check price on Amazon)

Option 2: Evriholder FURemover

(check price on Amazon)

2. Use a Carpet Brush (optional if it’s too dirty!)

Once you’ve brushed the entire carpet, it’s time to get on your knees for a bit!

Use a carpet brush to agitate more of the dirt and small particles. Carpets are made up of tons of small fibers that do a great job of hiding tiny particles. That’s not good news for you, so that’s why a lot of mechanical labor goes into cleaning your carpet—especially if you’re not using any water.

If you’re really particular about your carpets, you should use a carpet brush on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. That way, you can minimize the job when you do a deep clean because you’ll be playing keep-up rather than catch-up.

Here you have an amazing carpet brush. I promise you, if you use this, you’ll save a ton of time cleaning your carpets! Plus, you can use it to remove stains too!

CLEANOVATION Rug Renovator/Carpet Cleaning Brush

(check price on Amazon)

3. Vacuum

Once you’ve done your best loosening that dirt, it’s time to vacuum it all up.

But first things first… do you have the right vacuum? People usually think vacuum cleaners are all the same and end up buying the cheapest or the first one they catch but that’s a huge mistake.

Choosing a vacuum can be overwhelming—there are so many to choose from! First, analyze the situation. Are you vacuuming a lot of pet hair? Are you working with a soft carpet? Asking questions like these will help you determine how powerful your vacuum should be and what will you need it for.

Here you have a guide to help you choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner of 2020 for your home.

But if you have a good vacuum don’t worry, keep going!

Now, when vacuuming, be sure to do it in both directions. If you only vacuum in one direction, you’ll miss a lot of dirt and loose particles. Instead, vacuum horizontally and vertically —east and west, north and south. Be sure to empty out your vacuum bag before vacuuming, too! This will make your vacuum cleaner work and suction much stronger and will do the work better and in less time!

4. Sprinkle Some Baking Soda

Your carpet is broken down into two main dirt culprits: loose particles and oils.

The first steps were dedicated to eliminating all the particles possible by sweeping, vacuuming, going over it with a carpet brush, etc.), but to get the oil, you’ll need to use some products.

Begin by sprinkling baking soda on your carpet. Baking soda absorbs oils without omitting any odors. In fact, it is one of the best ingredients (if not the best) to neutralize bad odors and remove stains from your carpet. If you have pets or if your carpet has accumulated a lot of stains over the years, baking soda will work miracles!

Let the baking soda sit on your carpet for 10-30 minutes, depending on how much you’re trying to absorb with it.

5. Vacuum… Again!

Before adding other cleaning agents to your carpet, you’ll want to vacuum up the baking soda. This time, you don’t have to be as thorough because you’ve already done a good vacuuming job before, but be sure to get all of the loose baking soda particles out of your carpet. You don’t want to put your kids or pets at risk!

Remember: Vacuum in both directions!

6. Target the Stains

The next step is a little more localized.

Take a look at your carpet and pinpoint the stains and marks on it. Stains require special attention and different products from the rest of the carpet. Here are a few remedies for different types of stains:

- Dark stains, such as red wine or chocolate: Mix dish soap with white vinegar and apply it to the stain. Gently dab it into the stain using a washcloth and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes. Try not to soak it too much. When it’s all done, blot it with a dry paper towel to remove the excess of moisture.

- Pet stains: Add a white vinegar and baking soda solution directly to the stained area. After letting it sit and dry for 10-15 minutes, spray the area with Resolve pet stain cleaner. Depending on how much soiling there is and how long it’s been there, you may need to repeat this 2-3 more times.

- Grease: The best natural solution for this type of stain is applying baking soda. But if this doesn’t work out, try using liquid dish soap. Apply it on the stain using a washcloth. Dab it, blot it, and rub it. Then, let it sit for about 10 minutes. When you’ve finished, use a damp towel to remove excess liquid. If the stain is still there, create a solution of 2 cups of liquid dish soap and 1 tablespoon of household ammonia. Repeat the process as needed. Another way to break down oil is to use an oil solvent. You can substitute a nail polish remover (non-acetone) if needed. Apply it to the area, dab it in, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Caution!

Be careful when applying these products as they could leave permanent marks depending on the type of carpet you have. Please, try it before in an invisible area where no one will see it.

7. Use a Chemical Carpet Cleaner

If you’re truly avoiding water on your carpet, that means you can’t use a steam cleaner. Steam cleaning is a popular option for cleaning carpets, so chances are, you’ve read up on this tactic. Many will say you can as it isn’t really water but “steam”. I say, if you’re trying to avoid water because it takes too long to dry, then this isn’t an option.

Instead of steam cleaning, you can try a chemical carpet cleaner, which uses millions of microscopic bubbles that clean your carpet by exploding and attacking the dirt. The “exploding” part is unnoticeable, so don’t worry!

It’s easier said than done, though. Not everyone has a chemical carpet cleaner lying around, so if you don’t have one, there are several options for you.

- Invest in a chemical carpet cleaner. It’s a lot of money upfront, but it will be an investment that you can use for many years down the road. If you want to make money off of it, you could even consider renting it out to others! Check out our guide to the best carpet cleaners of 2020

- Rent a chemical carpet cleaner. Sure, it’s not an investment, but it does avoid the high upfront cost. It’s true that with renting, you may end up losing money if you use a chemical carpet cleaner often. Your best bet is to rent only if you use it once every 3 or 4 years. If you use it yearly or bi-yearly, you may want to invest in your own instead.

- Hire a professional carpet cleaner. We’ll get to this point in a second, but this is always an option for chemical carpet cleaning. Professionals know how to do it, so this is a guarantee that your cleaning job will be done well.

8. Hire a Professional Crew

If all else fails or if you simply don’t have enough time to do it yourself, you can always hire a professional cleaning service for your carpets.

It’s costly, so be wary of that. However, if you’d rather have a group of professionals do it, it’s worth the money. Professional cleaning services range from vacuuming to chemical carpet cleaning, and you can pick and choose what kind of service(s) you’re looking for.

If you want to find the best professionals in your area (independently chosen), check our directory. We only include the very best, and we've analyzed thousands of carpet cleaning companies all around the country.

Conclusion

From DIY mechanical cleaning to chemical cleaning done by a professional team, you have a lot of different ways to clean your carpet without water.

That being said, water is a key ingredient in many different carpet cleaning solutions, so it’s not a bad idea to consider using it for yours, only if you have the time to let it dry.

Regardless of which method you choose, the important thing is that you have a healthy home with clean carpets!

Mary Evans Picture

By Mary Evans

Vacuums, Steam Cleaners, Robot Cleaners, etc.

My name is Mary and I'm a mother of 3! I worked for a big company for 10 years until I decided to stay at home to take care of my family. Every since cleaning has become sort of my hobby and profession at the same time. I write about vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, etc. I just find it a lot of fun!

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Mary Evans Picture

Mary Evans

Vacuums, Steam Cleaners, Robot Cleaners, etc.

My name is Mary and I'm a mother of 3! I worked for a big company for 10 years until I decided to stay at home to take care of my family. Every since cleaning has become sort of my hobby and profession at the same time. I write about vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, etc. I just find it a lot of fun!

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