How to Clean Your Own Carpets

How to Clean Your Own Carpets - Clean Mama

Carpet cleaning and spring cleaning go hand in hand for me.  Carpet cleaning companies recommend cleaning carpets twice a year and/or at least once a year.  This is a great recommendation but it can be expensive and a hassle to move furniture and stay off the carpet for hours while it dries.  I do recommend getting carpets professionally cleaned when necessary and do so every year or two in our own home but I love being able to clean individual rooms, hallways, and stairs as needed myself and especially in the spring.

How to Clean Your Carpets - Clean Mama

In order to clean your own carpets, you’ll need a carpet cleaning machine.  I recommend purchasing one so you have it on hand, but you can also rent them inexpensively at grocery and hardware stores. This is the one (affiliate link) that I wholeheartedly recommend and use in my home.  I love that it has a low profile for cleaning under furniture and that it has two cleaning modes – Deep Clean Mode and Express Clean Mode for quick clean-ups.  It also maneuvers like a vacuum cleaner, not a bulky carpet cleaner.

ProHeat 2X® Revolution™ Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner | 1548

How to Clean Your Own Carpets

Start in the farthest Corner - Clean Mama

  1. Move any furniture that you can.
  2. Make sure small items are off the floors.
  3. Do a quick vacuum of the room.
  4. Fill up the machine with warm water and the carpet cleaner solution that your machine recommends.
  5. Spot treat any stains.
  6. Start at the farthest corner in the room.
  7. Follow the directions for your machine on how to operate it.
  8. Slowly move the carpet cleaner parallel to the walls so you get those carpet lines.
  9. Go over the carpet with the machine to lift up any additional moisture.
  10. Empty the tank (yuck!), rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry completely before putting the machine back together.
  11. Allow to dry thoroughly.
  12. Vacuum the carpet to pick up any lint or debris that the carpet cleaner unearthed.
  13. Enjoy your clean carpet!

Empty the Water Tank - Clean Mama

Bissell sent me the ProHeat 2X Revolution to try out.  I have been using an older model of the Bissell ProHeat for over 5 years and was excited to try out the new features and improved drying time with the new model.  Let me tell you, it’s amazing and a perfect tool to add to your cleaning repertoire!

Most carpet cleaners require that you use their brand of cleaning solution to keep the warranty in tact.  I always recommend that BUT if you are looking for a great natural alternative that works amazingly well, try BioKleen’s Carpet & Rug Shampoo.

Tell me – do you clean your own carpets?

 More posts in this series – just click on the image to go to the post:

All-Purpose Spray - Clean Just About Anywhere Spary - Clean Mama

The Perfect DIY Glass Cleaner - Clean Mama

Essential Tools for Spring Cleaning - Clean Mama

Come Spring Clean Challenge - main Clean Mama

DIY Cleaners Ingredient Storage - Clean Mama


  1. We do. We fill the tank with hydrogen peroxide and clean as you described! Once it dries, no smell and the carpet feels soft!

  2. I would definitely recommend having your carpets cleaned annually. Some carpet cleaning companies offer maintenance plans which you can save quite a bit of money.

  3. Hillary B says:

    I make my own rug cleaner:
    1 TBS dish detergent, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 tsp baking soda, and essential oil drops ☺ Works well and it’s inexpensive!

  4. Kathleen W. says:

    I have a Bissell steam cleaner. It’s great! Unfortunately, I have only used it once in eight years. I think I’ll dust it off and clean my carpets this spring!! Thanks for the idea — well, reminder that I need to do it. 😉

  5. Thanks for this post. I added it to my wish list. From what I’m reading, it seems like it heats the water. Is that true? I have another model I’ve had for years but it’s pretty bulky. This one looks like a better option.

    • Kim Martineau says:

      Yes, I have a bissell similar to this one… might be a model older then this one and YES mine heats the water! You can choose to heat or not heat and there is actually 3 clean options on mine, express clean, normal traffic and high traffic. and it has a hand tool to do upholstery, stairs etc 🙂 Love my bissell. Highly recommend!

  6. Can you use this to clean shag carpet?

    • I’m not sure, it depends on your carpet pile – typically carpet cleaning machine instructions say not to clean shag carpet.

  7. Rookie question… would I be able to use this on a thick pile wool rug?

  8. Great tips! I have posted a link to your page in hopes others will see how great this is! Thank you!

  9. Andi Amato says:

    In our other house we tried a Bissell carpet cleaner and afterwards the carpet kept turning black in the areas we used it. So now l am scared to try it again in our new house. Any suggestions or tips to prevent this?

    • I’ve never heard of that – maybe there was something under the carpet that the Bissell was bringing up?

      • The same thing happened to mine! When I saw your comment I got excited thinking someone answered with a solution for this. I moved into my house about a year ago and cleaned the carpets twice ave both times this happened. They looked dirtier than what they did before I cleaned them.

        • This happens because there is leftover soap residue. The leftover residue attracts dirt. You should use a cleaner that allows you to rinse with plain water after you’ve used cleaner.

          • Shirlene Weber says:

            I always rinse my carpet with some vinegar added to the rinse water to remove the soap residue.

  10. Mary Ann Murray says:

    I have not had success with Bio kleen to get pet odors out. Would vinegar and soda be better? Thanks for your help:)

    • Try it and see 🙂

    • Sharon says:

      Nature’s miracle will get pet odors out the best

    • Julie Brown says:

      I use a cup of white vinegar usually in my Hoover upright carpet cleaner for pet odors, and nothing else, besides filling the rest of the solution tank with water, of course. However, if this doesn’t work for you, try Odo-Ban. I get mine from Amazon and it comes in different scents, it sanitizes as well. Hope this is helpful.

      • pamela Brucker says:

        Odo-ban is excellent. I ordered it by the gallon from Amazon. But I found something on Amazon I like better for pet urine stains and odors. It is called Sonny and Honey. Give it a try.

    • pamela Brucker says:

      I use a recipe I got off Pinterest. It has 2 cups warm water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and a TbL of Dawn. I keep it in a large mason jar until I need it. You can dilute it with equal amounts of warm water in your carpet cleaning machine.

  11. Edna Springs says:

    Hello Andi Amato, the black on your carpet is the dirt the builder and the crew left on the floor and the carpet people laid the carpet on top of the dirt, when you clean it surface, I had the same problem but many years later it was time to replace the carpet in all the rooms, I was angry to see how much dirt and trash was under the carpet, I removed the carpet, cleaned and mopped the sub floor before the new carpet was put down, no problem since then.

  12. I have ‘used up’ several Bissels over the years because I have 6 cats and a dog and a few very dirty kids and a fairly sloppy husband and a really large house so I rotated through cleaning carpets (at least) every six months and the Bissels always died after a couple of years. I always vacuumed before using the carpet cleaner, but Lol..I guess we just asked too much of them!

    So I finally bought a Rug Doctor and after 4 years it’s still going strong. I advise, if you can afford to spend the extra $, get the Rug Doctor. You’ll save money in the long run.

  13. Lou Mitchell says:

    I have used a variety of carpet cleaners over the years. With animals in the house, we clean alot! While the bissell is ok, and will get the job done, my favorite is the Hoover! I haven’t found one that works as well as the hoover on cleaning our carpets. It also has attachments for furniture and works wonderfully!

    • I also have used a variety of carpet shampoo machines but my favorite is the Oreck it is far superior to any model on the market with the exception of the Argosheen machine which is THE BEST but also more pricier! I love Argosheen rug shampoo it is great and makes such a nice clean atmosphere and your carpets also smell clean and also removes any stain that I have found yet…including grape kool aid!!!!

  14. Jennifer C says:

    Can carpets be shampooed too often? Is monthly too much?

  15. I do not have a machine to clean carpets, i scrub them manually with carpet shampoo, and then put them in the sun to dry (tiring, i know, bt can’t afford a carpet cleaner now) any tips on how to get the best result?

  16. Betsy Kiekhafer says:

    I aways boil the water on the stove, then put in the cleaner solution, and add to the machine. This prevents the carpet from getting soaked, and the stem lifts the dirt out from the carpet.

  17. Indeed, vacuuming before you deep clean carpet can really help get more of the dirt and such. It also helps by not making your cleaner super dirty really quickly. The vacuum ends up saving you a bit of time.

  18. When I clean my carpet using a solution, pull up as much as I can afterwards. I then fill the tank with clear water and do it again to get rid of the solution.

  19. Can I use this carpet cleaner on area rugs!? I really don’t want to have to pull them up and take them in for cleaning if I can do it at home:)

    • Try in a small spot and see 🙂

      • pamela Brucker says:

        I have all area rugs and use my Hoover on them all the time. I have a dog who has never been fully trained. I learned a trick from an oriental rug dealer. Wait until it is a nice day. Put the rug outside on a patio or driveway. Clean it with rug cleaner and let it dry outside. This really helped, but recently I found a rug that can be washed and dried at home. Up to 8 x 10. It is called Ruggables.

  20. I appreciate the tips for cleaning my own carpet. I agree that I need to buy a nice carpet cleaner. Can I use a cleaning machine on rugs, or is there a different method? Our home has plenty of rugs!

  21. I live in Australia with a number of fur babies! I have been using a bissell for over 7 years to clean my carpets and have recently upgraded to the latest and greatest bissell professional carpet cleaner. I’m in love! We now don’t worry about getting professional carpet cleaners in as the bissell outperforms what they do.

  22. Robbin B says:

    I do clean my own carpets. I have this same carpet cleaner and it is the best one I have ever used. It is so easy to use, very similar to a vacuum.

Speak Your Mind


Overwhelmed? Find success in your homekeeping with my latest book, Simply Clean! Dismiss