How to Shampoo Your Carpet – Things to Consider!

Shampooing the carpet can be hectic, but don’t worry, we have got you covered!

Every now and then, your carpet requires a thorough deep clean where only vacuuming isn’t enough. This process won’t only make it look cleaner and fresher, but will also expand its life. So, the question is ‘how to shampoo your carpet to deep clean it?’

Now you must be thinking about how frequently this needs to be done? Well, ideally, this tedious activity must be tackled twice or thrice a year. And even more frequently if you have hairy pets or little kids that love to spill food all over your carpet!

DIY or Professional?

If you want it to be hassle-free, quick and do not wish to tackle the tedious task of moving the furniture around yourself, then hiring a professional would be the better option.

However, if you wish to go easy on your pocket and are not daunted by this heavy work, then rolling up your own sleeve would be the best option!

Now, once you’ve decided to give it a go yourself, let me walk you through the entire process of how to shampoo your carpet!

Necessary Materials & Equipment to Shampoo Your Carpet

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • A Steamer or a Shampooer
  • Broom
  • Clean Towels
  • Wind Source (Fans, Blowers, etc)
  • Cleaning Solution
  • Baking Soda / White Vinegar/ Salt/ Chlorine
  • Spray Bottle
  •  And of course, Your Carpet!

How to Shampoo Your Carpet: Machine or Manual?

Using a steamer/shampooer will not only save your time but also energy and effort as well. You’ll find that the results are visibly better!

Your local carpet cleaners can easily rent out a machine to you for this purpose. In case your carpet requires frequent cleanings, we would recommend investing in a good quality machine; it would go a long, long way!

Just in case the machine is inaccessible, don’t worry! We’ll be providing you with a step-by-step guide on how to shampoo your carpet without one.

The Common Steps!

With the shampooer or without it; either way, this is how we’ll start to prepare for the process:

Step 1: Clear the Room

Clear the Room Image Credit: Gustavo Fring

There’s probably some heavy furniture in your room that won’t be budged easily and you will need to work around them.

Trust me on this one, it is best to empty the room of all furniture as this would leave no spot uncovered and would produce the best results.

You may also read: How to Repot Indoor Plants

But if you still wish to work around the furniture then you better protect the legs by wrapping either plastic or foil around them. You may also lift them a few centimetres off the ground by placing a block of wood or brick beneath the legs.

Step 2: Vacuum

Now, you might think of this as a useless effort. Nonetheless, it is a lot easier to Vaccum off the bigger pieces of debris beforehand rather than later. Wet and smelly balls may clog the machine causing it to malfunction.

In case a vacuum isn’t available, the bigger pieces, like pieces of clothes, threads, hair, and paper can be removed by hand as well.

Step 3: Partially Remove Stains

Remove Stains Image Credit: Pawel

As you are vacuuming, spot the visible stains and try to pre-treat them before you shampoo. Mark them with an indicator so that they are easier to spot later.

You can use whatever’s available at home to get rid of these visible marks; white vinegar, baking soda, cleaning solutions, rubbing alcohol etc. It is considered the most important part of how to shampoo your carpet.

Don’t forget to patch test a small, hidden portion of the carpet first with a small amount of whatever you are using. This will ensure that the cleaning agent is compatible with the type of your carpet and won’t damage its colour and fibres of it.

Pour the cleaner over the stains and gently blot the stain away. Do not rub too vigorously as it might cause the statin to penetrate deeper! Remember that this pre-procedure would make the subsequent task a lot easier!

The Main Task: Shampooing the Carpet

Now the next part of how to shampoo your carpet can either be accomplished with a machine or even without one too!

Cleaning with a Shampooer

Cleaning with a shampooer Image Credit: Liliana Drew

Before you load the machine, always, ALWAYS read the instructions on it to understand the functioning. There are a lot of different machines out there with slightly varying controls. Adjust the water temperature, amount and type of soap according to the machine specifications.

  • Fill the water tank with clean water up to the marked level.
  • Load the cleaning solution into the machine.
  • Start at one corner of the room and traverse the entire carpet in parallel lines so as not to miss any spot.
  • Slowly move over the entire length and width of the carpet.
  • Here you will need to exercise some patience as the machine first ejects the water and its steam and then sucks it back up.
  • Empty the tank when the water becomes dirty and refill it with clean water.
  • Reload the cleaning solution if required.

Shampooing Manually

Shampooing Manually Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

You’ll of course require more patience and energy with this method! There are several different ways of doing this but let me walk you through a few of the common ones here.

  1. Use salt with baking soda and spread them evenly over the carpet. Using a spray bottle, lightly dampen the carpet. Remember not to over-soak it! Brush the particles first in one direction and then in the opposite and in the end vacuum it off.
  2. Cleaning solutions, vinegar and water-based solutions can also be used in the same manner.

Precautions to Follow While Deep Cleaning

You have been guided on how to shampoo your carpet properly, take into account these before going for any action.

  1. Remember to patch test a small, side portion of the carpet with the solutions to be used. Look for discolouration or damage to the fibre.
  2. The cleaning solution should be compatible with the type of carpet being used. For instance, a harsh ammonia-based solution will damage a delicate cashmere carpet but work well on a thick woollen one.
  3. Let the carpet dry before you move the furniture back over it, or else it will cause indentations.
  4. Do not over-soak the carpet.
  5. Clean and empty the machine after use. This will prevent smells from building up inside.
  6. Remove the bigger debris before you start with the shampooer.
  7. Empty the dirty water outside or in a large bore drain. Emptying into sinks or smaller outlet pipes would cause them to become clogged up.

How to Get the Best Results from Shampooing

  1. Spot treat the stains ASAP; the earliest after a spill has been made.
  2. Frequently vacuum your carpet and prevent the build-up of debris.
  3. Use specific solutions designed for each type of carpet.
  4. Do not step onto a freshly cleaned/ damp carpet with your shoes on or with dirty feet.
  5. Resist the urge to vigorously scrub away at the stains but instead blot gently.
  6. Invest in high-quality, good machines.


So, now you know how to shampoo your carpet effectively. Before you take up this tedious task, do not forget to look at some of the videos to get the best results out of your efforts. And do not forget to get your hands on good quality machines and solutions!

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