How to Clean Carpeting

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Rug-cleaning machine
Materials Required
  • Rug cleaning solution

Before You Begin

To do the job, here are the steps to follow. If you decide not to to do the job click Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local prescreened contractors. Type "clean carpeting" in their Find Pros search box.

  • Step 1 : Remove the furniture

    Remove all the furniture on the floor and place it in another room.

  • Step 2 : Vacuum the carpeting

    Thoroughly vacuum the carpeting, making sure to use a crevice tool to remove dust and dirt from around the edges of the floor where the carpeting meets the baseboard.

  • Step 3 : Pre-treat any problem areas

    If there are areas of the carpeting with stains or heavily soiled areas, use a pre-treatment to remove them before cleaning the carpeting. Follow the directions carefully.

  • Step 4 : Prepare the machine

    Carefully read the directions that come with the machine so you know how to operate it safely. Follow the directions for mixing the cleaning solution with water. It's usually easiest to fill the tank with cleaning solution at a large wash tub or waste sink. Attach the water tank making sure it is properly aligned and secure. Always operate the machine with dry hands. Most rug-cleaning machines require a 120-volt outlet with a grounded plug. Plug the unit in so it can be moved easily around the room. Turn off all controls before unplugging the machine.

  • Step 5 : Operate the machine

    Most machines are designed to operate in one cleaning pass. To assure full coverage slightly overlap each pass. Keep the machine moving as you press the switch. Turn the machine on, then follow the labels on the machine and handle to begin. Many operate by squeezing a trigger switch on the handle while pulling the machine slowly backward in a straight line. Others operate in a forward motion. As you release the trigger switch, the machine stops. You'll see dirty water filling up in the tank; empty it when it accumulates. Follow this process until the entire carpeting has been cleaned.

  • Step 6 : Let the carpeting dry

    Allow at least 24 hours for the carpeting to dry before returning the furniture. You can usually walk on it (clean socks only) when it begins to feel dry. If weather permits, open windows and doors so air can flow through and help dry the carpeting.

    Before returning the rug-cleaning machine, clean it. Rinse out the tanks, wipe off the bottom of the machine and remove lint from the brush.