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How to Clean a Carpet Without a Vacuum Cleaner? A Step-By-Step Guide

Using a vacuum cleaner to clean a carpet in your home is not always possible. If people are sleeping in your house and you don’t want to wake them up by running a noisy vacuum or if it is out of order or if you don’t even own one in the first place, you might be wondering how to clean a carpet without a vacuum cleaner. And whether it is possible.

The answer to the above question is yes it is possible to clean your carpet without a vacuum cleaner using DIY methods and with tools mostly found in your household inventory. 

Key Takeaways

A carpet can be cleaned without using a vacuum cleaner. In dry cleaning methods, if your carpet is fixed on the floor, you can use a broom to dust off all the debris or use a sweeper to automate the cleaning. 

If you can remove your carpet and take it outside, you can use a carpet beater for beating the dust and debris out of it by hanging it on a clothesline. Another way is to shake it to get rid of all the dust and debris. 

For deep wet cleaning without using a vacuum, you can use carpet shampoo or homemade cleaning solution to scrub the stains and spills out of it using a scrubber. Small carpets and area rugs can be washed in a washing machine if they don’t have a “Hand Wash Only” or a “No Machine Wash” tag on them. 

How To Clean A Carpet Without A Vacuum Cleaner?

how to clean carpet without a vacuum cleaner

Carpets and rugs absorb pet hair, dust, and debris. This debris, if not cleaned properly in time, gets buried deep into the pile, especially in thick pile carpets, due to the foot traffic. The busier areas of your house like the hallway, main entrance, or stairs, will get dirtier than some of the less busy areas. If these are carpeted, you will have to clean them more often than other floorings in your house. And if by accident your carpet gets urinated upon, getting the urine smell out of it becomes a pretty hectic task. 

While cleaning concrete floors or vinyl plank floors is easy, cleaning carpets and rugs become a hectic task especially if they have old set-in stains. 

No matter how clean and tidy a carpet might look on your floor, the debris it holds within its pile is enough to cause serious health problems if not cleaned regularly.  

A carpet can be cleaned without a vacuum using two methods:

  1. Dry cleaning methods
  2. Wet cleaning methods

As the names suggest, dry cleaning methods involve no water and can be used when there are no stains on the carpets. Wet cleaning methods are used when you wash it to remove stains and liquid spills.

Dry Cleaning A Carpet Without A Vacuum Cleaner

Dry cleaning methods involve simple dust and debris pickup using household cleaning tools. These methods should be used on regular bases to get rid of the debris carpets absorb daily. 

Following are some of the dry cleaning methods you can use to clean your carpet: 

Carpets are said to have been invented in around the 5th-4th century BC while vacuum cleaners were first invented in 1908. So, what do you think people used to clean them before vacuum cleaners were invented? The old-school broom and dustpan method is still preferable when you don’t have access to a vacuum cleaner. 

Pick up a broom, preferably with hard bristles, and a dustpan, and start putting in some elbow grease. The broom and the dustpan should have long handles so that you don’t have to get an appointment at an orthopedic clinic for your back pain after cleaning. 

Start cleaning from one side of the carpet and work your way toward the other. This way you will be sure that every inch of the surface is cleaned. 

If the debris starts to pile up in between the cleaning session, pick it up using the dustpan so that you don’t have to push that heap of debris throughout the whole surface. 

If the carpet is thick and has high fibers, you should use hard strokes to reach deep into the pile and sweep all the debris buried deep inside.

One of the easiest ways to clean your carpets at home is to use a carpet sweeper. It is different from a vacuum cleaner because a sweeper is a non-motorized cleaning tool and thus doesn’t require any electricity. Since it doesn’t have a motor, it will not make any noise and you have to move it manually. 

A carpet sweeper uses two electrostatic rotating brush rolls that pick up debris on both forward and backward passes. This debris is collected in the attached dirt bin. Once the dirt bin is filled, empty it and start cleaning your carpet again. 

A carpet sweeper is simple to use. You don’t have to deal with any type of setting. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It is a good alternative to a vacuum cleaner when it comes to manual cleaning.

Hair fell everywhere, whether human hair or pet hair – especially Husky hair that shed a lot. They get tangled up with the pile and fringes of the carpet. 

If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, don’t worry. You can still pick up these hair with a simple DIY hack. 

Since a broom is not effective in picking up hair from the carpet, you will need a lint roller for this task. 

Just like a lint roller is used to remove hair and lint from clothes, it does the same task on a carpet. A lint roller has a long extendable handle that makes it easy to use while standing. 

It has a sticky sheet on the roller that grabs all the hair from the surface. Once this sheet is filled with hair and other fine debris, you can just peel it off and apply a new one.

If your carpet is not fixed on your floor and you can take it outside, you can use a carpet beater to clean it. This method is also applicable to the area rugs as well that you can easily pick up and take outside. Cleaning your carpets or area rugs on hardwood floors requires a different process if you cannot take them outside. 

A manual rug beater is usually handmade out of rattan cane which is a long-lasting and eco-friendly material. It has a wide paddle covering more surface area.

Hang the carpet or the rug on a clothesline in your backyard or anywhere outside your living space and use this beater to beat the dirt and debris out of your carpets and rugs. Start from the top and work your way toward the bottom.

Make sure to beat your carpet and area rug from both sides because the underside gets more dirt than the top side. 

Once you are done beating your carpets clean, you can hang the beater on your wall as a vintage decorative ornament.


Make sure to wear a dust mask because the flying dust can easily be inhaled and will cause health issues. 

Shake The Carpet

Another way to manually clean small carpets and area rugs without a vacuum cleaner is to give them a good shake. For this, you will have to take it outside and shake it hard. This will take most of the dirt and debris out.

Bang the carpet against a wall to loosen up even more dirt and debris and then shake again. This will get rid of even more dirt.

Again, make sure to wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling the dirt.

Deep (Wet) Cleaning A Carpet Without A Vacuum Cleaner

If your carpets are stained with food stains or liquid spills, the dry cleaning methods will not be sufficient for proper manual cleaning.

A messy and stained carpet must be deep cleaned using a cleaning solution or carpet shampoo. Deep cleaning can also be done without using a vacuum cleaner. 

These methods not only remove the stains from your carpet by deep cleaning but also deodorize it and kill all the bacteria and microorganisms that might be lingering and lurking.

Use Carpet Shampoo

If your carpet is stained and you want to deep clean it without using a vacuum cleaner, you need to take out your bucket and sponge. Grab a carpet shampoo and mix it with warm water in a bucket to make a cleaning solution. Follow this step-by-step guide for manual deep cleaning:

  • Soak the sponge with the shampoo and rub the stained area
  • You might also need a scrubber to properly agitate the stain and make the shampoo reach deep into the surface
  • Leave the shampoo on the stain for around 15 to 30 minutes
  • Now take warm water, soak a sponge in it, and rub the shampooed area
  • Rub the area with clean towels or let it dry on its own
  • If the stain is not gone completely, repeat the process

Use A Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution

If you don’t have carpet shampoo, you can make your own cleaning solution using household items. 

You will need the following items:

These three items are available in every household DIY inventory. Follow these steps to make a cleaning solution and do the manual deep cleaning:

  • Add an equal amount of all these three items and mix them well 
  • Once a homogeneous paste is achieved, apply this paste to the stained area 
  • Take a scrubber and agitate the stain
  • Leave the area for at least 30 minutes or more depending on how deep and badly stained your carpet is. 
  • Now take a microfiber cloth or a towel to soak the cleaning solution out of the surface
  • Make sure to let the area completely dry before allowing any foot traffic on it
  • If the stain is not gone completely, you will have to repeat the above process

Washing The Carpet In A Washing Machine

If you can remove the small carpets and area rugs, you can just toss them into a washing machine. Make sure that the carpet or rug doesn’t have a “Hand Wash Only” or “No Machine Wash” instruction on it. 

Pour some shampoo into the machine and give it a good spin. Once the carpet is cleaned, let it dry completely before putting it back on the floor.

How To Make Your Carpet New And Fluffy Again?

To make your carpet look new and fluffy again, pour some warm water on it and blow a hair dryer while combing the fibers either with your hands or using a comb. Once it dries, it will have a newer more fluffy look.

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