How to Shampoo a Carpet

Last update: 1 year ago

Carpet shampooing
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A carpet can definitely be the perfect finish to your home’s interior, but as with everything, you need to know how to properly maintain it. We all know how a rug can be a magnet not only for stains, but also for nasty allergens that can trigger coughing and sneezing. Needless to say, a good, regular clean will both refresh your carpet and take care of the harmful pollen and dust living in its fibres.

With that in mind, if you are looking for an easy, budget-friendly cleaning method, carpet shampooing is the way to go. But what exactly is carpet shampooing? How is it done? Is it effective? We’ll cover all of that and more in this article!

What is carpet shampoo?

Carpet shampoo is a special cleaning product designed to wash carpets and rugs. This detergent can be found in a dry powder or liquid form, which creates enough foam to attract and suspend dirt particles.

When it comes to the liquid option, a long-lasting foam is essential for a good carpet cleaning, as the product needs to break the electrostatic bond between dirt and the carpet’s fibres. The dry powder alternative, on the other hand, doesn’t create such foam, but it’s not less effective.

Generally, you can find numerous commercial products available on the market, but, if you want to, you can also make a homemade, organic carpet shampoo as well.

Manual carpet shampooing is considered easier and cheaper than other options, such as steam cleaning since it can be done at home and without the need for special equipment. Of course, the final result can’t be compared to that of a professional steam cleaner, however, it’s still satisfactional.

In short – if you wish to refresh your rug without breaking the bank, manual carpet shampooing is your best option, since it’s easier and cheaper. If you want to deep clean it, we recommend that you hire a professional with proper steam cleaning equipment.

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How to make carpet shampoo

It may sound like a complicated task, but making carpet shampoo is actually easy. As mentioned before, there are two types of carpet shampoo – dry powder and liquid. Both are used in licensed cleaning services, but either of them can be prepared at home with cheap ingredients, which you probably already have in your kitchen. Needless to say, using a homemade carpet shampoo solution has many benefits. For example, you will save money, become more eco-friendly, and use something that is not chemical-based.

Ok, so now that we’ve covered why you should make it, let’s focus on how to make your own carpet shampoo:

Foam carpet shampoo recipe

DIY foam carpet shampoo is very easy to make. Here’s how:

What you will need:

  • 12 cups of warm water
  • 1 tbsp of white vinegar
  • ½ tbsp of rubbing alcohol
  • 3 tbsp of dish soap
  • A scrub brush
  • A clean, dry cloth

Recipe instructions

  • Step 1: Start with the warm water and white vinegar – mix them in a big enough bowl.
  • Step 2: Then, pour the rubbing alcohol in.
  • Step 3: Mix the ingredients well.
  • Step 4: Add the dish soap.
  • Step 5: Stir the mixture until you create a foam.

Dry carpet shampoo powder recipe

Like foam carpet shampoo, carpet dry shampoo powder will take you only minutes to make. Just follow this recipe:

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp of cloves or any other herb
  • 1 tbsp of borax
  • A brush (optional).

Recipe instructions

  • Step 1: Take a clean, dry bowl and pour the baking soda and cornstarch inside.
  • Step 2: Add the borax to the other ingredients and mix really well.
  • Step 3: Finally, add the herb to give your dry natural carpet shampoo a pleasant scent.

How to shampoo a carpet

Carpet shampooing is really easy – you only need your detergents, a good pair of gloves, and a brush. With that in mind, here is a step-by-step guide on how to shampoo carpet by hand:

Step 1: Clear out the area – Move furniture and any other objects away from the carpet to make it easier for you to clean.

Step 2: Vacuum the carpet – Give your carpet a thorough vacuuming to remove surface dust and dirt.

Step 3: Pre-treat stains – Now is the time to take care of any old or new stain on your carpet. If the stain is very fresh, blot it to remove as much moisture as possible, and apply your stain product. For old, crusty marks, use a butter knife to remove as much of the stain as possible, and afterwards apply the anti-stain product.

Important: If you are dealing with a new stain, NEVER rub it – you will only spread it, and make it sink deeper into the fibres of your carpet. Instead, opt for gentle, tapping motions to blot it.

Step 4: Apply the carpet shampoo – If you’ve chosen a liquid detergent for the cleaning job, use a brush to put it on the carpet, and rub it into its surface. If you are using dry carpet shampoo, just sprinkle the powder evenly on the rug – the product will penetrate the fibres by itself.

Step 5: Remove the detergent – For dry carpet shampoo, wait for about 2 hours for the powder to settle, and then vacuum to remove it. When it comes to the liquid shampoo method, you only need to blot away the excess moisture, and let the material dry naturally.

How often to shampoo a carpet

The answer depends on a couple of things. The first one is foot traffic – the more you walk on a rug, the more frequently you’ll need to clean it.

How often to shampoo carpet or rug also depends on whether you have children or pets – if you have a fluffy cat that sheds a lot or a small child who likes to spill things, you’ll need to shampoo your carpet every 3 months. The same rule extends to upholstered furniture and mattress maintenance, too.

Also, if you or a family member is struggling with allergies, cleaning your carpet every 2-3 months is vital. For anyone who likes to smoke inside – shampoo your carpet every 3 to 6 months. And if there isn’t a lot of foot traffic in your home, you don’t have animals and kids, and don’t do or have the other things we’ve mentioned above, you can wash your carpet just once every 6 months.


  • Carpet shampooing is easy, budget-friendly, doesn’t necessarily require any special equipment, and, most importantly – it is effective enough in cleaning your rug;
  • There are two types of carpet shampoo products – dry powder detergent and liquid detergent. The first one doesn’t require water, which means no drying time, while the second one does, and you’ll need to wait for your carpet to dry naturally;
  • You can also make your very own carpet detergent to clean your rug with inexpensive ingredients you probably already have;
  • No matter what type of detergent you choose to use, don’t forget to vacuum the carpeting first to remove any surface dirt;
  • How frequently to shampoo your carpet will highly depend on the foot traffic it receives, whether or not you smoke inside, and other factors.

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