How To Shampoo Carpet By Hand

Updated on September 2, 2022

Are you wondering how to shampoo carpet by hand? Shampooing your carpet by hand is a hassle. Who has the time and energy to hand-scrub a whole room’s worth of carpet? It doesn’t have to be a pain!

A cheap handheld carpet cleaner would definitely come in handy, but it may not be in your budget. Maybe you don’t have the time to go out and buy one. Whatever the case may be, cleaning your carpets by hand is much easier than you may think.

Whether you’re spring cleaning, preparing your home for a new baby, or getting your house ready to go on the market, getting your carpets looking and smelling fresh and clean doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. In fact, you can use this cleaning method with things you probably already have in your home!

See Also: How to Spot Clean Carpet Stains

Benefits of Cleaning By Hand

If you know someone that owns a carpet shampooer, you could ask to borrow their machine, but what if you don’t have a friend that’s able to share their appliance with you? Don’t fret! You don’t need any fancy appliances or sprays to remove dirt, stains, and smells from your carpet!

You can still get your floors as clean as a machine would get them with just a few easy steps. I’m sure you’re probably wondering, “Why would I hand scrub my carpet when a machine can do it better and quicker?”

Here’s why: Renting a steam cleaning machine or paying a professional carpet cleaner is an expense that isn’t in most people’s budgets. Not only is it expensive, but most carpet cleaners also use harsh chemicals and a ton of power to clean your floors.

If you do it yourself, you’ll be in control of what products you use and you won’t be wasting electricity on something that you can do yourself. You’ll be doing your family, and the environment, a favor.

What Supplies Will You Need?

There are a few things you’ll need that will make hand cleaning your carpet easier. Everything on this list, you probably already have around your home.

If you don’t, that’s okay! Purchasing any of the needed supplies will still probably be cheaper than paying a professional or renting a carpet cleaner.


  • Broom
  • Vacuum (wet/dry vac would be best)
  • Scrubbing brush (larger ones make it easier to clean a bigger area)
  • White rags
  • Hot water
  • Table salt
  • Soap of your choice (Castille soap is great, as is dish soap)
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle

Now, I want to explain before we get too far, that this cleaning method works best with a spray bottle because it allows you to control how much liquid you’re putting into your carpet. You don’t want your carpet to be too wet, because you risk soaking the padding and subflooring, which could lead to mold.

You definitely don’t have to use a spray bottle, just be mindful of the amount of water you’re using.

Preparing Your Carpet

Now that you have everything you need to clean your carpet, it’s time to get your carpet ready. First, you’ll want to sweep your carpet with the broom. This step is important because it will agitate the fibers of your carpet and help loosen up any dirt and debris that’s under the surface.

Second, vacuum up any loosened debris and pet hair. Vacuuming isn’t doesn’t get everything out of your carpet. If it did, you wouldn’t need to shampoo it.

Time To Clean!

Now that you’ve gotten your carpet ready to be scrubbed, it’s time to mix up the solution and get to cleaning.

  1. Fill your spray bottle most of the way with hot water. Add enough of the soap to make it sudsy (a few drops should be enough). Give the bottle a shake; you don’t want it too foamy but you do want it to mix thoroughly.
  2. Next, you’ll want to liberally sprinkle your carpet with baking soda and salt. You don’t have to cover it completely, just enough so you can see it sitting on top.
  3. Lightly spray the area with the liquid in your spray bottle and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Using your scrubbing brush, firmly brush your carpet in one direction to pull out dirt, debris, and hair from your carpet.
  5. If you still have debris in your carpet, repeat step 4, going in the opposite direction.
  6. Soak up any excess liquid by pressing your towels into the carpet.
  7. Rinse your floor by spraying with clean water and repeating the blotting process.
  8. If you have a wet/dry vacuum, this would be a great time to use that to vacuum out any excess moisture from your carpet.

That’s it! Your carpet should be nice and clean without any lingering smells or stains!

Additional Methods

There are a lot of ways to get your carpet clean. Some people use detergent, water, and vinegar. Others choose to use commercial carpet cleaners. Take a look at the video below to see another way to get your carpets nice and clean.