DIY Carpet Cleaning Checklist For Homeowners


Cleaning your carpets by yourself isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Follow these 20 tips for the most thorough clean your carpet will ever see. 

DIY Carpet Cleaning Checklist

  • Tidy Up The Room

First things first, you need to tidy up the room you want to clean the carpets in. Doing this will remove any possible obstructions while you’re running the carpet cleaner. 

  • Vacuuming is Essential

Once all of the major items are out of the way and any furniture is removed or lifted, vacuuming is next. This step will pick up any dirt, loose dust, and pet hair or dander hiding at the surface of your carpet. 

  • Mix a Spot Cleaner

Some tough stains may require spot cleaning. Doing this before your main clean will help lift the stain and make it easier to clean up. There are a variety of eco-friendly spot cleaners that can do the job with ingredients like vinegar or dish soap. 

  • Spot Clean Tough Stains

Take the spot cleaner you’ve mixed up and apply it to the affected area. Depending on the method you chose, you’ll need to let the expert carpet cleaners sit anywhere from five minutes to a few hours before dabbing the spot clean with a sponge or white cloth. 

  • Find a Good Carpet Cleaner

Now you need to find a good carpet cleaning machine if you don’t already have one. These can be purchased at any major home or department store but it’s important to choose one of professional quality. 

  • Find a Good Carpet Shampoo

Now that you have a good carpet cleaner, you’ll need to find a good shampoo to use as a detergent. Depending on the carpet cleaner model you have, there may be specific shampoos that work better with your specific machine. 

  • Fill Carpet Cleaner With Water

Before turning on the cleaner, fill the designated tank with warm water. Don’t use boiling or hot water because that can scald your hands and cause damage to your machine. 

  • Fill Carpet Cleaner With Shampoo

Each model varies for this step. While some models will have you mix the shampoo in the same tank as your water, others may have a specific reservoir for your detergent. 

  • Turn on Carpet Cleaner

The model you have may have different options for when you turn on your cleaner. Some come with fancy temperature adjustments and others may have speed settings. 

  • Start Furthest From the Door

The best place for you to start cleaning is the part of the room opposite your entrance. Doing this will prevent you from having to walk on wet floors, which can become very uncomfortable. 

  • Move Slowly

The machine works by forcing hot water and steam from the machine through your carpet fibers. If you move too quickly, the machine can’t clean as thoroughly as it could at a slower pace. 

  • Move in Straight, Uniform Lines

It’s generally recommended to clean your carpets in the same way you would mow your lawn. Straight and uniform lines will prevent any area from becoming too wet. 

  • Overlap Lines Slightly

Slightly overlapping your work lines will ensure no spot in the carpet is missed. With that said, make sure to only do so just a little bit to avoid pooling water. 

  • Go Over a Second Time

After you finish your initial clean, you may want to go over it one more time. However, this time you should do so with just water. This second run-through will pick up any leftover shampoo residue. 

  • Let The Room Dry

Your next step is to let the room dry completely before walking inside. This will help you avoid wet feet and it gives the carpet a chance to settle. 

  • Spot Clean Leftover Stains

After the carpet dries, check the room for leftover stains. These may require one more spot clean to fully lift the stain from the carpet. Apply any DIY solution for spot cleaning at this time. 

  • Let Spot Cleaning Dry

Once you’ve finished cleaning any leftover spots, let that area dry completely. After it dries, check again to ensure the stain is gone. 

  • Spread a Carpet Freshener

This step is completely optional, but you may want to spread some sort of carpet freshener on the floor just to give the room a nice fragrance.  

  • Vacuum Room Again

After the carpet freshener has had a chance to set, vacuum the room one more time. This cleans up all of the freshening powder and it will also suck up anything the carpet cleaner was able to lift from the floor but not suck up completely. 

  • Clean Any Future Spills Immediately

Now that the carpets are cleaned, it’s important to maintain them properly. Any time a spill happens, make sure to clean them up immediately to reduce the risk of further staining. 


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