July 20, 2024
Learn how to use a carpet cleaner effectively with these step-by-step instructions and tips for handling tough stains, maintaining your machine, and selecting the right accessories.


Having carpeted floors is a great addition to any home, but keeping them clean can be a challenge. It’s important to know how to use a carpet cleaner correctly to ensure your floors stay fresh and free of dirt and stains. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to use a carpet cleaner effectively.

A Step-by-Step Guide with Photos

The first step to using a carpet cleaner is to make sure your carpet is prepared for the cleaning process. This involves thoroughly vacuuming the area to remove any loose dirt and debris. Make sure you go over the area multiple times to ensure you’ve picked up as much dirt as possible.

Next, you’ll want to set up your carpet cleaner. If you’re using a rental machine, make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them precisely. If you have your own machine, make sure it’s clean and all parts are functioning properly.

Once your machine is set up, you’re ready to begin cleaning. Start in one corner of the room and work your way backwards, so you don’t step on any areas that have already been cleaned. Make sure you apply the appropriate amount of cleaning solution to the area you’re cleaning, and use smooth, even strokes to scrub the carpet.

As you work, be sure to keep an eye on the water level in the machine. When it starts to get low, empty and refill it with clean water. Once you’ve cleaned the entire room, go over it again with just water to rinse away any remaining cleaner.

Finally, make sure your carpet is completely dry before walking on it again. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the humidity and temperature in your home.

Here are some troubleshooting tips and common issues to keep in mind:

  • If your carpet looks darker after cleaning, it might be because too much water was used. Make sure you don’t oversaturate the area you’re cleaning.
  • If the cleaner seems to be leaving streaks, make sure you’re using even strokes and not going over the same area too many times.
  • If your carpet has a strange smell after cleaning, it might be because the machine wasn’t cleaned properly after the last use.

Video Tutorial

While written instructions can be helpful, sometimes it’s easier to learn by watching someone else do it. There are plenty of video tutorials available online that can show you exactly how to use a carpet cleaner step-by-step.

Here are some benefits of watching a video tutorial:

  • You can see exactly how to set up the machine and apply the cleaner to your carpet.
  • You’ll get a better idea of how much cleaner to use and how long to scrub the carpet.
  • You’ll be able to see common mistakes that people make and how to avoid them.

Here’s a video tutorial to get you started:

Tips for Specific Stains

Not all stains are created equal, and some require a bit more effort to clean than others. Here are some common types of stains and how to clean them with your carpet cleaner:

Wine: Blot the area with a clean cloth to remove as much of the wine as possible. Apply a specialized wine stain remover to the area, followed by carpet cleaner.

Pet urine: Blot as much urine as possible with a clean cloth. Apply a pet stain remover to the area, followed by carpet cleaner. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the area with water.

Blood: Blot the area with a clean cloth and apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then blot again with a clean cloth. Apply carpet cleaner to the area.

Best Practices for Maintaining a Carpet Cleaner

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your carpet cleaner works effectively is to maintain it properly. Here are some tips for general maintenance and cleaning:

  • Empty the water and solution tanks after each use.
  • Clean the brush and nozzle after each use.
  • Periodically clean the machine’s parts with soap and water.
  • Replace any worn or damaged parts as needed.

Recommendations for Accessories

There are a variety of accessories available that can enhance the performance of your carpet cleaner. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Stain remover: There are a variety of specialized stain removers available that can help you remove even the toughest stains from your carpet.
  • Odor remover: If your carpet has a persistent odor, an odor remover can help get rid of it.
  • Brushes: Different types of brushes can help you get into tight spaces or tackle tougher stains.

Here are some accessories we recommend:

Bissell Oxy Stain Destroyer Pet: This specialized stain remover works great for pet stains and is safe for use in carpet cleaners.

Hoover PetPlus Pet Stain and Odor Remover: If you have pets, this odor remover can help keep your carpet smelling fresh and clean.

Shark Mini Motorized Brush: This brush attachment is great for tackling tough stains in tight spaces.

Reviews of Specific Models

There are a variety of carpet cleaner models available, each with their own pros and cons. Here are some popular models we’ve reviewed:

Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner: This machine is great for pet owners and has excellent suction power.

HOOVER Power Scrub Elite Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner: This machine is also great for pet owners and is lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner: This heavy-duty machine is great for deep cleaning and has a long cord for easy mobility.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using a carpet cleaner:

  • Using too much cleaner or water.
  • Not letting your carpet dry completely.
  • Not cleaning your machine properly after each use.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure your carpet cleaner works effectively and your carpets stay clean and fresh.


Using a carpet cleaner might seem daunting at first, but by following these step-by-step instructions and tips, you can make the process a breeze. Remember to take the time to prepare your carpet and machine properly, use the appropriate amount of cleaner, and maintain your machine to ensure it lasts for years to come.

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