So You Want To Clean Your Carpet… But You Don’t Have a Vacuum

Typically we reach for the vacuum when we want to clean our carpet. However, perhaps you can’t afford one at the moment. Maybe you want to save on your electric bills or you don’t want to scare your pets or children. There are a variety of reasons why you might want to clean your carpet without a vacuum.

Let’s see how you can clean your carpet without that noisy, sometimes cumbersome, machine. There are several different methods for removing dirt, dust, grime, pet hair and stains from your carpet.

Let’s take a more in depth look at what you can do to clean your carpet without a vacuum.

A How-To Guide

Here we have stated multiple methods for removing stains, dirt and hair that’s lodged into your carpet.

Broom and Dustpan

Before vacuums became a norm in modern society most people used a simple broom and dustpan. You may feel like you’re going back to the pioneer days, but it’s still a practical way to remove dirt and other debris from carpet.

The most efficient approach is to sweep in one direction, compiling all of the debris in one place. It’s simpler this way to get the dirt into the dustbin. The best way to do this is with short movements all going in one direction.

You’ll need to use a brush or a broom with natural fibers for scrubbing. Natural fibers are typically stiffer and will help dislodge the dirt from the carpet more effectively.

You can try Palmyra bristles, which are rough and thick and help bring out the grime hiding in the fibers of your carpet. Broomcom is a brand that’s particularly effective because it’s strong, yet still flexible.

Broomcom is comprised of a variety of agricultural grass called Sorghum Vulgare. It does a great job of consuming and cleaning dirt and debris from your carpet. It’s better if you can avert from using horsehair or polypropylene bristles as they are softer and make cleaning carpet much more difficult than it needs to be.

Carpet Sweeper

If you want to use something that’s got a bit more technology to it, the carpet sweeper is a lovely quiet device that doesn’t require any electricity to run. It’s appreciated by our pets and young children who are often scared easily by loud noises.

Manually operated, it has a series of brushes that roll on the bottom. As you move the carpet sweeper over the carpet the brushes revolve against the carpet and catch dust, hair, dirt and other particles. To clean the carpet sweeper empty the dirt container into the trash receptacle.

Carpet sweepers are simple machines, there are no gadgets, gears, or different settings. They also don’t weigh very much so it will be easy for anyone who may have a bad back. They typically weigh around 4-9 pounds, depending on the brand.

They are great for daily cleanings as they are easy to use, lightweight and will do the trick for superficial dirt. They won’t get deep into the fibers, but if it’s all you have on hand it’s a great method for an everyday clean.

Packaging/Duct Tape

Packing tape, really? Is this really going to help me clean my carpet? You might be surprised. Below we’ll list the benefits of using this household item in your toolbox to keep your carpet clean.

Packing tape is able to pick up pet fur or hair trapped in your carpet. What the carpet sweeper misses or is unable to sweep up with a broom, simply apply packing tape.

Take some packing or duct tape and push it into the carpet on the spot you’d like to clean. Remove it gently, without allowing any time to pass, and voila- you’ve picked up hair and pet fur from that area, as well as any stray superficial dirt that may be leftover.

It’s not a good way to clean large sections of the carpet of course, but it’s a brilliant way to spot clean before people arrive for dinner.

Make sure not to leave packing tape on your carpet for too long. If you leave it there you could be putting residue on your carpet.

Wash the Carpet

For a deeper clean you can use a mop bucket and a stiff brush. Using these tools you can scrub dirt and grime from the carpet, returning it to its original color. This might be a great way to sanitize your carpet from any hidden bacteria.

You’ll frequently see carpet cleaners in your local hardware or department store. These products may eventually damage the carpet fibers when you use them regularly over an extended period of time. It’s not necessary to use harsh chemicals when cleaning your carpet.

Rather, it’s possible to use a non-harmful, natural detergent. You can even make your own. Vinegar and other household items are key ingredients in a DIY carpet cleaner.

Vinegar contains about %5 acetic acid, an element known to kill germs. Vinegar itself eradicates the cell structure of bacteria, shielding your family from dangerous bacteria like E. Coli.

Vinegar is best when it’s diluted with large amounts of water. Our recommendation is ¼ cup of cleaning vinegar in a large bucket of warm water. The water should be lukewarm as to not damage the carpet.

If your carpet is comprised of silk, wool, or other natural fabrics, it is suggested not to use vinegar as it might cause permanent damage.

It’s time to get down to business and use the stiff bristled brush to wash the carpet. Plunge the brush into your bucket and make sure to dry off excess water from the brush. If you get too much water on your carpet it will take forever to dry.

As usual, wait a couple of hours before you walk on your carpet again. It would be frustrating to have put in all this work just to get it dirty again.

The odor of vinegar may fill your room while you’re cleaning, but it’s not the worst odor. Once you’re done and the carpet dries out the smell should vanish. If you are annoyed by the scent of vinegar it’s always possible to open up a window or a door while you’re cleaning.

Ideas For Stains

If you’re prone to spilling drinks on your carpet, don’t worry. We recommend household baking soda for this common emergency. It’s cheap and helps clean up stains by absorbing them first.

Dot the spot with baking soda and then apply water. Let it sit for about 3 hours. Afterwards you can brush it away.

If it’s a new stain simply dab it to remove the baking soda, don’t scrub it or rub it into the carpet. This can create a bigger stain.

Before you set out to clean the whole carpet with your homemade solution, make sure you try it out on one small patch of carpet. Leave it for a few hours to see if it discolors or damages the carpet. Once you’ve assured it’s safe to use you can get to cleaning the whole area.

You Can Always Use a Steam Mop

We love sanitizing our carpet with a steam mop. It’s a great option for profoundly cleaning your carpet and it’s non-toxic so it’s a great option for kids and pets. It only uses water so you won’t need to make or buy any toxic cleaners from the store.

The water is heated, creating a vapor. This vapor is very hot and can kill germs, bacteria and other pathogens within seconds. It is known to eradicate pathogens such as: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE).

Steam mops are also an invaluable tool against dust mites. They are also known to eradicate larval and adult fleas and some of their eggs.

Since the water vapor can become very hot, reaching temperatures around 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit), it may damage your carpet when it comes in contact with it. It might be a good idea to buy a carpet glider attachment for your steam mop.

A carpet glider is a plastic accessory that you simply attach to the mop head. This attachment grants the steam mop a smooth and safe glide over your carpet.

Which Cleaning Tool Will You Choose?

We’ve shown you that you don’t always need a vacuum in order to clean your carpet- there are several viable alternatives you can use.

If you’re simply looking to get rid of dust and larger debris you may want to go with a broom and dustbin. If you can’t, or don’t want to get physical, you can use a carpet sweeper instead as it does not require any bending over.

If you have furry friends in the household you might want to get out the packaging tape. It’s a great way to remove layers of pet fur. If there are some deeper stains you can always wash your carpet using a vinegar based, DIY household cleaner.

If you’d like to sterilize your carpet using safe and natural means you’ll want to try a steam cleaner. A carpet glider is recommended.

Are there other ways to clean your carpet without a vacuum? Share your secrets with us in the comment section below!

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