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How to Freshen Your Carpet Without Shampooing

How to freshen your carpet without shampooing
September 7, 2022

If your carpet is looking like it can use some cleaning attention, then it is time to devote some time and effort. Don’t worry – you won’t be struggling when you read the following guide on how to clean the carpet like a pro.

At Crystal Carpet Cleaners we know that it is very important for homeowners to keep a well-maintained and clean carpet. Clean carpets introduce warmth and beauty to the whole house. Unfortunately, dust and debris often make the whole carpet a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria and a source of unpleasant smells.

Sure, deep cleaning is always just a single phone call away. But when shampooing is not an option, what are you to do? That is exactly what we will go over in the following guide for cleaning your carpet.

Every homeowner knows that well-maintained carpets can really boost the appearance of the place. If you have invested money, you will be doing your due diligence to clean and maintain the carpet in a good shape. In that regard, regular vacuuming is the task that you need to address.

According to every carpet cleaner in London, you need to put vacuuming on your cleaning schedule if you are to maintain the carpet free of dust and debris like pet hair on the surface level.

How can I clean my carpet without water?

Portrait of a young woman vacuuming a carpet in the lounge at home.

If you don't want to involve water in your carpet cleaning efforts, simply vacuum clean it.

The following tips aim to give you a few pointers on how to clean a carpet with a vacuum like a pro.

Brush before you vacuum

Going through the task of brushing before you vacuum goes a long way in upgrading this cleaning method and making it more efficient. Scrub over the carpet surface with a soft brush. It will lift the build-up of dirt and debris trapped within the fibres. Loose dirt on the surface is an easier target for the vacuum. You can follow up with a lint roller to collect pet hairs.

Vacuum in a criss-cross pattern

Instead of moving the machine in one direction at all times, you should follow a criss-cross pattern. Carpets are made of fabric piles, so running the cleaner in a single direction causes dirt to be trapped on the other side. When you follow a more complicated pattern, you ensure that you remove dirt on all sides of the pile.

Go slow

It is understandable if you want to finish the job quickly. But steady wins the race, as far as carpet cleaning is concerned. You need to run the machine slowly over each section of the carpet, because that way you can maximise the amount of dust it collects. Go over the same area twice for best results.

Don’t forget to empty the canister/bag

Regardless of what sort of machine you are using, you should always empty out the canister or bag it operates with. If you leave it full for a long time, it is problematic in many ways. For starters, the vacuum cleaner will lose a huge portion of its efficiency.

Furthermore, it will release some of the collected dust back into the air, rendering your cleaning efforts rather ineffective. At most, you should wait till the bag or canister are two-thirds full and empty them out then.

Make sure you use the attachments

Most vacuum cleaners come with several useful attachments that you should use around the house. The crevice tool allows you to easily reach tough and narrow areas around furniture items and corners in the rooms. There should also be a brush attachment, which is ideal for cleaning your upholstery and curtains. Some can even help you with a stain.

Make sure you maintain the vacuum cleaner

Investing in a good vacuum cleaner is only the first step to ensuring a clean carpet at home. You need to use it well and maintain it in good working order if you are to make the most of it. Check the hose for blockages and detach the vacuum head to remove stuck-on debris and pet hair.

Make it fun

To clean a carpet well, you have to vacuum it often. In order to not hate the task, you should develop a more accepting attitude towards it. It is possible to make it somewhat less tedious. For example, you can listen to your favourite music when you are doing it. You can then try out some dance moves as you vacuum the carpet.

Also, when you clean a carpet, you engage in physical exercise. It sure is a nice way to burn calories and get your heart rate up. Those are definitely reasons to not shy away from it and instead embrace it.

You may be thinking that cleaning a carpet without a machine is not feasible. While you can most certainly resort to deep cleaning services or rent the appropriate equipment for deeply cleaning, you can also be your own star of the show and do a good job without any of it.

The following guide will provide you with essential information on how you can clean without a machine, as well as some handy tips to prevent a big mess in the future.

How can I freshen up my carpet naturally?

cleaning equipment

If you want to freshen up your carpets naturally, here are a few working methods that you can try out.

Cleaning with powder cleaner or baking soda

A powder carpet cleaner and baking soda are two viable products for refreshing your carpet with minimal elbow grease. In order to put them to good use you should follow these steps:

Vacuum the area first

The very first thing you need to do is to ensure that the area doesn’t contain loose debris and dirt within its carpet fibres. To that end, you should give the carpet a good clean.

Address carpet stains (if present)

If there are some stains present, you should treat them now, before doing any more carpet cleaning. Avoid using a brush, and instead, go for the blotting technique with a dry cloth.

For this task, you need to wash up liquid and a bottle of white vinegar.

Mix a cup of vinegar with half a cup of washing-up liquid in a spray bottle. Apply the solution onto the stain and blot with a clean cloth or a towel. If you find the smell of vinegar strong, dilute with some soapy water. Repeat the process multiple times, if the stain persists.

In order to do such carpet cleaning, you can also try shaving cream, as it has proven a good solution in many cases. Apply on the carpet with an old toothbrush, let it sit and then blot with a clean cloth. Club soda works for a white or red wine stain. Simply spray a little club soda, let it sit and then blot.

Table salt is something you can use for grease stains. As for bubble gum on the carpet, apply an ice cube or very cold water to freeze it and then gently scrape it off.

Sprinkle the powder/baking soda

When the carpet is ready and dry after any stain treatment, it is time to proceed. Take either the powder or baking soda and sprinkle generously over the whole carpet.

Let it sit to do its magic

You need to leave the powder for at least 30 minutes. If you have the time, you can also leave it for a few hours more, which in many cases is better. The more time it sits on the carpet, the more it will soften stains and remove odours from the area.

Vacuum it up

To finish off, you should vacuum the powder. Make sure you move the vacuum cleaner slowly and pass it several times in a cross-cross pattern over the area. That way you are guaranteed to pick up most of the powdered product and leave the fibres fresh as new.

This simple cleaning method requires no special equipment and carpet shampoo – merely a vacuum cleaner and some baking soda/powder. It is simple, yet very effective for removing musty smells from the area, as well as giving the entire carpet that as good as new look you so much appreciate.

How can I deep clean my carpet without a shampooer?

Here are a few more methods to help you deodorise your carpet.

The aforementioned method of vacuuming is one of the easiest and most popular ones you can resort to without having to deep clean. But there are even more tips that you can use to deodorise your carpet without the use of carpet shampoos and harsh chemicals. Let’s list a few of them:


white vinegar in a bottle

If you can smell a musty odour, it could be due to mildew or mould growth inside the carpet fibres. Removing the mildew is the only way to deal with the situation. Thankfully, you can do so with the cleaning solution that consists of white vinegar, warm water and a teaspoon of dish soap. It is a cost-effective solution for removing unpleasant odours.

Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and shake it well. Add in the dish soap. Spray the solution on the carpet and let it air dry. The vinegar will neutralise any unpleasant odours and also disinfect the area. Just make sure you don’t soak the carpet too much with warm water.


bottle pouring vodka in a glass

Apart from being a staple ingredient in plenty of cocktails, vodka is a remarkable stain remover. After you treat a spot, lightly spray some vodka on it to further boost the odour-removal effects. Leave the liquid on the area for at least 15 minutes. Then, use a paper towel to blot it out. You will notice the unpleasant smell is gone. Apply a little fresh water afterwards, if necessary.

Baking soda, borax and essential oil

Baking soda. On the black chalkboard

Baking soda is definitely the champion when it comes to deodorising carpets. However, this time it is joined by borax and essential oils, to further its power. Borax is a great addition, which helps with its acidic properties to kill mould and mildew spores. These are often the culprit of unpleasant odours from the carpet, so it makes sense to target them with something strong.

You should mix half a cup of borax with a cup of baking soda in a mason jar. Add 10 drops of your favourite essential oil and give the mixture a good shake. Then, spread it on the carpet and leave it there for an hour. Vacuum thoroughly afterwards and enjoy a fresh-smelling carpet.

Dried herbs and baking soda

This is a down-to-earth method, which is good for adding a plant scent in a room with a carpet. You just need half a cup of baking soda and a tablespoon of dried herbs. Cinnamon and rosemary are very popular, though you can also do dried lavender. The recipe works with any herb. Simple combine baking soda with crushed herbs and spread the mixture across the carpet. Let it sit for an hour and then vacuum thoroughly.

Enzyme cleaner

If you have pets at home, you know that accidents are likely. The issue with this kind of stains is that they can be difficult to remove and there is a very strong pungent odour that is hard to get out. A few drops of enzyme cleaner is probably your best cleaning solution for dealing with such an issue.

Such carpet cleaners can make a short work of stubborn stains. Always test such products on a small inconspicuous area first. Make sure you follow the instructions on the label when you apply it and blot it with a paper towel.

How to prevent your carpet from getting smelly?

Everyone knows the old adage – prevention is better than the cure. The same applies for your carpet. If you are a little preventive, you will spare yourself the trouble of investing a ton of time and effort to deep clean later on. Let’s see what simple tips you should implement, in order to avoid the need to deodorise the carpet every so often.

Ensure the rooms have good ventilation

Good ventilation is essential for ensuring a carpeted room doesn’t smell bad. Airflow is one thing that can remove odours from the room before they have had a chance to settle within the fabric. Opening windows and doors, even for a few minutes at a time, goes a long way in helping this.

It is most effective if you have an opening at opposite ends because this creates a cross-wind. An added bonus is that good ventilation maintains proper levels of humidity at home, which in turn means less risk of mould or mildew.

Clean your carpet regularly

There are no two ways about it – cleaning regularly means that odours and impurities don’t accumulate on the carpet. For example, you should be dealing with high-traffic areas at least once each week. Any less than that means that dirt and other debris can be embedded within the fibres due to foot traffic. And you won't just need to deep clean carpet, but also vacuum on a regular basis.

Remove spills as quickly as possible

Believe it or not, fresh stains are not only problematic because of their appearance. They are also a source of unpleasant carpet odours. If there are children or pets running around your home, you know they can stain the carpets. Same if you have an accident in the kitchen with a food processor stain.

You should try your best to remove any stain as soon as it happens by blotting with paper towels. That way you have a better chance of removing a stain completely and not allowing it time to set. 

As you can see, you only need a few clever tips to clean your carpet. If you implement the aforementioned pointers along with the aid of professionals to deep clean the carpet, you will have a fresher environment in your house. Steam cleaning the carpet every now and then and regular vacuuming can make all the difference.

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