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How to Use a Home Carpet Cleaner Machine

Home carpet cleaner machines are easy-to-use devices that get carpet stains out and groom carpets to a more refreshed state. The steps when using a carpet cleaner varies somewhat depending on what brand and unit you have. Each model is different, so there will be variations on how to use them exactly. The following is a presentation of the generic steps on how to use a cleaner.

If you want more basic information about carpet cleaners, check out the Introduction to Home Carpet Cleaning Machines guide.

1. Read The Manual

Start by reading the manual of the product and find out what are the dos and don’ts when using the carpet cleaner machine. Reading the manual can help you understand the special features of the machine and how to apply them best. Most of the manuals include lots of helpful tips for getting the most out of the machines. Also, it saves time and effort to understand how to use the machine well and avoid any potential errors.

Hoover Carpet Basics Power Scrub Carpet Cleaner FH50150


2. Prepare The Carpeted Area For Cleaning

Prepare the general area where cleaning will take place. If it’s possible to remove the furniture, try to do so. It will make the cleaning process smoother and more obstacle-free. In addition, you avoid knocking the furniture or harming their surfaces. If you are in a hurry, you could also try concentrating your effort on the high traffic areas, This eliminates the need to remove the furniture. Make sure that any low hanging drapes are also tied up so that they wouldn’t be sucked in by the cleaning equipment.

3. Vacuum The Carpeted Areas

Vacuum over the areas you want to clean. This will suck any loose dirt on the carpet so that it can be ready for some deep cleaning. For spots and stains, add carpet detergent or pre-treatment solutions to dissolve and act on the dirt particles so that it will be easier to lift them out when you run the carpet cleaner machine over them.

4. Fill The Water Tank

Remove the water tank and place the desired combination of water and detergent. You should consult the manual for this, taking into consideration the expanse of carpet that needs to be cleaned. Replace the tank in the slot and make sure that it is slotted in tightly. Only plug in the carpet cleaner machine AFTER the tank has been filled and replaced.

5. Decide Where To Start

Find the most ideal place to start cleaning. It’s usually best to start from the corner, working your way backwards. This way, you wouldn’t have to step on the freshly cleaned carpet, especially if it’s still drying.

6. Choose The Brush/Custom Cleaning Setting

Choose the brush or cleanliness setting that you prefer, depending on the brand. For example, a Hoover carpet cleaner like the Hoover SteamVac will let you choose between a Normal or Gentle scrub, depending on how the situation is for your carpet. Some Bissell machines come with custom cleaning setting that varies the amount of detergent being used. Take note of the light or spinning indicator telling you that the machine is turned on an ready to work.

7. Run Cleaning Strokes Up & Down The Carpets

Hold on to the upright carpet cleaner and squeeze on the solution release while running the machine towards you. This will release the detergent all over the carpet which will seep in the fabric and allowing the dirt to rise to the surface.



Release your grip on the solution dispenser and simply run the machine up and down the same area. This will thoroughly clean the carpet while at the same time drying the fabric as much as it can. Some machines will also allow for cleaning detergent to be released while pushing it away from you, so the rhythm for releasing the grip will vary according to the manual instructions.

8. Repeat Cleaning Strokes, Use Extra Cleaning Features As Needed

Repeat the process several times throughout the expanse of the carpet you want cleaned. Some carpet cleaners come with an “extra” cleaning feature that you can activate throughout the process for especially tough carpets.

9. Rinsing The Carpets

Once done with the cleaning process, it’s advisable to rinse the carpet in order to remove lingering soap. You can do this by throwing out the tank water and refilling it with clean detergent-less liquid. Repeat the same process, overlapping the cleaner over the carpet.

10. Suctioning Out Water

You can run the carpet cleaner over the surface without squeezing the solution dispenser. This will help suck out moisture from the surface, allowing the carpet to dry out faster.

11. Allow Time To Dry The Carpets

Give the carpet time to dry out completely before stepping on it again. If you’ve removed any furniture, it’s a good idea to delay placing them back until the carpet is completely clean. If you must place them back again however, use tin foil to cushion the legs and protect the carpet.

12. Vacuum Again

Once the carpet completely dries out, vacuum the area again to get the perfectly clean result you want.

13. Clean Out & Empty The Tanks

Clean and empty out the water tank before putting them back.

14. Clean The Brushheads Before Storing

Go through the brushheads to remove any dirt and debris stuck to it. Hoover cleaners typically have removable brushheads that can be removed and rinsed under water. This ensures that the bristles are clear to rotate when you next clean. Store the carpet cleaning machine in a clean and dry area.

Closing Comments

Whether it’s a Bissell carpet cleaner machine, Hoover model or a Rug Doctor, the steps for cleaning the carpet follow the same general principles. Some models may be larger or smaller, therefore making them easier to handle. The tank types may also vary which is why it’s advisable to peruse through the manual before attempting to detach or attach anything. You can also check out more carpet cleaning machine tips here.

For additional help, read the Tips On Using A Carpet Cleaning Machine article.

Check out the Carpet Cleaning Machines Reviews home page to access reviews and comparisons of the best machines.




Emmeline Chu







About Emmeline Chu

Emmeline Chu is the Chief Reviewer on this site. She likes to keep all things clean, especially carpets and rugs. Emmeline admits to a quirky obsession with carpet cleaner machines. Since 2014, she has been writing reviews on carpet cleaners. She shares her story here.

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