How to Clean Carpet Without a Vacuum


It’s important to keep your carpet clean and dust-free. Aside from looking good you also want to make sure particles, dust mites, and bacteria aren’t trapped inside your carpet fibers causing any issues with your health. Especially for people with allergies, dust mites can really give them a hard time causing all sorts of reactions like itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and runny noses.

Having a vacuum cleaner handy will certainly help do the job but how does one take care of their carpet if they don’t have a vacuum cleaner at all? It’s also possible that you just don’t want to take your vacuum out of the closet since you have a sleeping baby or it’s late at night and you don’t want to disturb the neighbors.

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Cleaning without a vacuum can seem like a daunting task however there are a number of solutions to do just so. Vacuum cleaners may get the job done more quickly in most cases but there are alternatives that can get the job done just as well. Read on to find out about all kinds of other possibilities on how to keep your carpet clean without the use of a vacuum cleaner.

  • Carpet Sweepers

One vacuum alternative is the carpet sweeper. These guys are non-electric and are simple to use by anyone. They are light, easier to store and they are hassle-free. Since they require no electricity they are more environmentally friendly than a vacuum.

They have been around for ages and get the job done quite well. Ask your grandparents if they know what a carpet sweeper is – they probably do! They come in a variety of colors and are usually pretty inexpensive.

Carpet sweepers are available at most retailers for under $50. That’s quite affordable and makes it a great option. They last a long time and are generally durable too. They are pretty good at picking up small crumbs and other small items but won’t do any serious deep cleaning. They are safe to use on all carpets and rugs, even expensive ones like Persian rugs.

Once the sweeper’s spinning brushes sweep up the debris into its bin and it fills up you can then simply empty it out into a garbage can and your sweeper is ready for action again. It’s not a big investment making it a truly budget-friendly option.

Since it’s not an expensive purchase you can buy more than one and keep them on different floors if you live in a multi-level house. That will save you time and effort in the long run since you won’t be running up or down to grab it all the time.

If you do have a carpet sweeper and want to do some extra deep cleaning then there is a simple method you can follow:

      • Buy a box of baking soda from your local grocery store.
      • Shake the baking soda all over your carpet generously
      • Leave the powder sitting on your carpet for at least an hour. Make sure if you have any pets to close off the area from them.
      • After the time is up, shake out your carpet if possible and if not then use a broom to sweep off as much as you can.
      • Once you have done that go ahead and pull out your carpet sweeper to finish the rest of the job up. Make sure to get to every corner and repeatedly sweep the carpet until most of the baking soda is gone.
      • If your carpet can be moved then take it out and beat it to ensure all the powder is out.
      • Baking soda is a natural odor eliminator. It’s very inexpensive to buy and will basically take care of any musty and dusty odors lingering in your carpet fibers. There is no need for fancy carpet cleaners when baking soda does the job just as well.

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  • Broom and Dustpan

There are plenty of carpets that have a very low pile and are basically flat. These carpets can easily be cleaned with your basic broom and dustpan.

        • Simply start on one side of your carpet or rug and use strong sweeping strokes to sweep the debris off the carpet on a hard floor or into one small area of the carpet itself.
        • Once you have accumulated a nice pile you can then sweep it all into a dustpan and throw out in the garbage.
        • Repeat the whole procedure once again to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind.

It’s important to routinely check your broom head for accumulated hairs and other debris that may get caught in it. Pick it off with your hands and discard it. Wash your hands after that’s done. Keeping the broom head clean will allow it to gather more debris successfully in the future.

  • Lint Roller

If you are in a real bind and need to do a quick carpet clean and you don’t have a sweeper or vacuum around then you can also use a good old lint roller. You may have used one of these guys before on your couch or car. They are great for removing pet hairs off your clothes but they are also great for getting the job done on your carpet too.

Lint rollers are an extremely budget-friendly option costing under $10. They can also be bought in bulk in many places.

        • Before you start using the lint roller first manually pick up any larger visible debris and throw them away. The lint roller won’t be able to stick to anything too large so it’s worthwhile to do this step first.
        • Once you have done that then you are set to go with using the lint roller for the much smaller debris on your carpet. It will do a sufficient job cleaning up pet hairs, dirt, and lint that is still lying around.
        • Lint rollers are basically rolls of one-sided adhesive tape. Once the roll is full of dirt and lint you simply rip off the dirty section and a new fresh section is available to continue the cleaning job.
  • Carpet Beater

If your carpet is not wall to wall or attached to your floor then you have the option to clean your carpet in a more old fashioned method. Beating your carpet is a tried and true way of getting rid of dust and small particles too. Have someone help you take the carpet outside and give it a good shake.

It’s ideal to do this outside since dust will be flying all over the place and you don’t want it to just all settle on your rug again or furniture around the area. Once you’re outside you may want to cover your mouth when beating your carpet since dust will end up in a cloud around you and could end up being inhaled or irritate your eyes.

Once you have given the rug a good shake you need to then hang it over a fence or railing and beat the dust out. You can use a carpet beater to do this or even a tennis racket will do the job. If you don’t have a fence or railing to throw the carpet over in order to beat it then you can also just leave it on the ground and pick up one side at a time and beat each side thoroughly.

Bring your carpet in immediately afterward so that you don’t risk forgetting it outside for too long. The sun can damage your carpet by causing the colors to fade and the rain may leave it too wet causing mildew and mold.

  • Steam Mop

There is another method to keeping your carpet clean without using a vacuum cleaner and that is using a steam mop. Steam mops are not as budget-friendly as the alternatives we have mentioned so far, however, they will leave your carpet sparkling clean. They are safe to use and designed to clean hard floors but are also used very often to clean carpets. They will not damage your carpet in any way when used properly.

Steam mops should be filled with distilled water for best use. Using distilled water will keep the outlets in your mop head clear of clogs which would affect the performance of the mop. The hot steam that mop produces kills bacteria and germs in your carpet fibers.

On top of that, the hot steam also kills most dust mites which affect millions of allergic people. For pet owners, it gets even better. You’ll also be impressed to hear that steam mops can kill pet fleas and some of their eggs as well.

Basically a steam mop is extremely effective in doing a deep clean on your carpet without the use of harsh chemicals, the only thing needed is pure and clean water. Before steam mopping its best to sweep your rug with a broom to remove as much debris as possible.

The steam mop is so simple to use it is essentially only a few short steps. You fill the steam mop up with water and then plug it into a nearby outlet. Once it’s plugged in you need to wait for a few minutes until the water heats up. Then you attach a clip to the mop head and glide away. To get your entire carpet done properly you will need to move furniture pieces out of the way and pick up anything left on the floor.

It sounds like a lot of work however it is worthwhile doing it so that your carpet is truly clean everywhere. Most of the time when we move a side table or magazine rack we find a lot more dirt and grime hiding underneath. If your carpet is clear of everything you will have an easier time steam mopping in straight lines making sure that no areas are missed and that every spot gets a deep clean.

Once you have successfully steam mopped the entire carpeted area don’t move everything back right away. You will need to let your carpet dry sufficiently. This may take approximately 4 to 10 hours. If possible turn on a fan or leave a window open to get a breeze which will help the drying process speed up.

Obviously steam mops aren’t going to be used for everyday cleaning but when they are used they really clean carpets well and leave you with a healthier dust-free living space.

  • Hands and Knees

If you want to give your carpet a good scrub without using a vacuum cleaner or steam mop you can always get down on your hands and knees and give it a thorough wash.

      • Grab a bucket and fill it up with warm water.
      • Find a good rag or gentle scrub brush to use for cleaning.
      • Sprinkle baking soda around the entire area and then get your rag or brush wet and start scrubbing the carpet in circular motions. Use enough water so that bubbles form that you are able to see but don’t soak the carpet with too much water. It just needs to be wet enough to get the job done.
      • Scrub down the entire carpet.
      • Once that’s done use a new damp rag to wipe the carpet down one more time.
      • Leave the carpet to dry for a few hours before bringing back any furniture or other items. Leaving a window open or a fan on will help that process.

All of these methods are great ways of keeping your carpet clean without the use of a vacuum cleaner. Depending on what type of carpet you have one method may work more efficiently for you than the other.

You can try each one of them on different occasions and see which one works for you best. You may just end up rotating through all of them at some point too. Either way, it’s important to keep your carpet clean and nice looking. By doing so your carpet will last for many years to come.



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