We all love the feeling of clean carpets, and it can be satisfying to do the work yourself. Whether you clean them yourself for the satisfaction of a job well done, or you’re trying to save some money, you need to do it the right way. As so many people learn, there are plenty of do it yourself carpet cleaning mistakes you can make along the way. Want to avoid them and potentially damaging your carpet? Read on before you bring out your cleaning gear. 

Do-It-Yourself Carpet Cleaning Mistakes 

No Prep Work

If you’re trying to avoid looking at a dirty carpet, you’re probably ready to dive in and get them clean. However, you need to do some prep work beforehand. First, get the right cleaning supplies. Next, make sure you test your cleaning products on a small and somewhat hidden patch of carpet. If a disaster happens, you can avoid it on the rest of your floor. 

Letting Stains Sit

While it isn’t part of carpet shampooing, it is part of your routine carpet cleaning and care. When something spills, don’t scrub it, but rather gently soak it up with a neutral, light colored towel. The longer stains sit, the deeper they saturate the fibers in your carpet. Of course, this makes it much more difficult when you actually get to deep cleaning your floors. If needed, use a tried and tested spot cleaner on the area. 

Too Much Shampoo

A little carpet shampoo is good when you need to get your carpets looking new again. However, using more isn’t necessarily better, even when you’re dealing with tough, set in stains. The more shampoo you use, the more difficult it is to rinse all of it out, especially without soaking your carpets which can ultimately lead to water damage. 

The other problem with using too much shampoo or soap is the residue it leaves behind (and it will leave some behind). This residue might not feel sticky, but it does grab dirt and debris, which makes your carpets look dirt over time. 

Not Rinsing Properly

This mistake ties into the mistake above, using too much shampoo. If you don’t rinse enough, soapy residue gets left behind. If you rinse too much, you have another problem, besides the carpet taking a long time to dry. 

First, you can cause water damage, fungus, or mold, or your carpets can’t properly dry. Next, you also risk shrinkage as your carpets dry, which will disrupt their ability to adhere to the floor underneath. Or, you might notice discoloration because of the backing materials beneath your carpet.

Deodorizers (Sometimes)

Deodorizers are great when you need to get musty, stubborn smells out of your carpets. However, a lot of these come as sprays or in powder form. You disperse the deodorizer on your carpet, let it sit, and then vacuum it up. 

Using too much, or using the cheaper versions, often leads to a gunky build up in your carpet. It might take a while to notice it, but it can ultimately make a thorough clean of your carpet much harder in the end. 

Scrubbing Not Dabbing Stains

This is a tough one for most people to get over. The best way to clean up a fresh stain (or one you’re treating with a stain remover) is by dabbing it up with a clean cloth. However, a lot of people get frustrated, or impatient, and end up scrubbing at the stain. That might work on hard floors, but it’s not a good idea on carpets. 

Scrubbing at stains tends to disperse the stain, and because you’re shifting the fibers in your carpet and exposing deeper carpet, you can end up moving the stain around more than you’re removing it. 

Lack of Maintenance

DIY carpet cleaning should be part of your regular household chores. We’re not talking about steam cleaning, but you should vacuum and remove stains regularly. This keeps them from getting deeper, and more stuck, in your carpets. Most experts in carpet cleaning in Port Orange, FL also recommend deep cleaning your carpets between once and twice each year.


Now that you know the most common and the worst do it yourself carpet cleaning mistakes, you’re ready to go. Just remember to test your products, maintain your carpets, and always take care of a spill right away. Cleaning your carpets doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you follow this advice, you can enjoy fresh, clean carpets all the time, not just for special occasions.