If your house has carpet — plus kids or pets — then you need to know how to deep clean carpets without a steam cleaner. Because let’s face it, mud and red fruit punch are not a good combination, especially if you want to keep your floors looking clean.

But the tricks behind knowing how to deep clean carpet stains are not necessarily common knowledge. That’s why we asked the experts to answer one very important concern people commonly have: how to deep clean your carpet the best way possible.
How to Deep Clean a Carpet Without a Steam Cleaner
Jennifer Rodriguez, chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers, knows a thing or two about how to deep clean a carpet. She offers up this method that uses a vacuum cleaner plus baking soda or dish soap.

Cleaners needed: Baking soda or dish soap (alternatively, you can use the same product used in steam cleaners)

Tools needed: Old toothbrush, brush, clean rag or towel, and bucket

Here are the steps for how to clean your carpet without a steam cleaner:

Get a bucket of warm water and your preferred cleaning tool ready.
Vacuum the entire area you wish to clean to get rid of dirt and dust.
If using baking soda, sprinkle the stain until completely covered. If using dish soap, measure the stain’s size, and use 1 tablespoon per 6 to 8 inches of stain.
Swoosh it around until you see bubbles.
Using an old brush, toothbrush, rag, or towel, gently scrub the stain with warm water.
Do not completely soak the floor, just make it wet enough to scrub away the dirt/stain.
Turn on any fans, or open nearby windows to allow carpet to air dry.
Once dry, vacuum again.

hand scrubbing sponge on dirty carpet

How to Deep Clean Your Carpet Without a Machine
Buying or renting a machine to steam clean your carpet is not the only way to get the stubborn stains out. If you have a mess to clean up but you don’t want to run to the store for a steam cleaner, you might be wondering how to deep clean your carpet without a machine. The good news is, if you have a vacuum, you can get the job done.

DIY blogger Ali Fields says when she needs to remember how to deep clean a carpet by hand, she trusts her grandmother’s wisdom.

You’ll need two tools: a stiff-bristled scrubbing brush (the largest you have — rubber works best) and a spray bottle.

You’ll also need the following:

A mixture of water and some detergent
Some table salt (sea salt, kosher salt — it’s all fine!)
Some baking soda
A few old rags or terry cloth towels. (Using an old shirt you’ve been meaning to get rid of also works.)
Here’s how to deep clean carpet yourself:

Start by mixing up a tiny bit of soap (1/8th teaspoon, though you can just eyeball a small amount) with the water in the spray bottle. Don’t shake it excessively, but let it mix.
Sprinkle the baking soda and table salt over the area you want to deep clean; you don’t need to cover it completely.
Spray the mixture of soapy water lightly over the same area. Let it sit for a few minutes.
Brush the carpet in one direction with your brush. This will accumulate hair and debris for you to pick up easily.
If there’s still hair/dirt, move 90 degrees from the original direction and start again.
Press the towels into the carpet, letting them saturate with water.
After the area is mostly dry, empty the soapy mix from your spray bottle, fill it with regular tap water, and lightly spray the carpet once more.
Again, press the cloth towels into the carpet. Fields says if she’s cleaning a small area, she’ll put a few heavy items on top of the cloths and let them sit for a while.
This technique is best for spot-cleaning stains, but if you have a large enough brush, it’s easy to do an entire room.

Fields says this method is completely safe to use with children and pets. Plus, instead of smelling like heavy detergents and must (as would happen when you use a carpet cleaner), the carpets will smell like nothing at all!