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blog banner: How carpet cleaners work and how to use them

How Do Carpet Cleaners Work?

Carpets add warmth and comfort to any home but keeping them clean is a task that goes beyond regular vacuuming. Enter the carpet cleaner: a machine designed to remove not just the surface grime but also the deep-down dirt that hides within carpet fibres. Understanding how these machines work can help you better appreciate the clean they provide. Let’s unravel the mystery of carpet cleaners, from their construction to their operation, in a way that’s easy to understand and skim.

The Anatomy Of A Carpet Cleaner

Before delving into how carpet cleaners operate, it’s essential to understand their construction. Whether you’re using a Rug Doctor or you’ve bought your own cleaner, the construction and how they operate is pretty much the same. Carpet cleaners are complex machines made up of several key components, each serving a specific function in the cleaning process:

The Pump

The heart of the carpet cleaner, the pump generates pressure to inject water and cleaning solution deep into the carpet fibres. Pressure levels can vary, but they are crucial for ensuring the cleaning solution penetrates thoroughly.

The Brushes

These are the muscle behind the machine, working to agitate and loosen dirt from the carpet fibres. Depending on the model, carpet cleaners may have different brush designs optimized for various carpet types and dirt levels.

The Vacuum Motor

Following the agitation stage, the vacuum motor powers the suction that pulls the dirty water and dislodged dirt out of the carpet. The efficiency of the vacuum motor is critical for leaving behind a carpet that’s not only clean but also not overly wet.

The Solution Tank

These tanks hold the cleaning solution mixed with water before it is injected into the carpet. The size of these tanks can affect how much area you can clean before needing a refill.

The Recovery Tank

After the cleaning solution has done its work, the dirty water is extracted and stored in the recovery tanks. Like the solution tanks, their capacity is essential for efficient cleaning sessions.

The Heating Unit

Found in some carpet cleaners, the heating unit warms the water and cleaning solution mixture, enhancing its effectiveness, especially on greasy or heavily soiled carpets.


Most carpet cleaners come equipped with various accessories, such as wands for floor cleaning and attachments for upholstery, to increase their versatility.

While you’re researching carpet cleaners, you might want to know: how to keep your carpets looking fresher for longer

The Cleaning Process: How To Deep Clean Carpets

Understanding the parts of a carpet cleaner sets the stage for comprehending how they come together to clean your carpet.

Step 1: Injecting Water And Cleaning Solution

Initially, the machine injects a water and cleaning solution mixture into the carpet. This step relies on the pump to pressurize the mixture, ensuring it reaches deep into the fibres.

Step 2: Agitation and Scrubbing

The brushes then take centre stage, agitating the carpet fibres to loosen dirt. The design and movement of these brushes are pivotal in dislodging dirt from within the carpet.

Step 3: Vacuum Suction

Finally, the vacuum motor activates, creating suction that extracts the loosened dirt and moisture from the carpet. This not only cleans but also helps in drying the carpet more quickly.

Understanding Deep Down Dirt

Beyond the visible stains and dirt lies the deep down dirt—everything from skin cells to pollen that traditional vacuums leave behind. Carpets can hold up to one pound of soil per square foot before it’s even noticeable.

When cleaning bedroom carpets, open a window to allow ventilation so they dry faster – you don’t want your clothes and bedding getting damp! Here’s why carpets might be the best bedroom flooring.

The Benefits Of Regular Carpet Cleaning

Regular carpet cleaning with a carpet cleaner extends the life of your carpets by removing both fine debris and larger dirt particles. It’s an effective way to protect your investment and keep your carpets looking and feeling fresh.

In summary, carpet cleaners are intricate machines designed for deep cleaning. By breaking down their construction and how each part contributes to the cleaning process, it’s easier to see the value they bring to home maintenance. Regular use of a carpet cleaner is not just about cleanliness; it’s about extending the life and beauty of your carpets.

If you’re reading this post and your carpets are coming to the end of their life, why not give us a try and replace them? At Easipay Flooring we offer Carpets, Laminate, Vinyl, SPC and LVT flooring at affordable prices and we even let you break down the cost into weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment plans too, completely interest free! Sound good? Tap the button below to get set up a home visit to see our samples and get your free quote!

Still Got Questions? Here's 15 FAQs!

Use a cleaning solution recommended by the manufacturer of your carpet cleaner. Generally, solutions designed specifically for carpet cleaners are most effective and safest for your machine.

While most common carpet types are suitable for cleaning with a carpet cleaner, always check the carpet manufacturer’s guidelines and the cleaner’s manual to ensure compatibility, especially with delicate or specialty carpets.

It depends on the level of foot traffic and whether you have pets or children. Generally, cleaning once every six months is recommended for average households, but more frequent cleaning might be necessary for high-traffic areas.

Drying time can vary based on the model of the carpet cleaner, the humidity, and the airflow in your home. Typically, carpets dry within a few hours, but it can take up to 24 hours.

Regular maintenance should include cleaning out the tanks after each use, checking brushes for debris, and ensuring the vacuum motor’s filter is clean. This helps keep the machine running efficiently.

Yes, many carpet cleaners are effective at removing pet odours, especially if they use a cleaning solution formulated for pet stains and odours and have a heating element to help eliminate smells.

Yes, vacuuming before using a carpet cleaner removes the top layer of dust and debris, allowing the carpet cleaner to work more effectively on deeper dirt.

While both clean carpets, steam cleaners use steam to sanitize surfaces without cleaning solutions, whereas carpet cleaners typically use a water and detergent mix to remove dirt.

If you have a lot of carpeting, pets, or children, buying a carpet cleaner can be a cost-effective investment. For those who only need to clean carpets occasionally, renting might be more economical.

Some models have built-in heaters to warm water, which is generally safe. If your machine does not have a heater, check the manufacturer’s instructions before using hot water to avoid damaging the machine.

Try making fewer passes with the water injection and more passes with just the suction feature to extract more moisture. Ensure your machine is functioning correctly and that the vacuum is powerful enough.

Pre-treat heavily stained areas with a stain remover or a pre-treatment solution recommended for use with carpet cleaners for best results.

Many carpet cleaners come with attachments for cleaning upholstery, curtains, and area rugs. Check your model’s capabilities and use the appropriate attachments.

Over-wetting the carpet is a common issue, which can lead to prolonged drying times and potential mould growth. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for water use.

Empty and rinse the tanks, clean the brushes and attachments, and store the machine in a dry place. Proper storage will extend the life of your carpet cleaner.