How to Clean Carpet Without a Vacuum (Top 6 Ways)

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how to clean carpet without vacuum

When it comes to cleaning the carpet, a vacuum is pretty standard. 

But certain instances make vacuuming impractical – the kids are taking a nap, the vacuum is broken, or you just don’t feel like pulling it out of the cleaning closet.

Whether you’ve found yourself vacuumless or just can’t use it at the moment, there are creative ways to keep your carpet clean.

Here’s how to clean carpet without a vacuum.

Can You Clean Carpet Without a Vacuum?

Yes, if you’ve found yourself with a big mess and no vacuum, you can still clean your carpet. Start by using a broom and a dustpan to sweep big messes. You can then use masking or packing tape to pick up the little pieces of dirt the broom missed.

Top 6 Ways to Clean Carpet Without a Vacuum

As long as you don’t mind looking a little unconventional, there are plenty of ways to get your carpet clean. Here are six ideas to try.

Use a Broom and Dust Pan

If you don’t have a vacuum, the best way to clean your carpet is with a broom and dustpan.

This takes much more elbow grease than a vacuum, but as long as your broom has firm bristles, you should be able to remove a large majority of the dirt from your floor. This works exceptionally well on low-pile carpets.

Pick Up Dirt with Tape

If you have little bits of dirt or trash in your carpet and your broom won’t remove it, try using tape.

Grab masking or packing tape and cut off a large strip. Next, connect the two ends so that the piece of tape forms a circle. Using the sticky part of the tape, press it into the carpet to pick up the dirt. Once one side becomes thoroughly soiled with stuck-on dirt, flip your piece of tape over and repeat the process.

Try a Carpet Sweeper

Carpet sweepers look like mini vacuums, but they don’t require any electricity. To use one, you simply push it across your carpet, and it will pick up large pieces of dirt or trash.

These sweepers don’t work as well as vacuums since they don’t have powerful suction. However, they are a great everyday solution for keeping the carpet clean. 

Use a Lint Roller

Lint Rollers work just like tape does, picking up small pieces of dirt.

It’s best to use a lint roller after using the carpet sweeper or broom. However, if a lint roller is all you have, it will take a bit of time, but you can get your carpet fully clean by using it.

Deep Clean with a Shampooer

If your vacuum is broken, but you have a shampooer lying around, you can use it to deep clean your carpet. A shampooer will deposit a bit of water into your carpet and then suck that water plus the dirt it mixes with back up.

It’s best to use the broom and dustpan or sweeper before using the shampooer to remove as much dirt as possible. 

Shake the Dirt Out of Rugs

If your house is full of rugs that you need to clean, take them outside and shake them out. You can even put them over a railing and beat them with a broom, as you see in so many old movies.

Frequently Asked Questions

faqs how to clean carpet without vacuum

How Do I Remove Hair from Carpet without a Vacuum?

The best way to remove hair from the carpet without using a vacuum is by using tape or a lint roller. Either of these options can pick up hair from the carpet and may even work better than a vacuum.

How Can I Get Ash Out of Carpet Without a Vacuum?

It is tough to get ash out of the carpet without a vacuum and without staining. Your best bet is to gently tap the ash with a lint roller or tape until you have most of it picked up.

After you remove the ash, you’ll need to treat the carpet with a stain remover.

How Can I Clean Carpeted Stairs without a Vacuum?

The easiest way to clean carpeted stairs without a vacuum is by first sweeping the stairs with a hard-bristled broom. After you sweep the floor, run a lint roller over the stairs to pick up the remaining dirt.


It’s entirely possible to clean your carpet without a vacuum, and there are many ways to do so. No matter why you find yourself vacuumless, these six methods can help you keep your carpet looking good and tide you over until you secure a vacuum.

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Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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