How a Carpet Cleaner Works – Tips for Using One

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( — March 14, 2019) — Carpet cleaners, also referred to as carpet shampooers or carpet extractors, are designed to remove dirt and stains that are deeply embedded in carpets. Do you know how a carpet cleaner works? To get the best results from cleaning your carpet, use your carpet cleaner as follows:

Spray the carpet with a cleaning solution to pretreat it. Let the cleaning solution soak in for about 15-20 minutes. Then use the carpet cleaner, which pumps the carpet with water at high pressure and then extracts the dirty water with a powerful vacuum. A carpet cleaner can also be referred to as steam cleaner. True steam cleaners, however, use dry vapor, which is considered to be ineffective for regular carpet cleaning.

How a Carpet Cleaner Works

Generally, carpet cleaners come in a wide array of options. For example, some carpet cleaners offer wide paths for cleaning to improve efficiency when cleaning relatively large areas. Below are some of the critical components of carpet cleaners:


This is the component that generates pressure used by the cleaner to inject the carpet with water. Pump pressure levels vary widely between 60 psi and 500 psi.


The carpet cleaner contains a vacuum that’s responsible for extracting cleaning solution and dirty water from the carpet and emptying it into an extraction tank. Vacuum cleaners are powered by motors that come in various configurations as well. The power of motors is usually measured in air flow and water lift. Air flow refers to the air movement through the cleaner ,while water lift measures the vacuum’s suction strength.

Solution Tanks

This is where the rinse water is held. Solution tanks typically range in size.

Heating Unit

The Heating unit heats the rinse water to high temperatures as fast as possible. There are various models of heating elements such as single-tank heating models and double inline heating elements.


Carpet cleaners typically come with large floor wands ranging in width, and including one or two jets for dispensing as well as extracting fluids. Cleaning and vacuum solution hoses also come in various lengths. You can also order for a custom length hose to meet your specific requirements.

Tips for Using a Carpet Cleaner

Be sure to vacuum the carpet thoroughly before using the carpet cleaner. After the initial vacuuming, then apply a cleaning solution. The cleaning solution will help to dissolve any oils and greases to ensure the final cleaning removes as much dirt as possible. Also, consider using heated water on heavily soiled and stained synthetics. A heated carpet cleaner combined with a cleaning chemical can even remove tough stains including coffee, ketchup, wine, coffee, ink and pet urine. Hot water can damage or shrink natural fibers so don’t use it on fibers such as wool.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been wondering how a carpet cleaner works, the answer is simple. Carpet cleaners use a combination of a cleaning solution, powerful scrubbing brushes and vacuum suction. The carpet cleaner injects cleaning solution and water deep into the carpet fibers, the brushes scrub, agitate and loosen the dirt or stain, and then the vacuum suction lifts the dirt and debris away.