Can You Use A Carpet Shampooer With Just Water?

Have you ever wondered if you can clean your carpets effectively without using any soap or cleaning solution? Maybe you’ve run out of carpet cleaner solution, or you’re looking for a more natural approach to …

Can You Use A Carpet Shampooer With Just Water?

Have you ever wondered if you can clean your carpets effectively without using any soap or cleaning solution? Maybe you’ve run out of carpet cleaner solution, or you’re looking for a more natural approach to carpet cleaning.

In this article, we will explore whether it’s possible to use a carpet cleaner with just water and the implications it may have on the cleanliness and longevity of your carpets.

So let’s dive in and find out!

Can you use a carpet cleaner without soap?

Carpet cleaners, such as the popular Bissell carpet cleaner, are designed to deep clean and remove dirt, stains, and odors from your carpets.

Traditionally, they are used with a specific carpet cleaning solution or shampoo that is mixed with water. These solutions are formulated to break down stains and lift dirt from the carpet fibers effectively.

While using water alone in a carpet cleaner may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, it’s important to understand the limitations of this approach. Water alone may not be as effective in breaking down tough stains or removing deeply embedded dirt.

Soap or cleaning solutions have specific properties that aid in loosening dirt particles and lifting stains from the carpet fibers.

When using a carpet cleaner without soap, you may find that the cleaning results are not as satisfactory as when using a proper cleaning solution.

Stubborn stains may not come off completely, and your carpets may not have the fresh, clean feel you desire.

However, if you’re dealing with a minor spill or spot cleaning, using water alone can be a quick and temporary solution until you can obtain the appropriate cleaning solution.

Can I just use water in my Bissell carpet cleaner?

Bissell carpet cleaners are known for their efficiency and effectiveness in cleaning carpets.

They are designed to work with Bissell cleaning solutions, which are specially formulated to provide optimal cleaning results. While you may be tempted to use only water in your Bissell carpet cleaner, it’s essential to consider the potential consequences.

Bissell recommends using their proprietary cleaning solutions for the best results and to maintain the warranty of your carpet cleaner. These solutions are designed to work synergistically with Bissell machines, providing the right balance of cleaning power and care for your carpets.

Also, Bissell manufacturer gives another recommendation for better carpet cleaning: If time allows, it is highly recommended an additional step – re-cleaning the previously cleaned carpet using only hot tap water in the tank, without any cleaning formula this time.

By using water alone, you may not achieve the same level of cleanliness and may even compromise the performance and longevity of your Bissell carpet cleaner.

Bissell Carpet cleaner

What can you use in a carpet cleaner if you don’t have solution?

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to a specific carpet cleaning solution, there are alternative options you can consider.

While these alternatives may not be as effective as dedicated carpet cleaning solutions, they can still help in removing dirt and freshening up your carpets.

  1. Vinegar and water mixture: Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can help remove stains and odors. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and use this solution in your carpet cleaner. However, be cautious when using vinegar on certain types of carpets, such as wool or silk, as it may cause discoloration or damage.
  2. Baking soda: Baking soda is another common household ingredient that can aid in carpet cleaning. Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets before using the carpet cleaner. It can help absorb odors and loosen dirt particles, making it easier for the cleaner to remove them.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide can be used to tackle stubborn stains on carpets. Mix it with water in a 1:5 ratio and apply the solution directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before using the carpet cleaner to remove the stain.

Remember to perform a patch test in an inconspicuous area of your carpet before using any alternative solutions to ensure they won’t cause discoloration or damage.

Do you keep cleaning carpet until water is clear?

When using a carpet cleaner, it’s common to wonder how many passes it takes to remove all the dirt and cleaning solution from your carpets.

A general rule of thumb is to continue cleaning until the water extracted from the carpet appears clear. This indicates that most of the dirt and cleaning solution has been removed.

However, it’s important to note that the number of passes required may vary depending on the carpet’s condition, the type and amount of dirt, and the efficiency of your carpet cleaner. Some stains or deeply embedded dirt may require additional attention and multiple cleaning passes to achieve the desired results.

If you’re uncertain about whether the carpet is sufficiently clean, you can perform a test by blotting a white cloth or paper towel on the cleaned area. If no dirt or residue transfers onto the cloth, it’s a good indicator that the carpet is clean.

Do you keep cleaning carpet until water is clear? Reddit advice

Reddit is a popular platform for seeking advice and opinions from various users with diverse experiences. When it comes to carpet cleaning, you may find different perspectives and recommendations on how to determine when your carpet is clean.

On Reddit, some users suggest continuing to clean the carpet until the extracted water appears clear, similar to the general guideline mentioned earlier. Others recommend considering factors such as the size of the area, the severity of stains, and the time and effort required for cleaning.

The water will never come back completely clear, so don’t focus too much on that. The carpet cleaning process involves pre-treating stains, one pass with carpet cleaner, two passes with just water, one pass with suction, and using fans for drying.
To avoid leaving shampoo in the carpet, some people spray the shampoo onto the carpet and use water when vacuuming.
Leaving shampoo in the carpet can cause deterioration of the backing, so caution should be exercised.
Using a carpet cleaner can put wear and tear on carpets, and it’s important not to accumulate too much moisture. Cleaning the carpets every two weeks and every six months can be a good approach.
A suggestion to consider getting a Miele vacuum instead of a Dyson.
Suggesting Shark as an alternative to Miele and Dyson vacuums.
Praising a Shark vacuum as a great budget alternative.
A regretful experience with a budget Bissell vacuum compared to a Shark.
A suggestion to clean or replace filters in vacuums.
A statement from a friend who worked at Dyson, recommending Sharks as a cost-effective alternative.
Positive feedback on the powerful cleaning ability of a well-maintained Shark vacuum.
Agreement with a previous comment about the quality improvement of Shark vacuums over the years.
Recommendation from a cleaning service owner for a Shark vacuum and personal satisfaction with it.
Positive feedback on the performance of Shark vacuums, particularly for houses with pets and kids.
Main Point
Water may take many passes to become clear on a very dirty carpet.
Do one wet pass followed by a dry pass to avoid over-wetting the carpet.
Recommendation do 6 passes (3 on each side) since dirt embeds in the fibers.
Suggests crosshatching the cleaning by going short side to short side, then long side to long side.
Adds a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse to remove soap residue.
Warns about using white wine vinegar instead of white vinegar.
Carpet cleaner manual suggests letting it dry thoroughly between cleaning.
Residential carpet cleaners have limitations and recommends professional deep cleaning.

It’s important to approach Reddit advice with caution, as opinions can vary, and not all advice may be reliable or suitable for your specific situation.

Always consider multiple sources of information, including manufacturer guidelines and professional recommendations, to make an informed decision about your carpet cleaning process.


In conclusion, while it may be tempting to use a carpet cleaner with just water, it’s important to understand the potential limitations and consequences of this approach.

Water alone may not provide the same level of cleaning power as dedicated carpet cleaning solutions.

However, in a pinch, water can be used for spot cleaning until a proper cleaning solution becomes available.

If you own a Bissell carpet cleaner, it is recommended to use their specific cleaning solutions for optimal results and to maintain your warranty. In the absence of a carpet cleaning solution, alternative options such as vinegar and water mixtures, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide can be used to freshen up your carpets.

Remember to perform thorough cleaning passes and continue until the extracted water appears clear to ensure the effective removal of dirt and cleaning residue.

Seeking advice from Reddit can provide different perspectives, but it’s crucial to consider multiple sources and exercise caution when relying solely on online recommendations.

By understanding the options and limitations of using a carpet cleaner with just water, you can make informed decisions and maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your carpets effectively.

About the Author

author pic

Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.

1 thought on “Can You Use A Carpet Shampooer With Just Water?”

Comments are closed.