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How to use a karcher domestic carpet cleaner

Date posted: 19 September 2012

Carpet cleaners use a hot water extraction process which can also be known as carpet steam cleaning.This method of cleaning uses a sprayer to spray hot water with or without cleaning agents which are fed into the carpet using a rotating brush while simultaneously vacuuming the water back up along with any dissolved dirt. The extracted dirty water is collected in a separate container which needs emptying well full.

Optional Tools for the job 

  • Bucket – Ideal for collecting a large amount of dirty water which the carpet cleaner has vacuumed up so you do not have to empty the storage reservoir too often.
  • Disposable Overshoe Covers. These disposable plastic covers go over your shoes which will save you from not only getting your feet wet but also from staining the carpet again until it has dried. These are available to purchase from a variety of places such as homebase, b&q, and Screwfix.


First of all, you need to move any furniture out the way so you can get easy access to clean with the carpet cleaner. You should also lift up and secure things like curtains, bedspreads and drapes and other loose items which may get in the way when you are using the machine.

Vacuum the Floors

Once all the furniture has been moved out the way, It is essential to give the area a good vacuum to remove any dust, dirt, and grime before starting. This helps to fluff up the carpet fibres in preparation and also to loosen any additional dirt which is deeper within the carpets. You should also pick up and remove any loose items such as hair clips, hair bands, small toys and anything else which could potentially block and clog up the cleaner while in operation.

Prepare the Cleaning Solution

  • Using a bucket or a clear container, mix fresh hot water with the recommended amount of cleaning detergent as per its instructions. 
  • Note - Hot water ( up to 50 Degrees Celsius) is better as this will increase and improve the cleaning effect of the machine.
  • Once mixed, fill the detergent solution into the fresh water reservoir ensuring that the fill level does not  exceed the "MAX" mark. 

Turning on the Carpet Cleaner

  • Plug in the mains plug
  • There are 2 yellow switches on top of the carpet cleaner.
  • One switch operates spray pump. 
  • One switch turns on the suction pump so you can vacuum (wet and dry)
  • Both the spray pump and the suction pump is operated when you pull the yellow lever on the top of the suction pipe.

It is recommended that you turn on both switches, so you are simultaneously spraying and vacuuming at the same time. 


The yellow lever to operate both the spray and vacuum are situated at the top of the suction pipe next to the manifold. While pressing the lever, slowly run across the surface of the carpet to be cleaned using overlapping paths. The carpet cleaner will spray cleaning solution on the area to be cleaned while the brushes rotate and help lift the dirt out of the carpet fibres. At the same time, the suction pump will be running which will extract the dirty water solution and place it into the reservoir tank while drying the carpets. 

Turn off the Appliance

  • Turn off both the spray pump switch and the suction pump switch which are the 2 yellow switches on top of the machine.
  • Unplug the plug from the mains

Empty waste water container tank

  • Switch off both the suction and spray switches before emptying the reservoir tank of dirty water. 
  • Remove the lid
  • Remove the dirty water container from the carpet cleaner to drain it before replacing it back.
  • Switch back on to continue.

Carpet Drying

  • Do additional passes with the suction only to help extract as much dirty water as possible before allowing the carpets to dry
  • Open windows to allow for a breeze to help speed drying but do not turn on the heating as this can sometimes cause the carpets to smell.
  • For even faster drying, then you can use carpet dryers (air movers) which will help speed up the drying process even further.
  • It can usually take anything from a couple of hours to a day to completely dry the carpets depending on air flow, humidity and the type of carpet.

A few pointers

  • For high traffic areas or patches which require more than one pass, you can also use either the spray or vacuum independently from each other, just by turning on one of the two yellow switches. This allows you to either do additional suction if the carpets are too wet or apply       additional cleaning solution.
  • Highly soiled spots should also be pre-soaked for 5 to 10 minutes to allow enough time for the cleaning solution to work.
  • When carpet cleaning, always work from the window to the door. I.e., light to shade
  • Always work from the cleaned to the uncleaned area
  • Do not walk on cleaned surfaced until they have dried unless you are wearing disposable shoe covers.
  • To avoid rust stains and pressure spots, avoid putting the furniture back until the carpets are dry.

We stock a wide selection of cleaning fluids to go with our carpet cleaners including specialist carpet and upholstery fluids suitable for homes with pets, heavy traffic areas, spot stain and Odour Removal.

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