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Can You Clean the Carpet Without Moving Furniture?

Carpets are high-maintenance; they need to be vacuumed every few days and thoroughly cleaned every few months. If you don’t give your carpets a regular cleaning, they may collect dirt and germs and impact the health of your whole household. 

You may be wondering what the best way to clean a carpet is. Does it have to be a huge operation where you move your furniture and have to take your carpet outdoors? 

Or can you clean the carpet without moving furniture? You can clean the carpet without moving furniture. However, the extent of the cleaning won’t be as thorough as it would be if you moved your furniture. And if you are shampooing your carpet or calling in a professional cleaners, then moving your furniture will be necessary. 

To learn more about how to thoroughly clean your carpet without moving furniture, read on.

How Are You Cleaning Your Carpet?

The first thing to do when considering whether you should move your furniture or not is to look at the kind of carpet cleaning you’re doing. 


The carpet cleaning you’ll do most often is vacuuming your carpet. Cleaning with a lightweight vacuum will help lift top-level dust off your carpet. However, it won’t do much to clean the germs and dust that are hiding deep in the fibers. 

Note: Don’t use a heavy-duty vacuum on your carpets – it can damage the fibers. 

When you vacuum your carpet, you don’t need to move all your furniture. You just need to be extra careful not to knock your vacuum into delicate antique and wooden furniture. 

However, once every few weeks, you should slightly move your pieces of furniture so you can get to the overlooked spots beneath them. 

Spot cleaning 

Small stains caused by pets, drink spills, ink, and other liquids can be lifted from a carpet by using a spot cleaner designed to treat small and precise spots. 

When you’re using a spot cleaner, you’re typically targeting a tiny part of your carpet. Therefore, it’s not necessary to move your furniture – unless a piece of furniture has also been affected by the spill. 

After using the stain remover, you can place a small piece of furniture like a chair or footstool over the cleaned spot. This will give the spot time to dry without anyone stepping on it.  

Carpet shampooing 

Vacuuming and spot cleaning are great ways to clean a carpet regularly. But once in a while, you’ll also have to shampoo your carpet. 

To shampoo your carpet, you would use a mixture of carpet detergent and water to create a foam on the carpet. The foam is then used to clean the carpet using a special carpet shampooing machine. 

As carpet shampooing wets the carpet completely, it’s recommended that you take all the furniture off the carpet so you can access all areas and so that the furniture doesn’t get ruined. After being shampooed, the carpet needs some time to dry; you can move the furniture back into the room after at least 24 hours. 

Dry foam cleaning 

Dry foam cleaning is another form of carpet shampooing. With this method, dry shampoo is mixed with a small amount of water and then used to clean the whole carpet thoroughly. 

Although dry foam cleaning requires less water than carpet shampooing, it’s still advisable to move furniture before doing it. This is because removing your furniture – especially heavy-duty pieces – can give you access to all parts of the carpet for a comprehensive cleaning. 

Professional cleaning 

Every two years or so, you should call in a professional to clean your carpets. 

Professional carpet cleaners use more heavy-duty machinery and specialized techniques. You should call a professional cleaner when you want to give your carpet a thorough cleaning or when you need to clean delicate carpets. 

Typically, professional cleaners recommend that you move all your furniture out of the room. When choosing which company to hire, be sure to ask them whether their cleaners will move the furniture or whether you need to do it yourself. 

In the case of delicate, expensive or antique furniture, it’s also a good idea to ask the professional cleaning company if they offer insurance. This will protect you if anything gets damaged while the cleaners are moving it. 

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Even if they do offer protection, you should try to move any extremely valuable furniture out of the room yourself before the cleaners arrive. 

What Kind of Furniture Do You Have?

Aside from the type of cleaning you’re doing, the other factor that will help you decide whether you should move your furniture or not is the type of furniture you have in the room. 

Wooden furniture 

Wood – especially untreated wood – is very delicate and can be easily stained by water or chemicals. 

If you’re shampooing or dry foam cleaning your carpet, it’s best to move your wooden furniture out of the room. Even if you’re only spot cleaning, you need to make sure that the liquids are not coming into contact with wooden furniture. 

Iron and steel furniture 

Furniture made with iron and steel is vulnerable to rust. If you’re shampooing or dry foam cleaning, move your furniture away to prevent it from coming into contact with water. 

Wicker furniture 

Wicker furniture is impacted by not just water but also by chemicals. If it is exposed to chemical cleaning agents and water, it may stain or even break down. So, it’s best to move wicker furniture out of the room. 

Glass furniture 

Glass furniture, though delicate, is not vulnerable to water and chemicals. If you’re spot cleaning or dry foaming cleaning, you may not need to move your glass furniture. However, you still be careful not to bang into it when you’re vacuuming. 

Polypropylene furniture

Polypropylene Furniture is one of the hardiest types of furniture you can get, as it’s immune to the effects of water and even some chemicals. If your room is filled with polypropylene pieces, you may not have to move them – especially if they’re heavy or bulky. 

Look at the Manufacturer’s Instructions 

Finally, if you want to decide what to do with your furniture, look at the instructions that come with your carpet cleaner. 

It will usually have details on how to use the cleaner – which may include what to do with the furniture. 

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on February 25, 2020.

Protect Furniture Instead of Moving It

Even if the cleaner’s recommendations are telling you to move your furniture, it might not be practical to do so for a variety of reasons:

  • It may be too heavy.
  • You may not have any space to store it in
  • You may not have enough time. 

In these situations, you can protect your furniture from the impact of carpet cleaning. You can protect it by: 

  • Using furniture coasters. Furniture coasters are pads that are placed between the furniture and carpets. While they’re typically used to protect carpets from dents caused by heavy furniture, they can also be used to provide a barrier against carpet cleaners. 
  • Using blankets and cardboard. Layer blankets and cardboard around your furniture to capture any water or chemicals that might transfer from the carpet to the furniture. 

Final Thoughts

While you technically don’t have to, moving your furniture will allow you to give your carpet the thorough cleaning it needs.

To ensure you get a total cleaning, enlist some friends to help you move the furniture, and then bring it back in a day later. Your carpet will thank you!

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