Do you keep cleaning carpet until water is clear? – [Answered]

Image asking a whether you should keep cleaning carpet until water is clear.

When using a carpet cleaner for the first time, there’s often a common question – Do you keep cleaning carpet until water is clear? The quick answer is yes – You should continue the process until the water is clear. However, if the water is black even after several passes, then there may be a problem.

Some of the reasons why this may happen are that you are missing some spots, leaving too much cleaning solution on the carpet, leaving out deeply embedded dirt, or the carpet is moldy.

Why should you clean your carpet regularly?

Let’s start off by saying why cleaning your carpet regularly is actually important. There are a number of reasons, and surprisingly, appearance is not the most important one. Here is a short list we created to give you an idea:

  • Hygiene. Carpets accumulate a lot of dust, dirt, and other allergens over time. Those can eventually lead to respiratory diseases, skin problems, and other health problems. Regular cleaning helps you remove dangerous allergens, pathogens, and improves overall air quality.
  • Durability. Cleaning can also prolong the life of your carpets as dirt and debris work degrading on the material. The threads of old untreated carpets become thin and threadbare over time. 
  • Appearance. Old carpets become discolored, dull, and dingy if not cared for properly. Regular cleaning helps you enhance the overall look, making the fabric look fresh.
  • Prevent stains and odors. Stains are fairly easy to remove if you try to do so immediately. The longer you wait for the stains and odors to settle, the harder it will be to get rid of them. This is another reason to take care of your carpet regularly.

Those are only a couple of reasons why you should clean your carpet regularly. Be sure to clean your carpets fairly often to prevent any negative effects. If that’s something you don’t have time to do, try calling for professional cleaning services.

Should you keep cleaning carpet until the water is clear?

Cleaning your carpet, especially for the first time, may be quite tricky. Very often a question arises – Do you keep cleaning your carpet until the water is clear? In fact, yes – that’s exactly what you are supposed to do. However, what if the water in your carpet cleaner appears to be dark even after multiple passes? There may be a few reasons.

Missed spots

If you are missing spots, the dark water may actually be caused by the left-out dirt and debris. Be sure to take your time when running a carpet cleaner, and cover the whole area. Try to clean both horizontally and diagonally for the best results.

Too much cleaning solution

Excessive amounts of cleaning solution may be another reason for dark water. Foam that is left on the rug may change the color of water and additionally make cleaning less effective. Try to use only the recommended amount of cleaning solution or use an alternative.

Deeply embedded dirt

Dirt and debris can be deeply embedded inside the fibers of your carpet, making it hard to get them out with the first pass. When you use a carpet cleaner, the water may be dark for quite some time before it finally becomes clear. Try to spend more time on a small part of the carpet and watch if it gets any better.


Mold is probably the worst possible option due to health risks and financial costs. When your carpet grows mold, the water will constantly turn dark when you clean the fibers. What’s even worse, professional cleaning service is often required to do something about it. The mold can spread to furniture and hardwood floors, therefore, be sure to act quickly in this scenario.

Some of the most popular signs of mold on the carpet are discoloration, musty odor, increased allergic symptoms, and dampness. If you spot any of those, give your carpet a more thorough inspection.

What not to do when water is not clear?

We understand your frustration when the water doesn’t turn clear even after multiple passes with a carpet cleaner. This may push you to use harsher cleaning methods such as strong chemical cleaning agents, leaving the problem as it is, or the opposite, cleaning one carpet for hours.

Be sure to never do any of the above. If you can’t deal with this problem yourself, or you simply don’t have enough time, call a professional cleaning service.

Carpet cleaning tips – Clear water after just one pass?

Do you want to get rid of dirt and debris from the carpet with just one pass? Unfortunately, this is not possible without caring for your carpet regularly. The good news is, if you clean your carpet regularly, the next time you use a carpet cleaner, the water should be clear just after one pass.

Here are some tips to make carpet cleaner faster and easier:

  • Vacuum. Regular vacuuming will significantly help with removing larger debris that gets deep into the fibers. Not all carpet cleaners can deal with this type of dirt, therefore, it may be beneficial to do so before the deep cleaning.
  • Use a carpet cleaner. Carpet cleaners shoot hot water deep into the fibers of the carpet, extracting dirt that is sticking to the fibers and the base of the material. Many experts say that those are irreplaceable for rugged areas.
  • Steam clean. Steam cleaning can be an alternative to other cleaning methods if you are looking for chemical-free cleaning. It’s one of the few ways to effectively exterminate bacteria and viruses.
  • Treat stains immediately. The longer you wait with spills and stains, the harder they will be to remove. Only treating them immediately guarantees a high rate of success in complete removal.
  • Use a professional cleaning service. Lack of time or experience is a good reason to find help in professional cleaning services. Some carpet problems also require special equipment to deal with effectively.


In conclusion, you should keep cleaning carpet until water is clear. This method usually guarantees that the carpet stays completely clean and fresh. However, if the water in your carpet cleaner stays dark even after multiple passes, there may be a problem.

The most common reasons why this happens are that you are missing some spots, leaving too much cleaning solution on the carpet, leaving out deeply embedded dirt, or the carpet is moldy.