How to Operate a Rug Doctor

Written by mai bryant
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How to Operate a Rug Doctor
A clean carpet is important for the health of your family. (carpet close up image by isatori from

There are many occasions where having a freshly cleaned carpet is mandatory. With high traffic from children and pets, cleaning after a move or just routine carpet maintenance, you'll want a machine that is convenient and easy to operate. Rug Doctor is one of the most recognised names in carpet cleaning machines and is available for rent in almost any convenience store or supermarket. If your preference is to own a machine rather than rent, purchase a Rug Doctor and have it available whenever you need it. Once you learn how to operate it properly, the machine is easy to use for just about anyone.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hot water
  • Carpet cleaning solution

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  1. 1

    Prepare the room and carpet. Move objects from the carpet to be cleaned. Vacuum any loose debris or dirt to prevent the Rug Doctor from becoming clogged. If there are stains, pretreat them with a carpet pre-treatment solution of your choice.

  2. 2

    Familiarise yourself with the machine and check for cleanliness. If you have just purchased a Rug Doctor, read the instructions and verify that your machine has all of the necessary parts. If you are renting a machine, make sure that the two tanks are free of dirt and debris and rinse accordingly. Remove the clear dome at the top of the machine and rinse under hot water to ensure that there is no hair, dirt or residue.

  3. 3

    Fill the lower tank with cleaning solution. The lower tank can be accessed by lowering the retaining wire and removing the top recovery tank. Pour a cleaning solution into the filter basket in the lower tank until the basket is halfway full. Replace the recovery tank and raise the retaining wire over the clear dome to securely lock the tank in place.

  4. 4

    Start the Rug Doctor by pressing the "On" switch at the top of the machine to carpet cleaning. Press the red thumb button on the handle and slowly move the machine backward to start the cleaning process. Walk slowly backward as far as you can go, and then release the button 6 inches before you reach the end of the area you are working on. Tip the Rug Doctor toward you and push it forward for another pass over the carpet. Overlap the last cleaned area by 1 to 2 inches and again depress the red button and move slowly backward.

  5. 5

    Refill the cleaning solution when it's empty. Switch off the machine, lower the retaining wire and remove the upper recovery tank. The recovery tank will be filled with dirty water and should be flushed down the toilet and rinsed. Refill the lower tank with more of the cleaning solution before securing the upper tank once again.

  6. 6

    Complete the cleaning of the carpet and clean the machine. Switch the machine to "Off" and empty the buckets. Thoroughly clean the tanks by rinsing out the dirt and any residue that is left behind. Take the Rug Doctor outdoors to drain the lower tank. Plug it in and press "On" for hand tool cleaning. Depressing the red thumb button on the handle will spray out any remaining cleaning solution.

Tips and warnings

  • Rug Doctor recommends the use of Rug Doctor cleaning solutions when operating the machine.
  • The Rug Doctor should not be used on hand-loomed wool rugs, sisal or jute carpets; hardwood or laminate floors; or natural fibre oriental rugs.
  • Do not use hot water when cleaning wool area rugs.

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