How To Clean Carpets: 7 DIY Methods With Professional Results

How To Clean Carpets: 7 DIY Methods With Professional Results

 

Whether you have kids, pets or clumsy friends and family, maintaining clean carpets and rugs can feel like an impossible challenge. 

When you know how it's done, it's surprisingly cheap and easy to get your carpets looking like brand new. Today we're sharing how we deep clean carpets the professional way for a fraction of the cost. 

Vacuum cleaning tips

shark vacuum
There's more to it than you'd think!

The first step, before you even think about removing any stains, is to vacuum your carpets thoroughly.

  • Be sure to make use of all of your attachments to get right into crevices and hard-to-reach places. You'll be surprised by how much dust is lurking by your skirting boards.
  • For stubborn pet hairs, use a shower squeegee and pull it along the carpet to dislodge the fur. 
  • Take time to move furniture and vacuum up any dust bunnies.

How to vacuum properly 

Maid Training has some great tips!

There's actually a "correct" way to vacuum that a lot of people don't know about. Because the carpet fibres are twisted in different directions, if you only ever vacuum in one direction, you will miss a lot of trapped dust.

Instead of just passing the vacuum back and forward, you want to approach each fibre from the back, front, left and right. To do so, start by going backwards and forwards and then vacuum from left to right across the room.

TOP TIP: If you're trying to get your whole house clean, don't forget to dust your surfaces and tidy up before vacuuming. You don't want all of that dust and dirt settling on a clean carpet. 

How to keep your carpets clean

As we always say with big cleaning jobs, prevention is better than cure. To keep your carpets in pristine condition all year round, stick to these tips.

  • Encourage everyone that enters your home to take their shoes off before stepping onto the carpet.
  • Ban food and drink from carpeted areas - a clumsy accident could be costly!
  • Put pet litter trays on top of a mat to make cleaning up easier. 
  • Place affordable rugs or carpet protectors in high traffic areas. Your hallway carpet will wear down over time without protection, and rugs are far cheaper to replace. 

How to clean carpet stains 

1. How to get red wine out of carpet with salt

red wine
It's happened to us all.

Has someone spilled a glass of red wine in your lovely living room? Have no fear! 

  1. Begin by blotting the stain with a paper towel to remove as much excess liquid as possible. 
  2. Add a small amount of cold water to the stain and continue to blot until there is no redness on the paper towel. 
  3. Making sure that the stain is still slightly wet, cover it with rock salt. 
  4. Wait until the stain has completely dried. 
  5. Clear up excess salt and then vacuum the area.
  6. If a little staining remains, repeat the steps until it disappears. 

2. How to clean carpet with vinegar 

White vinegar makes a brilliant stain remover. For best results, use when the stain is fresh.

  1. Blot the stain as much as you can to prevent it from spreading over the carpet.
  2. Add white vinegar to a spray bottle and apply liberally to the stain.
  3. Blot the stain to remove excess vinegar.
  4. Continue to spray and blot the carpet until the stain is gone. 

3. How to clean rugs with snow 

Now for a bizarre method! Is it snowing where you are? If it is, you're in luck. 

  1. Take your rug outside and give it a good shake to remove as much dirt as you can. 
  2. Leave the rug outside for about 30 minutes so that its surface temperature can drop. 
  3. Pile a few inches of snow onto the surface of the rug. 
  4. Leave the snow to rest on the rug for about half an hour. 
  5. If you wish, you can flip the rug over and repeat the steps on the underside. 
  6. Remove all remaining snow, shake the rug out and hang to dry. 

4. Baking soda carpet cleaning 

baking soda
It's magical stuff! 

Most of us have some in our kitchen cupboards, but have you ever used baking soda to clean your carpets? 

  1. Start by preparing a bucket of warm water.  
  2. If the stain is fresh, blot the carpet to clean up the spillage. 
  3. If the stain is dry, vacuum the carpet to make sure that it's free from dirt.
  4. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the stain. 
  5. Work the baking soda into the stain using a slightly damp sponge, cloth or brush. 
  6. Continue to rinse the cleaning tool with water, gradually applying a little more water to the stain - you don't want to completely soak the floor. 
  7. Leave the carpet to dry completely. 
  8. Once the area is completely dry, vacuum a second time to remove any traces of baking soda. 

5. How to remove chewing gum from carpet

The best action to take when you discover a piece of chewing gum in your carpet is to work as quickly as possible. Follow these simple steps: 

  1. Harden the gum - this can be done by placing some ice cubes into a sandwich bag. Put the sandwich bag on top of the gum until it hardens. 
  2. Scrape the gum off - use a palette knife or similar tool to remove the gum. 
  3. Clean up any residue - spot clean the stain and leave to dry fully. 

6. How to get blood stains out of carpet 

It might surprise you to hear that you should never use warm water to clean up blood. Warm water sets blood stains further into the carpet rather than removing them. For that reason, you should always use cold water and clean the blood as soon as you can. 

If the stain has already dried into your carpet, you can use hydrogen peroxide and an enzyme cleaner. Enzyme cleaners are great for protein-based stains, so you can also use them to clean urine and feces. 

7. How to get nail polish out of carpet

nail varnish
How many times have you knocked over a bottle of nail polish?

Removing nail polish from carpets can go very wrong if you don't know what you're doing. 

  1. Blot the puddle of nail polish to remove as much excess as you can. You don't want to scrub side to side, or the stain will grow in size and be harder to remove. 
  2. If the polish has hardened, you can use a blunt knife to try to pull the polish away from the fibres. 
  3. Dilute some acetone with equal parts water and a few drops of washing up liquid. Test on an inconspicuous area and then use this solution to scrub at any remaining stain.

How to use a carpet shampooer 

If you'd rather stick to commercial methods, hiring a carpet shampooer is a popular choice. If you opt for this route, be sure to follow these steps: 

  1. Vacuum thoroughly - make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies. 
  2. Spot treat stains first - some shampooers might make the stains worse. 
  3. Prepare the room before renting the shampooer - your hire might only be for a limited time.
  4. Don't clean into a corner - clean from the furthest away area back towards the door so that you don't tread on cleaned areas.
  5. Tie plastic bags onto your feet or get some plastic foot covers.

TOP TIP: If you can't remove furniture from a room, slide some aluminium foil or greaseproof paper underneath the furniture legs to protect it from moisture. 

How to deodorize carpet naturally 

pet on carpet
Get rid of that pet smell!

If your carpets are giving off a nasty smell, it's quite easy to absorb it with baking soda. All you need to do is sprinkle the powder onto the surface of the carpet and leave it to sit for as long as possible. We'd recommend leaving overnight for best results. Once it's been left for long enough, vacuum your carpet. 

You can also use white vinegar to deodorize carpets. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and then add 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tsp of baking soda. Give the bottle a gentle shake to combine the ingredients. When you spray the solution onto your carpets there might be a faint smell of vinegar, but this will soon disappear. 

 

 

Q&A

Can I remove furniture dents from carpet? 

Yes, you can. Furniture dents can make an otherwise clean carpet look like it's in need of some serious help. To rescue a dented carpet, simply place ice cubes in the crevices. The ice cubes will melt and help fluff up the fibres.

If possible, you should protect the underside of the carpet so that you don't end up with a mould problem. Be sure to dry the area well afterwards. 

Can carpet cleaning get rid of fleas & bed bugs?

Steam cleaning your carpets will kill adult fleas and bed bugs. It might not get rid of all the eggs and young larvae, because these are much smaller and harder to remove. Exterminators will guarantee that your home is free from pests, but this will involve the use of harsh chemicals.

Can carpet cleaning cause allergies?

Carpets can trap dust, pollen, pet hair, and other allergens, so cleaning your carpets on a regular basis will help to reduce allergy symptoms. That said, using a cleaning method that involves moisture can irritate allergies. This is because the number of mould spores can multiply. 

 

 

Do you know any tips and tricks for cleaning carpets? Get in touch in the comments below. 

Author

Joanne A

Editor

Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

  1. Author Mary Clarke on February 8, 2019 at 10:03 am

    what about candle grease ? red Xmas candle?

    1. Author Joanne A on February 8, 2019 at 10:49 am

      Hi Mary! The best way to get candle wax out of a carpet is as follows: Dampen a hand towel and place over the wax. Take your iron and set on high. Run the iron over the towel to draw the wax out of the carpet.

    Reply
  2. Author Dean Haywood on February 8, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    "Carpets can trap dust, pollen, pet hair, and other allergens, so cleaning your carpets on a regular basis will help to reduce allergy symptoms. That said, using a cleaning method that involves moisture can irritate allergies. This is because the number of mould spores can multiply." I would check your comment above is correct... you start off well regarding the allergy then follow it up a poor comment about moisture, allergies and mould spores..... Wet cleaning of carpets and furnishings is the best and most thorough way to clean them, if done professionally and correctly drying times are not an issue so no problem with mould, however using a DIY machine or a company who has had no training or use inferior equipment could lead to drying issues...

    1. Author Joanne A on February 11, 2019 at 9:36 am

      Hi Dean! Thanks for the feedback. On the whole, drying time should not be an issue for those with allergies. I just thought it best to mention it in case anyone is sensitive to mould spores. These people might want to take extra precautions to dry out their carpets quicker.

    Reply
  3. Author Sandy H on February 9, 2019 at 4:07 am

    Hi Joanne - I've always used brown paper (an old bag, for instance) placed on top of the wax and ironed out as you do. Have you come across this hack, too?

    1. Author Joanne A on February 11, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Hi Sandy! Yes, I have also heard of this hack. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Author VanAKeyes on May 16, 2019 at 1:32 am

    such a nice post. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Author Joanne A on May 16, 2019 at 9:13 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment!

    Reply

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