How to Clean a Carpet: The Definitive Guide

If you live in a country where there is winter season, chances are your home has carpet.

In the United States alone over 50% of homes are equipped with carpet according to the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Carpet not only acts as an insulator during these cold months providing you with warmth as you walk bare foot but it also doubles as a filter.

So what do we do with filters to keep it performing well? Clean it of course.

Think of it this way, if you don’t clean a car’s filter what would happen to the performance of your vehicle? It would suffer right? Gas mileage will drop and it wouldn't be as peppy as it will be if you have a clean filter in it.

The same principle applies to your carpet. Carpet plays a huge role in the cleanliness of your home, clean carpet = clean home. If you want a healthy environment at home, the first thing you need to do is clean the carpet.

But First Why Do You Need To Clean Carpet?

The reason is two-fold. First there are sanitary reasons. 

You won’t see it but carpet is a catch basin for all types of dirt like dust mites, allergens, hair, sand, dead skin and all the nasty stuff that comes from our bodies, pets or environment. 

Second is cost. Installing new carpet isn’t cheap, replacing them will be much more expensive if you include the labor costs so you’ll want to make sure it will last as long as possible.

Unfortunately a lot of people neglect cleaning it because they’re either lazy, too busy, think that the cost of having it professionally done is expensive or say to themselves that it still looks clean.

Well, if you’re in that mode let me give you some inspiration on why you should do this task.

Imagine yourself coming home to a place that has well maintained carpet. It’s like checking in a 5-star hotel every day. Walking on a soft, clean and fresh smelling carpet will help ease out stress from work, the great thing is you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars just to experience it.

Installing Carpet Isn’t Cheap

One of the biggest investments you will make in your home is what you stand on.

To install carpet, you’d have to spend around $3 to $5 per square foot. So for an install that covers 250 square feet for example, that would add up to roughly $1,200.

That cost excludes evaluation of the subflooring where the carpet will be sit on. If there are weak points here, this should be addressed and that costs money in terms of labor.

With all the money spent on installation, you better make sure to do your due diligence and take care of that investment. The best way to ensure the longevity of carpet is to regularly clean it so dirt doesn’t pile up.

A clean carpet also means a cleaner indoor environment because it will be able to do its job better which is to filter out allergens – something a dirty carpet won’t do very well.

The Ultimate List of the
Web’s Best Carpet Cleaning Resources

Chapters

CHAPTER 1: Carpet Cleaning Basics

Like with anything else in life the mastery of fundamentals will be the difference between success and failure, this also applies to cleaning carpets believe it or not. These articles will guide you on various topics like how often you need vacuum carpet to the proper techniques in basic stain removal. Remember that using the correct technique can be the difference between removing the stain or making it worst.


CHAPTER 2: How to Remove Specific Stains

Stains are not created equal. The product you use to remove blood stains may not be as effective to remove coffee stains and vice-versa. You’ll learn about product combinations that will help remove a particular type of stain, the best thing about these tutorials is that you will not need to buy chemical-based cleaners that contain harmful solvents or petroleum products that can make us feel dizzy. A combination readily available products like baking soda and vinegar is often enough to clean up stubborn stains.


CHAPTER 3: Cleaning Old Carpet Stains

There are times that we will miss a stain here and there but there's no need to freak out. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to have it professionally cleaned. With a little patience and the right products, these stubborn stains should come off easy.


CHAPTER 4: Cleaning Different Types of Carpet Fabric

In the previous sections, I’ve shared with you the basic principles of carpet maintenance and removing specific stains. These include cleaning dried up stains that you might have missed but this may not work on all carpets. The tips above are applicable to most carpets made from synthetic fabric. But certain types of carpet fabric that may need special cleaning tools and technique. 


CHAPTER 5: How to Deodorize Carpet

Nobody wants to come home to a stinky and smelly carpet because it will literally make you sick. The biggest reason? Underneath all those fibers breeds disease causing bacteria. Fortunately it doesn’t take rocket science to deodorize carpet, using common household ingredients like baking soda along with a vacuum cleaner, you say goodbye to a stinky carpet and say hello to a fresh smelling home.


CHAPTER 6: How to Dry Clean Carpet

Believe it or not, dry cleaning isn’t only for suits, you can also use this cleaning technique on carpet. While the former involves using steam on fabric, on carpet it's an entirely different process. You’ll need two things - a cleaning agent and a good upright vacuum. The great thing is you can make your own homemade cleaning agents with a few ingredients like baking soda.


CHAPTER 7: Steam Cleaning

One of the best ways to deep clean carpet is by using a steam carpet cleaner. In fact the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) says that steam cleaning will remove more allergen and stains from carpet than another other cleaning method. There are two ways to go about it. First is to hire a professional to do it for you. That would easily cost a few hundred dollars, another option would be to rent a steam cleaner but you’ll need to do all the heavy lifting (literally).


CHAPTER 8: Tools of the Trade

As with any carpet cleaning task you will need the right tools to do the job right. From the basic upright vacuum cleaner to keep your carpet tidy to a carpet cleaner and everything in between. These guides will give you insights on how to choose the right tool that will fit your needs at home.


CHAPTER 9: A Primer on Upholstery and Fabric

To have a truly clean home, you don’t stop at just cleaning the carpet but you also have to take time cleaning upholstery. I know, I know, it is a tedious process but with the right tools it can be done quickly. Here is an introduction on practical tips that you can apply immediately in different types of upholstery like fabric, leather or suede.


CHAPTER 10: How to Clean Rugs

The rug is another often neglected part of our home that desperately needs our TLC. But these rugs are made from different types of fabric. The way you clean a wool rug is totally different with cleaning synthetic rugs and here are tutorials to help you get started.


CHAPTER 11: Non-Toxic Carpet Cleaning Products

A lot of store bought carpet cleaning products are loaded with potent chemicals that contain toxic ingredients that could potentially discolor carpet, harm your health, and the environment. What if you can create your cleaning products from affordable readily available ingredients? That would be great, right? Here’s a short list.


Garrick Dee
 

Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide that originally focused on cordless vacuums but he has now expanded to reviewing corded vacuums and carpet cleaners to be able to provide a more complete guide in terms of choosing the right cleaner.

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