How to Clean Berber Carpet [Best Practices]

How to clean berber carpet

Berber carpet can be a great addition to your home interior. It is stylish, elegant, resistant to liquid spills, and ensures comfort to your feet.

This type of carpet can be long-lasting, but only if you treat it right. So if you own one, then at some point you must have experienced the challenge of cleaning it.

Maybe you did not know the right criteria for cleaning, but I am sure after reading this article, you will get equipped with the proper techniques required to clean Berber carpet.

There are dozens of methods of cleaning carpets, making it difficult to choose the quick and effective one. You should not be worried because I will give a step by step procedure of cleaning it.

Identify the fiber of your Berber carpet.

Berber carpet

Here’s a close up of Berber carpet fibers.

The initial step of tackling any carpet cleaning is identifying the fiber used to make it.

Types of Berber carpet:

  • Nylon: it closely resembles wool but cannot resist water. Nylon can be cleaned best by using dry cleaning.
  • Wool: carpets made out of this fiber are costly. They can also be dry-cleaned to avoid damage. They are water-absorbent since wool is a natural fiber.
  • Olefin or Polyester: this is a synthetic form of fiber. Steam cleaning is a suitable method for it; this is because Olefin resists water and attracts oil. It is also stain-resistant, and this makes it the most economical.
  • Triexta: it is a more expensive option than Olefin, which has the same properties as wool but has better durability.
  • Blends: a mixture of different fibers (usually nylon and wool) that offer the softness of wool without paying the full price.

Stain removal methods

Various methods are applicable for removing stains, but the best approach largely depends on the type of stain and the available materials. You can use the following processes to remove stains.

Carpet cleaning professionals recommend vacuuming Berber carpet before removing any stain. It ensures that there are loose grains of dirt that can hinder the cleaning solution.

1. Coldwater method

It is the simplest and the easiest way to remove fresh and tough Berber carpet stains.

When using this method, use the following procedure.

  1. First, dry the stain using a clean, dry towel. It prevents stains from permeating through the carpet fibers.
  2. Using a clean cloth and water, gently rub the stain. The cold water helps expand the fiber and dilutes the stain, thereby flushing the stain from the carpet.
  3. Again, blot the stain dry with a dry towel until the stain color appears on it. When the stain color starts to show on the cleaning towel, it is a sign that it is getting lifted out.
  4. Repeat the process several until all the stains are no longer visible.

2. Water and vinegar method

If the cold water method does not work out, the vinegar and water method can be an alternative solution. The requirements are vinegar, water, and a clean, dry towel.

Please follow the steps below.

  1. Add one part of water and five parts of white vinegar (1:5 ratio). This mixture will be your cleaning agent.
  2. Test it on a small area first. It helps guarantee no carpet discoloration.
  3. Blot the stain using a dry towel to remove any liquid from the stain. Make sure to blot before applying the cleaning agent. Like in the case of the cold water method, rub the stain gently using the mixture and a dry towel.
  4. Repeat until all the stains are gone.
  5. Once the stain is out, run a wet/dry vacuum on the cleaned surface to remove the remaining moisture. It helps prevent dirt attraction, which will otherwise make the stain reappear.

3. Baking soda method

Baking Soda on carpet

For smelly pet-related stains or greasy stains, use the baking soda method. This ingredient helps absorb the grease and balances the PH, neutralizing stinky odors. Additionally, it helps in getting rid of moisture created during stain removal.

To use the method, follow the procedure below.

  1. Use a clean, dry towel to blot the stain. Avoid rubbing as it will sink the stain into the carpet.
  2. Fill the whole stain with baking soda and give time for absorption. It can take at least 20 seconds. If you extend the time, the stain can sink to the bottom of the carpet’s fiber.
  3. Vacuum the baking soda residue.

Please note that you will need a vacuum with high airflow to remove baking soda residue on Berber, as a brush roll isn’t unsuitable.

4. Using store-bought stain removal products

Robust and older stains can prove hard to remove, and applying DIY solutions will not help. Using stain removal products can be a suitable method for such stains. When using carpet stain removers from stores, follow the instructions carefully to achieve the best result.

It would also help to keep these in mind when using stain removal products.

  1. Use a small portion of the carpet to test the solution; some may discolor or even burn the carpet.
  2. Do not use the solution in excess. Use a small amount but repeatedly until the stain is not visible.
  3. Dry the stain entirely to prevent the moisture from sinking into the carpet fiber.
  4. The cleaned area may look brighter than other parts, but with passing days, it lessens.

5. Using a pre-conditoner+oxygen bleach+solvent

This combo is an excellent alternative to store-bought carpet cleaning products if they don’t work and a good substitute for using bleach, as it can be hazardous to your lungs.

Here are the steps.

  1. Start by vacuuming the carpet to clean any surface debris that may hinder the cleaning mixture.
  2. Mix a solution of 8 oz. pre-spray, 2 oz. Oxygen bleach, and 2 oz. Citrus solvent into a spray bottle.
  3. Mist a bonnet damp, then use it to agitate the carpet.
  4. If you use a carpet extractor with rotary bristles, disconnect the water hose to avoid spritzing the carpeting cleaning solution. The only thing you need to do is agitate the carpet.
  5. Wait for 15 minutes for the solution to loosen the stain.
  6. Extract the residue using a high-temp extractor with an acid rinse (please follow the instructions).
  7. After 2 or 3 days, spray encapsulating cleaner on the carpet or bonnet.
  8. Leave the carpet to air dry. You can shorten the drying period by using a fan.

6. Vacuum cleaning method

You noticed that I ended all my stain removal methods by vacuum cleaning. Generally, this is the method that follows stain removal. It prolongs your carpet’s cleanliness.

When vacuuming the carpet, do it thoroughly with slow and steady movements. Being overly rough can damage the carpet’s weave.

I would recommend not to use brush roller or beater bar attachments. These tools can cause damage to the weave of the carpet.

Use a high-suction vacuum or one designed for laminate flooring. It is best to remove the stain without ruining the texture.

The following are some of the frequently asked questions as far as cleaning of the Berber carpet is concerned.

Please check these resources for more information about Berber carpets:

  1. How to Clean Berber Carpet
  2. What is the best Berber carpet fiber?
  3. Berber Carpet: What is it?

What is the best way to clean Berber carpet?

The question doesn’t have a specific answer. Many methods can be used, but it depends on the fiber. The commonly used one is Olefin Berber; you can use the following process to clean it.

First, vacuum the carpet thoroughly, then spray it with a premium pre-conditioner boosted with oxygen bleach and solvent (check method 5 for more details).

You then scrub using a damp bonnet while maintaining the carpet as dry as possible. Repeat the scrubbing over and over until at least 90% of the dirt is removed.

Can I steam clean Berber carpet?

Steam cleaning carpet

It’s one of the best ways of cleaning your carpet quickly and effectively.

Firstly, prepare the carpet by cleaning surface dirt using a vacuum cleaner. You then fill the steam cleaner with water and turn it on. Portion your carpet into a 3-foot square section.

You achieve the best result by concentrating on a small area at a time. After finishing, clean the steam cleaner and get rid of the wastewater.

Can I use OxiClean on Berber carpet?

Oxiclean is a versatile method of removing stains from the carpet. It’s mainly suitable for tough stains since it contains hydrogen peroxide and sodium percarbonate, which are the best solutions for stain removal.

Suppose you are using OxiClean versatile stain removal powder; you must dissolve it in water first.

You then remove the excess spill by spraying or applying the solution to the stained area.

Wait 5 minutes for OxiClean to do its thing before blotting it up with a clean, dry towel.

Make sure you remove the solution from the stain while still wet. You then finalize it by using a dry cloth to rinse the solution and vacuum it thoroughly.

Can I use bleach to clean Berber carpet?


Yes, you can, though it has limitations. So use it if necessary. However, if you have a wool carpet, then don’t use bleach as it will eat through the fibers.

Brightly colored carpets should also not be cleaned using bleach because bleach fades way colors. So it is only best for dirty white carpets.

When using the bleach, prepare the carpet followed by the solution. While making the solution, take precautions.

Cover your hands with protective gloves and your face with a mask.

You then apply the solution on the stained area bit by bit while scrubbing with a dry towel until all the stains are gone. Finalize the procedure by washing it and vacuuming the excess moisture out.

Make sure to extract traces of bleach as it is an active agent with negative effects on people and pets.

Bleach should be your last option when cleaning any carpet as the negatives outweighing the positives.

Is Berber carpet hard to clean?

The short answer is yes, and the level of difficulty would depend on the fiber. One reason why it can be challenging is its construction.

Berber carpet isn’t like cut-pile carpet, and it is woven together in a looping motion. This type of construction makes Berber more durable than cut-pile, but its density and fiber characteristics make it challenging to clean.

For instance, Olefin Berber (one of the most popular), likes oil and water-resistant, which is a bad combo for traditional cleaning tools.

Vacuum cleaners with a beater bar aren’t suitable for cleaning Berber as there is a risk of the brush roll snagging up a loop and damaging the carpet. A good vacuum for Berber would be a model that has high airflow and an option to shut off the beater bar.

One way to reduce wear on Berber carpet is to vacuum regularly. The frequency will depend on the amount of foot traffic and the location. Some experts would recommend doing this task once a month, but in high-traffic areas, increasing the frequency to once a week would help keep your Berber carpet in tip-top shape.

About the author: Garrick, the visionary behind Cordless Vacuum Guide, brings over a decade of hands-on expertise in cordless vacuum testing to his insightful reviews showcased on this platform. Beyond his passion for empowering consumers with informed choices, he cherishes precious moments with his family, exploring global cuisines and exploring different horizons with his beloved wife and son. Follow him on Youtube, Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram.