How to Clean a Carpet

How to clean carpet

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

In the United States alone, over 50% of homes have 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 barefoot, 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 efficient as it will be if you have a clean filter in it.

The same principle applies to your carpet. Carpet plays a massive role in the cleanliness of your home; clean carpet equates to a clean house.

If you want a healthy environment at home, the first thing you need to do is clean the carpet.

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.

The second is cost. Installing new carpet isn’t cheap, replacing it 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, or say it still looks clean. or say to themselves that it looks neat.

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 a 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 most significant investments you will make in your home is the area you walk around.

To install carpet, you’d have to spend around $3 to $5 per square foot (just a rough estimate, which could be higher depending on the company). So for an install that covers 250 square feet, for example, that would add up to roughly $1,200.

That cost excludes the evaluation of the subflooring (the padding underneath the carpet). 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 clean it regularly, 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

CHAPTER 1: Carpet Cleaning Basics

Like with anything else in life, the mastery of fundamentals will be the difference between success and failure, and this also applies to 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 stain removal. Remember that using the correct method can be the difference between removing the stain or making it worst.

CHAPTER 2: How to Remove Specific Stains

Stains aren’t equal. The product you use to remove blood stains may not be as effective as eliminating coffee stains and vice-versa.

Learn product combinations that can remove a specific type of stain. What I like about these tutorials is that there’s no need to buy chemical-based products that contain harmful solvents or petroleum that can cause nausea.

A combination of 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 quickly.

CHAPTER 4: How to Remove Specific Types of Debris on Carpet

Certain types of debris need a specific kind of method for removal. In this chapter, learn about the different ways to remove certain types of contaminants.

CHAPTER 5: 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 apply to most carpets made from synthetic fabric. But certain types of carpet fabric that may need special cleaning tools and technique.

CHAPTER 6: How To Deodorize Carpet

Nobody wants to come home to a stinky and smelly carpet because it will 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 7: How to Dry Clean Carpet

Believe it or not, dry cleaning isn’t only for suits, and you can also use this cleaning technique on the carpet.

While the former involves using steam on fabric, on carpets, it’s an entirely different process.

You’ll need two things – a cleaning agent and an excellent upright vacuum. The great thing is you can make your homemade cleaning agents with a few ingredients like baking soda.

CHAPTER 8: Steam Cleaning

One of the best ways to deep clean carpet is by using a steam carpet cleaner.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) says that steam cleaning will remove more allergen and stains from carpet than another cleaning method.

There are two ways to go about it. The first step 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 9: 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 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 distinct from cleaning something synthetic, and here are tutorials to help you get started.

CHAPTER 11: Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

A lot of store-bought carpet cleaning products contain potent chemicals that contain toxic ingredients that could potentially discolor carpets, 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 shortlist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some FAQs about carpet cleaning.

How often should you clean your carpet?

The carpet and rug Institute says to professionally deep clean your carpet every 12-18 months. Understand this is average and will vary depending upon home use, amount of traffic, and traffic patterns. Some homes may need their carpet professionally cleaned every six or 12 months.

Some factors that determine how often to clean a carpet include the color of the carpet and if you vacuum regularly. Other factors include occupant’s allergies, the warranty of your carpet, whether you allow your pets indoors, and whether you have young children in the home.

The frequency may need to increase if the answer to these questions is yes.

How to make carpet fluffy again?

Carpet, especially in high-traffic areas, will not only get dirty but pressed down. It can happen underneath heavy furniture.

Whether it is barely flattened carpet or deep dents in your carpet caused by furniture, weight does not matter.

Brushing the areas with a vacuum cleaner or brush can help. Deep dents can necessitate trying several things to restore the carpet’s fluffiness.

Spray the flattened carpet with a mixture of vinegar and water. Just spray the affected area with this mixture, wait 20 to 30 minutes, and then blot it up with a towel. Next, fluff the carpet with a spoon’s edge, which will cause it to fluff up.

How often should you vacuum your carpet?

You should vacuum the carpet once or twice per week; however, no cut and dried recommendation exist.

Ask yourself questions, how often do I entertain or have a company or what kind of floor do I have. Do I have kids playing at my house, or do I have pets in my home?

It is acceptable to vacuum your home’s areas based on how much each area gets used. For instance, areas that have average traffic need weekly cleaning—however, vacuum high-traffic areas every two or three days. Finally, if the room or space gets seldomly used, it needs vacuuming every couple of weeks. How to clean a carpet begins with regular vacuuming.

Do I need to vacuum before carpet cleaning?

The answer is yes; you do. Vacuuming before carpet cleaning helps remove dirt and debris from the carpet before the washing.

Doing so provides the carpet cleaner a blank canvass to work on and focus on removing ground-in dirt.

If you choose to hire a professional, they may give you the option to have them vacuum it before the cleaning process.

To save some money, do the vacuuming yourself. Make sure to clean the baseboards and move around furniture to cover the areas that you don’t get to vacuum regularly, as a lot can accumulate in these areas.

Take note that companies will charge even for moving furniture, so doing it yourself can save you a lot.

How long does carpet cleaning take?

It depends. A professional carpet cleaner can usually finish a room in around 20 to 30 minutes.

However, this time can be longer if additional areas are included, such as a hallway or carpeted stairs.

Other factors that affect the time it will take to clean a carpet include the size of the carpet, the cleaning method used, or the carpet’s condition.

You should stay off the carpet and give it ample time to dry. Avoid leaving it wet as mold and mildew can build up. So consider using fans to speed up the process.

How often should you vacuum carpet?

You should vacuum the carpet once or twice per week. However, there is not a cut and dried recommendation for how often to clean your carpet.

Ask yourself questions like, I entertain or have company, what kind of floor do I have, do I have kids playing in my house, or do I have pets in my home?

Consequently, it is acceptable to vacuum your home areas based on how much each area gets used.

For instance, vacuum common traffic areas weekly. High-traffic areas will need more frequency – every two or three days.

Finally, if the room gets sparse use, vacuuming every two weeks would be enough, but make sure to close the windows as dust can accumulate (if you live in a dusty environment).

How often should a carpet be steam cleaned?

Steam cleaning carpet

Carpets should be professionally steam-cleaned at least once per year or more. Most manufacturers recommend steam cleaning as a way of deep cleaning carpet fibers.

Steam cleaning goes deep into the carpet fibers, lifting out pollutants and dirt that we track in the house. Steam cleaning also eliminates moisture from your carpet, so it dries quickly.

There are steam cleaners that do not require a professional and are do-it-yourself. Follow the steam cleaner directions. The carpet’s longevity and usefulness can suffer if you do not.

However, if you don’t have access to a steam cleaner, there are alternatives to disinfect your carpet without this apparatus.

How often should you vacuum with pets?

It is probably not a secret that regular vacuuming is necessary, especially if you have pets in the house. A rule of thumb says that you should vacuum at least weekly, whether or not you have pets. Consider your pets and their unique needs, though.

For example, certain breeds of pets shed often, and some do not. Poodles do not shed, but golden retrievers shed all the time. The point is if your pet often sheds, think of vacuuming multiple times per week – even daily.

How much does it cost to clean a carpet?

Carpet cleaning costs usually are between $25 and $75 per room or an average of $50 per room.

Since home/room sizes vary and can contain multiple types of carpets, there is not a set price for these categories. Many professional carpet cleaners charge per room, but setting the cost this way can involve a size cap.

Other companies can charge per square foot for carpet cleaning. Whether you have a small area or an extensive area to clean will determine how much you pay.

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About the author: Garrick Dee Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide has been testing cordless vacuums for the past 10 years, and writes about them on this website. When he’s not writing reviews, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son, traveling and tasting different cuisines.