How to Clean a Carpet

How to clean carpet

If you live in a country with a winter season, there is likely carpet inside your home.

According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, over 50% of homes in the United States alone have Carpet.

Carpet not only acts as an insulator during these cold months, providing 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 will happen to its performance?

It would suffer, right? Gas mileage will drop, and it won’t be as efficient as it would be if you had a clean filter.

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

If you want a healthy home environment, you first need to 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 carpets are a catch basin for all types of dirt, including dust mites, allergens, hair, sand, dead skin, and all the nasty stuff that comes from our bodies, pets, and environment.

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

Unfortunately, many 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.

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

Imagine coming home to a place with 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 stress from work.

The great thing is you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars 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 installation that covers 250 square feet, for example, that would add up to roughly $1,200.

That cost excludes evaluating the subflooring (the padding underneath the carpet). If there are weak points here, they should be addressed, which costs money in labor.

With all the money spent on installation, you better 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—filtering out allergens—which 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, 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, from how often you need to vacuum carpet to the proper techniques in stain removal.

Remember that the correct method can be the difference between removing the stain and worsening it.

CHAPTER 2: How to Remove Specific Stains

Stains aren’t equal. The product you use to remove blood stains may be less effective than eliminating coffee stains.

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

Sometimes, 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.

These stubborn stains should come off quickly with a little patience and the right products.

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

Certain types of debris need a specific kind of removal method. 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 the basic principles of carpet maintenance and removing specific stains.

These include cleaning dried-up stains that you might have missed, which may not work on all carpets.

The tips above apply to most carpets made from synthetic fabric. However, certain carpet fabric types may require special cleaning tools and techniques.

CHAPTER 6: How To Deodorize Carpet

Nobody wants to come home to a stinky carpet because it will make you sick.

The biggest reason? Underneath all those fibers, it breeds disease-causing bacteria.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take rocket science to deodorize carpet, using common household ingredients like baking soda and 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; this cleaning technique can also be used on carpets.

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

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

A steam carpet cleaner is one of the best tools to deep clean carpets.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) says that steam cleaning will remove more allergens and stains from carpets than other cleaning methods.

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 choosing the right tool to 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.

However, 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

Many store-bought carpet cleaning products contain potent chemicals and toxic ingredients that could potentially discolor carpets and harm your health and the environment.

What if you can create 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 recommends professionally deep cleaning your carpet every 12-18 months.

However, this average will vary depending on the environment, the number of pets (if any), and the number of people living inside.

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.

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

How to make the carpet fluffy again?

Carpet, especially in high-traffic areas, will get dirty and pressed down. It can happen underneath heavy furniture.

Whether it is a 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. Spray the affected area with this mixture, wait 20 to 30 minutes, and then blot it 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 every day (if possible) to prevent grime buildup.

If doing it daily isn’t possible, then ask yourself questions: How often do I entertain or have company, or what kind of floor do I have? Do I have kids playing at my house, or do I have pets?

One workaround is vacuuming areas based on foot traffic.

 For instance, areas with average traffic need weekly cleaning; however, high-traffic areas need vacuuming every two or three days.

Finally, if a room or space is seldom used, it needs vacuuming every couple of weeks. Cleaning a carpet begins with regular vacuuming.

Another option would be using a robot vacuum to automate the vacuuming task.

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

Please 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 usually finishes 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 this timeframe include the carpet area, the cleaning method used, and 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 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 to deep clean 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 friendly.

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?

Vinegar pet odor

It is probably not a secret that regular vacuuming is necessary, especially if you have pets. 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 do 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 will vary depending on the area size of your carpet, cleaning method, carpet condition, and location.

One of the most effective methods of cleaning carpets is steam cleaning. This service costs around $100 to $500.

Dry cleaning is slightly cheaper, ranging between $100 and $300, but that would depend on factors I mentioned earlier.

DIY rental machines if you want to save some money. Companies typically charge $30 to $50 per day.

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.