Some things in life are inevitable – like a carpet getting dirty over time. No matter how hard you try to keep your carpet clean, it will eventually accumulate deep-set dirt that isn’t cleanable with a quick vacuuming.
Fortunately, when it comes to cleaning a dirty carpet, there are loads of things you can do on your own to get a clean, shiny, dirt-free carpet once more. You don’t have to hire professional carpet cleaners, as there are various methods by which you can deep clean a carpet by hand. All you need is some time and a few cleaning products, and you’ll be good to go!
In this guide, we’ll take you step-by-step through deep cleaning a carpet by hand.
How to Deep Clean a Carpet
There are four easy methods you can use to deep clean your carpet:
- Deep cleaning using a liquid soap mixture
- Deep cleaning a carpet naturally
Let’s take a look at each of these methods.
Wet-Cleaning A Carpet
The first method to deep clean a carpet is wet-cleaning. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Obtain a carpet cleaner
You can buy a carpet cleaner from your local hardware store. They are not very expensive and can be considered a lifetime investment.
They look like a vacuum cleaner. However, there is a big difference between the two of them: wet cleaners also have a water tank.
Here’s how carpet cleaners work:
- Water mixed with a carpet cleaning detergent shoots onto the carpet.
- The rotating brushes on the cleaner scrub the carpet thoroughly to get rid of the grime and dirt.
- This dirty water is then sucked up by the carpet cleaner.
Note: You can also rent a carpet cleaner from a nearby supermarket or hardware store if you are not looking to buy one. Make sure that you get a carpet cleaner that can be easily moved around. Keep in mind that once there is water inside the machine, it will get even harder for you to move it around, so keep its portability in mind.
Step 2: Choose the cleaning solution
The next step is to select and buy a carpet cleaning solution. Make sure that you get a cleaning solution that is environmentally friendly, and doesn’t have any ingredients that you are allergic or sensitive to. Buy a cleaning solution that works well with the fabric of your carpet.
Step 3: Clear the area
The first thing that you need to do is to clear the carpet of everything. If there are any books, toys, shoes, papers, or any other items on the carpet, remove them. Throw out any trash that might be present on the rug, such as wrappers, empty bottles, etc.
Step 4: Move the furniture
Try to leave as little furniture in the room as possible. Shift the tables, chairs, and other small items to other rooms. If there are items that are difficult and heavy to move, place small pieces of aluminum foil under the feet of the furniture.
Step 5: Vacuum the carpet
The first cleaning step to spot-treat your carpet and vacuum it. This will make your entire rug easy to clean since you won’t have to worry about individual spots and additional dust.
Make sure you vacuum over the whole area, especially those areas which were covered by the furniture. It is good to get out as much dirt out of the carpet as possible before the deep cleaning.
Step 6: Spot-treat the stains
If there are stained or soiled areas on your carpet, then you need to get the stains out of the rug before you deep clean it. Here’s the process:
- Spray a carpet cleaning solution over the stained area.
- Let it soak for 25 minutes.
- Blot the stain out with the help of a damp cloth or a sponge. Make sure not to rub the stains in.
- If you don’t have a carpet cleaning solution, then you can use club soda, shaving cream, or a solution of vinegar, soap, and water.
Step 7: Check a small patch
To make sure that the carpet cleaning solution doesn’t stain or damage your rug, test a small piece of carpet first.
If possible, test a patch of carpet that will be later covered by furniture so that even if it gets damaged, you won’t have to replace the entire carpet.
To check, spray a small amount of the cleaner and leave it for 15 minutes. If you notice some discoloration or staining, then don’t use the carpet cleaner.
Step 8: Fill the carpet cleaning machine
Now you need to put water and the cleaning solution inside the carpet cleaner’s tank. Read the instructions manual that comes with both the machine and the cleaning solution. Make sure you know the ratio of water to the cleaning solution that you will need for deep cleaning your carpet.
Once the tank is full, plug in the carpet cleaner. Make sure that you don’t plug the machine in before you add water and the cleaning solution.
If you have allergies or are sensitive to the cleaning solution, then you can add white vinegar instead of the cleaning solution. However, this may not give you the results you require, and you may have to do the cleaning more than one time.
Step 9: Position yourself away from the entrance
When you start cleaning the carpet, make sure that you start from the innermost part of the room and then start moving outwards slowly.
This way, you will finish cleaning at the door. If you begin from the door, then you will have to step on the clean, wet carpet to go out again. If the rug is not as clean as you would like it to be, let the carpet dry for a couple of hours and then clean it again.
Step 10: Let the carpet dry
Once you have cleaned the carpet, you will have to dry it. It may take several hours for the carpet to dry completely.
Make sure that air is circulating through your room to help with the drying process. Open the windows and doors. If there are fans or dehumidifiers in your room, turn them on as well. This will help in getting the carpet dried up quicker, and reduce the risk of mildew and mold formation.
Step 11: Dispose of the water
The water inside the carpet cleaner should now be full of chemicals, dirt, and dust. Don’t pour it down the drain unless the manufacturer of the cleaning solution specifies that it is safe to pour it down the drain.
Make sure you know how to responsibly dispose of the dirty water so that it will not end up hurting any plants or other living things, eventually.
Dry-Cleaning the Carpet
The second method for deep cleaning your carpet is dry-cleaning. Dry-cleaning doesn’t help in removing stains from the carpet – it only helps to get rid of the dirt and dust trapped in it.
Here’s how you can dry-clean your carpet on your own.
Step 1: Buy a dry-carpet cleaning solution
There are various dry cleaning solutions available in the market. They are usually powders that are designed to break down the dirt accumulated in the carpet.
You can buy them from your local hardware store or supermarket. However, I recommend using this Capture Carpet Dry Cleaner Powder, as it will thoroughly remove dirt and odors from the carpet at an affordable price.
Before you buy any dry-carpet cleaning solution, make sure it’s within your budget, doesn’t have any ingredients you are sensitive to, and works well with your carpet’s fabric.
Step 2: Sprinkle the cleaning solution over the carpet
Sprinkle the cleaning solution over your carpet as per the instructions on the bottle. Spread the solution evenly and leave it on the carpet for the instructed amount of time. Most powders recommend 15-20 minutes. You will see the powder working its magic as it starts getting slightly dirtier over time.
Step 3: Vacuum the carpet
If the cleaner instructions say you should use a vacuum, then use a vacuum to remove the powder. If it is not safe to use a vacuum, then you can use a carpet brush to remove the dirt and dust.
Once you have finished removing the powder, you are done with the deep dry cleaning of your carpet.
Deep Cleaning a Carpet Using Liquid Soap Mixture
You don’t have to buy or rent a steam cleaner to clean your carpets. A vacuum can work well enough when thoroughly cleaning your carpets.
Let’s take a look at how the process works:
- Mix a small amount of soap with lukewarm water.
- Put this mixture inside a spray bottle.
- Sprinkle baking soda and table salt over the area you intend to clean.
- Spray the liquid soap mixture over the chosen area.
- Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
- Start brushing the carpet with the help of a soft brush. The dirt and hair will start to accumulate in the brush.
- Press towels on the carpet and let them saturate with water.
- Spray clean with water and allow new towels to soak the water.
Deep Cleaning a Carpet Naturally
If you are sensitive or allergic to soaps, detergents, and other cleaning products, don’t worry. You can also deep clean your carpet naturally.
How to deep clean with vinegar
Here’s how you can clean your carpet with vinegar, dish soap, and water:
- Add ¼ tablespoon of dish soap and ¼ tablespoon of vinegar with lukewarm water.
- Pour this mixture in a spray bottle.
- Use it to clean your carpets thoroughly in an all-natural way.
How to deep clean with baking soda
Baking soda is a fantastic product with various uses – one of the best of which is that it can be used to clean your carpets. A few advantages of using baking soda are that it is a highly inexpensive and environmentally-friendly solution.
Here’s the process:
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda all over your carpet.
- Take a spray bottle and mist up the baking soda.
- Let the mixture sit for at least 3 hours. It will soak up the dirt and odor present in your carpet.
- With the help of a vacuum cleaner, clean up the baking soda present on your carpet.
How to deep clean with a vacuum and brush
You can also clean your carpet with the help of a carpet brush and vacuum. Here’s how:
- Use the carpet brush to get rid of the dust, soil, and other pollutants present in your carpet.
- After you have brushed the entire rug, run a vacuum through the carpet to get rid of any remaining dirt in the carpet.
How to Remove Tough Stains From the Carpet
When you live in a house with kids, no matter how careful you are, your carpet will end up getting stained one way or the other. Therefore, you need to know how to keep your rug clean once it gets stained.
Here are a few ways to get rid of tough stains like blood, paint, gum, and candy.
Getting rid of dried chewing gum
You can quickly get rid of the gum by freezing it.
- Use a couple of ice cubes to freeze the gum for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Once it is frozen, use a spoon to lift the gum out of the carpet.
- Clean the carpet area with vinegar and warm water.
Getting rid of candle wax
If you have candles in your house, there is a high probability that some of the wax will end up dripping into the carpet. Once it is on the rug, it sets in quickly and dries.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get rid of wax drippings. Here’s the method:
- Put a white cloth on the top of the wax.
- Place a heated iron on the top of the wax to get it warm again.
- Once it is warm, you can remove it with the cloth you placed over it. You can also place a paper towel underneath the cloth so that the wax would get soaked up in it automatically.
Note: Never apply an iron directly on to the carpet. Also, make sure that you don’t use a colored cloth, since colored cloths might leave a stain on your carpet, creating a whole new problem.
If you cut your finger and your carpet gets stained, it doesn’t mean that your carpet is permanently ruined. A little bit of hydrogen peroxide will remove the bloodstain. Here’s the process:
- Scrape off as much dried blood as you can.
- Mix water with a mild detergent and blot out the stain.
- Apply hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. The solution will foam a little bit.
- Use paper towels to get the solution out of the carpet.
Getting candy out of the carpet
If there are kids in your home, you are bound to get candy stuck in the carpet. If you don’t get the candy out immediately, it will attract more dirt and grime. When you have a carpet candy emergency, use the following tips:
- Scrape the candy out first with a soft brush or butter knife.
- Mix water with mild soap and apply using a sponge.
- Dry the spot with paper towels.
Diy Deep Carpet Cleaning With Items Present in Your Pantry
There are several products in our homes that help in keeping your carpet clean.
Deep cleaning with liquid soap
Here’s how you can deep clean with liquid soap:
- Mix equal parts liquid soap and water.
- Soak your carpet with the mixture.
- Use plain water and a sponge to remove the mixture along with the dirt and dust in the carpet.
You can quickly get rid of mud, coffee stains, chocolate stains, and other blemishes with this method.
Deep cleaning with shampoo
You can find various deep cleansing shampoos specifically made for carpet cleaning in most grocery stores.
However, you can also use your regular shampoo. There are many types of shampoo: a few keep the carpet safe from bacteria and germs, and also help with the removal of stains.
The process is simple:
- Apply the deep cleansing shampoo with the help of a soft brush.
- Let it set for 5 minutes.
- Remove it with a clean, wet sponge.
Deep cleaning a carpet with vinegar
All you need for this method is a bucket of warm water and some white vinegar.
- Mix one-fourth of a glass of vinegar into the bucket of water.
- Dab your carpet with the mixture.
- After you’re done washing the carpet with the vinegar and water mixture, use plain water to clean the water once more.
- Open your windows and doors and let the carpet dry.
Deep cleaning a carpet with water
This water-only option will work if you have a flat place on which to put your carpet, or if you have a yard big enough for the carpet.
All you need is a water hose and a large brush for this method. This cleaning method might be the simplest option on this list:
- Use a strong stream of water, and start brushing the water aside with the help of the brush.
- Let the carpet dry. If you’re taking to carpet outside, make sure you check the weather before you start cleaning it – the last thing you want is a torrential downpour soaking your carpet.
This method is perfect for people who are allergic to detergents and soaps.
Deep cleaning a carpet with club soda
Club soda is highly effective against wine and beer stains. If you spill one of these beverages on your carpet, act quickly, and use the following method to clean the stain:
- Use a cloth to blot the area where you have a stain with the help of club soda. You can put club soda in a sprayer and spray it on the required area, though this is unnecessary.
- Let it soak for 15 minutes.
- Use a clean sponge to soak up the solution along with the stain.
- You may need to repeat steps 1-3 a couple of times before the stain is completely gone.
- Once the stain has been removed, you should rinse the area using warm water.
- Air the carpet so that it dries completely.
Deep Cleaning a Carpet With Shaving Cream
Surprisingly, shaving cream can help remove tough stains from your carpet. Here’s how:
- Apply the shaving cream directly on the stain.
- Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
- After the shaving cream sets, blot out the area with a dry clot.
- Spray the area lightly with water mixed with vinegar.
- Wipe the solution away with a clean cloth.
How to Prevent Your Carpet From Getting Dirty After Cleaning
Now that you’ve learned how to deep-clean a carpet by hand, you should do your best to keep your carpet from getting dirty again.
We all know that prevention is better than the cure; thus, it pays off to be cautious and careful to ensure your carpet stays cleaner for longer.
This may seem pretty obvious, but you need to clean your carpet regularly to keep it dirt-free.
The best thing to do is vacuum your carpet at least once a week to keep it fresh and clean. If your carpet is under furniture, make sure to vacuum around the edges and underneath the furniture thoroughly.
Blot stains instead of rubbing them
If you have a stain on your carpet, you should blot it out carefully instead of rubbing it in vigorously.
If you rub the stain in, it causes the stain to go deeper into the carpet and might cause it to become permanent. Here’s the proper blotting procedure:
- Dip a clean cloth or paper towels in a cleaning solution.
- Slowly blot the stain and clean from the outside to the inside. Cleaning from inside to outside will only cause the stain to spread.
Using doormats is an excellent way of keeping dirt out of your rooms and carpets.
However, this only works if the doormats are clean themselves. If your doormats are wash-safe, then wash them in the machine on a gentle cycle. If they are not wash-safe, you can use a vacuum to clean the doormats.
A good old shaking to the doormat should also get rid of any accumulated dirt on it. However, this is not a thorough method, as much of the deep set dirt will remain after a shaking. At the very least, you should vacuum your doormats regularly.
Take off your shoes
The best way to keep a carpet clean is to keep the dirt outside. And as all kinds of dirt and grime get stuck in between the treads on shoes, you should do your best to keep shoes off of your carpets.
One of the easiest ways to keep dirt out of your home is to implement a no-shoes-inside-the-house rule. Keep slippers or flip flops next to your door, and encourage your friends and family to switch their shoes before coming inside.
To recap, here are the major points you should take away from this article:
- There are four ways to deep clean a carpet: wet-cleaning, dry-cleaning, using a liquid soap mixture, and cleaning naturally. Wet-cleaning is your best choice if you have a nasty stain, while dry-cleaning is best for removing dirt and dust. If you want to perform a more routine deep cleaning, the liquid soap and natural methods are your best bet.
- To wet-clean the carpet, you’ll need a carpet cleaning machine and some professional carpet cleaning solution. You can rent or buy carpet cleaning machines – buying is cheaper in the long run, but renting is a good choice if you’re currently low on funds.
- To dry-clean the carpet, you’ll need some dry-carpet cleaning solution and a vacuum. The most affordable and effective dry-carpet cleaning solution is the Capture Carpet Dry Cleaner Powder.
- Deep-cleaning using a liquid soap mixture is affordable and simple. While the clean won’t be as deep as a wet-cleaning operation, you’ll still get a lot of nasty stains out.
- If you want to deep clean a carpet naturally, use vinegar, baking soda, or a vacuum and brush. Although these options aren’t as good as the professional cleaning solutions, they’re inexpensive and will make do in a pinch.
- In addition to vinegar and baking soda, you can also use shampoo, club soda, shaving cream, and water to remove stains. Shampoo and shaving cream will work on many types of stains, while club soda is best for beer or wine stains. Straight water is often ineffective at permanent removal. Still, it will help dilute the stain while you plan a better solution.
- There are many ways to keep your carpet clean so that you don’t have to deep clean it as often. The most common methods include regular vacuuming, blotting stains instead of rubbing them, placing doormats in front of exit doors, and taking off your shoes before you enter the house.