15 Carpet Cleaning Hacks You Need to Try

We’re about to cut cleaning time in half.

Cleaning a carpet usually involves vacuuming the living daylights out of it. However, you’re often left feeling like it wasn’t enough. There are still pet hair in the fibers and small particles of dust — plus that musty odor that just won’t go away.

It’s time to start cleaning in an easier, but more efficient manner. Enter, cleaning hacks. Carpet cleaning hacks are plentiful, but which ones are worth trying? From effective deodorizing to mystery stain removal, there’s a hack to use.

Top Carpet Cleaning Hacks

These are the 15 best carpet cleaning hacks we’ve found:

1. Squeegee Pet Hair Away

Pet hair can be tricky to get rid of. If you have a long-haired pet, you might feel like throwing in the towel. Fine pet hair clings to the fibers of the carpet, making it difficult for even a vacuum to remove.

An effective way to remove stubborn fur is by using a window squeegee. This smart device is designed to dislodge sticky substances from almost any surface.

Wet the squeegee slightly and glide it with the fibers — the hairs will follow. Next, simply collect them and throw away.

2. Lint Rollers

Lint rollers are usually meant to remove loose hair from clothing. However, these rollers are also highly effective on carpets. Due to the stickiness, they will grab onto smaller particles, such as dust, better than a vacuum.

You might think using a lint roller to clean a carpet will take hours. However, that’s not necessarily true. It might not be the quickest fix, but it’s useful for removing fibers the vacuum may have missed.

This hack is also excellent for carpeted stairs. Vacuuming stairs can be tricky, so using a lint roller is helpful to get quick clean.

3. Always Blot, Never Rub

Oh shoot, you spilled red wine on your cream-colored carpet — will this ever come out? If you act fast, that spill should be out in no time.

When you accidentally spill something on a carpet, it’s crucial to get the fluids away first. If the spill soaks into the fibers of the carpet, it can be nearly impossible to get out.

So take a clean cloth or towel and begin to blot lightly. You want to start at the edges and work your way towards the center. Blotting inward to the edges will cause the liquids to spread, enlarging the stain.

You might feel inclined to rubbing the spill away. However, this could push the stain into the fibers and spread it. As you blot, instead, you carefully squeeze the liquid out of the carpet and into the cloth.

4. Iron Stains Away

A dried stain can be nearly impossible to remove, but there’s a solution. You can use a hot iron to remove dry stains carefully.

First, vacuum the area thoroughly to get rid of any loose dirt or hard particles. This will ensure that all of the focus will be on the stain.

Then start by soaking a cloth or towel in a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water. Apply the wet cloth to the stain and leave it for up to five minutes. The vinegar will help to dissolve the stain.

Place the heated iron directly on the damp cloth. Rub it in circular motions applying slight pressure. As you press down, the stain will be transferred from the carpet onto the cloth — similar to a temporary tattoo.

5. Eliminating Oil Stains

Oil stains on a light-colored carpet? Did you just cringe? This is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating stains to deal with. Unfortunately, you need a little more than blotting.

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Baking soda is efficient at absorbing liquids and odors. But many people don’t know that it’s also excellent at retracting oil from a carpet (1).

Apply a generous amount of baking soda to cover the entire stain. Leave it to soak up the oil — the powder will form a dry crust once it’s full. This is easy to vacuum when you’re finished.

When the baking soda has removed most of the oil, use a cloth to dab the rest of the stain away.

6. Getting Rid of Pet Urine

Pet urine on carpets can be detrimental. If it gets soaked into the padding, it could ruin the carpet with an awful odor. Not to mention the horrible stain you’d have to look at daily (2).

The best way to avoid a disaster is by solving the problem when it happens. If you’re training your new pup or your old pal isn’t making it out in time, use this hack.

As we saw in the hack above, baking soda is effective at absorbing liquids. It’s also excellent at absorbing odors.

Apply enough baking soda to cover the area entirely. Then allow it to absorb the urine and odor until the powder starts to dry. Blot away the rest of the mess and finish with a vacuum to remove excess powder.

7. Nail Polish Spill? No Problem

When removing nail polish from our fingernails, we usually use acetone. However, this shouldn’t be the first thing you grab when spilling polish on your carpet as this could damage it.

An effective way to remove nail polish from a carpet instead is by using rubbing alcohol. Allow the polish to dry on the carpet, then use a blunt knife to scrape off as much of the dry polish as you can.

Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cloth or towel and gently dab the stain. Continue until the nail polish dissolves — the cloth will absorb the excess polish.

You could also use paper towels if you’re afraid of ruining the cloth.

8. Shaving Cream for Colored Carpets

Dirt and mud often find their way inside, especially if you have children or pets. This can cause skid marks across your carpet, which can be frustrating to look at.

Shaving cream is an item most of us have in the bathroom cabinet. It’s effective at removing dirt stains without damaging your carpet. You can use any kind, so you don’t have to run to the store to buy any specific brand.

If it’s a dry stain, vacuum it first to remove any loose grains. Then apply the shaving cream to cover the stain entirely. Allow it to sit for a minute or two, rub it with a sponge and wipe away the excess.

Shaving cream can be used on any carpet, but it’s particularly great on colored carpets. Another benefit is that it leaves your carpet soft and fluffy.

9. Smelly Carpet? Not for Much Longer

After spending significant time vacuuming your carpet, you might be disappointed by the smell still present. As effective as a vacuum can be at removing dirt and crumbs, it won’t get rid of odors.

For this, you’ll need to rip out another packet of baking soda. Next, sprinkle the entire carpet with a blanket of baking soda — it might look like a winter wonderland.

Leave the baking soda to rest on the carpet for a couple of hours (overnight if the odor is strong). When the time is up, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove all powder (3).

10. The Ultimate Carpet Odor-Eliminator

Tried the hack above but the odor is still present? You’ll need something a little stronger to deodorize your carpet.

This next recipe includes borax, essential oil, and baking soda. Combine two tablespoons of borax with two cups of baking soda in a large container. Borax will kill bacteria and microbes that might be hiding in your carpet and causing the odor (4).

Add about 10 drops of essential oil and give it a good stir — if there’s a lid, close it tightly and shake. Choose an essential oil with a pleasant scent for everyone, including pets. Grapefruit is a popular choice since it gives the carpet a fresh citrus smell and doesn’t bother animals.

Apply the mixture the same way as we did in the hack above. Finally, allow it to sit for a couple of hours or overnight and then vacuum thoroughly to remove the powder.

11. DIY Deep Cleaner

Deep cleaning your carpet can be a hard job unless you have a carpet cleaning machine. It also often involves a special carpet shampoo that can be expensive and harmful to the environment.

Luckily, you can make your own solution that is just as effective and safer. For this, you’ll need the following:

  • 6 ounces of hydrogen peroxide.
  • 2 ounces of vinegar.
  • Five drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • 2 tablespoons of fabric softener.
  • 2 tablespoons of dish soap.
  • 1 gallon of hot water (not boiling).

Combine the ingredients in a bucket and stir well. You can use this as a spot treatment or when you need to deep clean the carpet. It can also be added to a carpet cleaning machine for easy application.

12. Vacuuming Shag Carpets the Right Way

Shag carpets are becoming more and more popular. They’re soft and warm — the perfect addition to a cozy bedroom or hard floored living room.

However, the long and thick fibers can become a thriving spot for bacteria and microbes which could lead to mold. It’s crucial, therefore, to clean it thoroughly. Unfortunately, though, that can be difficult since the fibers tangle easily.

So, the best way to clean a shag carpet is by vacuuming with the hose alone. Remove the shaft and floorhead altogether. You can also use the crevice tool if you have one.

It may take a while, but you’ll clean deep inside the fibers without damaging the carpet.

13. Two Ways to a Fluff Carpet

Heavy furniture can quickly cause dents and flat spots on a carpet. Foot traffic can also affect carpets negatively. As a result, carpets in a busy place might also look flat after a while.

When you want to fluff your carpet, you can try one of these methods. For the first hack, place ice cubes in the flat spots and wait for them to melt. Blot the water out and put a clean towel on top, then iron the towel until the area is dry.

The second hack requires a few household ingredients. Start by mixing equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

Spray the flat area and sprinkle with baking soda. Then allow the powder to absorb the solution. Finally, use a spoon to loosen the fibers by running it sideways on the carpet.

This hack will help to restore the original texture of the carpet fibers.

14. Easy Way to Remove Gum

Gum on the carpet? Before you reach for the scissors to cut the gum out, try this hack.

Take one or more ice cubes and place them on the gum. It will begin to freeze and harden. With the change in texture, you can slide it off of the carpet easily.

15. Protect Your Carpet

Carpets in high-traffic areas are more prone to damage and stains. So, if you want to preserve your carpet, we suggest you put an area rug on top.

A rug on a carpet? Sure, it sounds weird, but it will help to protect it. Whenever you have guests coming over, remove the rug, and your perfect carpet will shine.

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Carpet Cleaning Made Easier

Cleaning a carpet doesn’t have to be exhausting or expensive. Using hacks to find a smarter way around specific tasks can be very beneficial.

One last tip? Remember to always test any solution in a small inconspicuous area before applying to the whole carpet. This will ensure you don’t cause any damage to the fibers.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!