Cleaning carpets can seem like an insurmountable task. What method and solution should you use? How often should you do it? There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there for how to clean carpet.
We think it’s important to learn the various ways to go about it. Then you can safely choose which one suits you and your carpet the best.
With some tips up your sleeve, you’ll be a carpet-cleaning master in no time. Jump right in with our how-to guide and feel confident as a result.
- Leave shoes at the door: Prevent dirt and debris from entering your carpeted areas by leaving shoes at the door.
- Act quickly on stains: Tackle stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from setting into the carpet fibers.
- Vacuum regularly: Vacuum your carpets at least once a week to remove dirt, dust, and allergens.
- Try homemade cleaning solutions: Use common household items like vinegar and baking soda to create budget-friendly carpet cleaning solutions.
Why It’s Essential to Clean Carpets
Carpets have the ability to make a home warm and welcoming. Over time, though, they can see their fair share of grime.
If you have pets and kids, they may get dirtier quicker. This is also the case if you wear shoes while walking on the carpet.
When you have a carpeted home, keeping it dust and stain-free is crucial for cleanliness but longevity as well. Many carpet manufacturers will list in their warranty how often you should clean it. Otherwise, you could risk losing it should anything go wrong.
Furthermore, if you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies, clean carpets need to be a priority (1). Microscopic pollen, animal dander, insect parts and more could be lurking about in your flooring. These can come from the air around and are also brought inside on your body and shoes.
The Pile Matters
How Often Should I Clean My Carpets?
There are a few factors that help determine how often you should clean your carpets. Most manufacturers will say they need a professional cleaning at least once per year, but this doesn’t account for general upkeep.
Got High Foot Traffic And Furry Friends?
This also means you should be vacuuming at least two to four times per week to keep the dander, hair, and grime from taking over your floors.
For smaller families and homes without pets, vacuuming once per week is usually sufficient. You can pair this with other spot cleans which we delve into later.
Best Methods for Cleaning Carpets
There are a variety of methods for cleaning your carpets. You can try quick treatments like spot cleaning and vacuuming or more in-depth routines, including steam mops.
We’ve created our step-by-step guide with you in mind, so take your pick and see what works best for your home and family.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions
Some prefer to pass on store-bought solutions and would rather make their own at home. If you’re such a DIY aficionado, we haven’t left you behind.
Here we help you out with a few quick-and-easy recipe ideas:
How to Clean Carpet on Stairs
Cleaning the stairs can be tricky — especially when it comes to using a machine.
We recommend incorporating both by-hand solutions and the use of a handheld vacuum.
- Remove any debris: Bits and pieces of gunk and debris are easily caught in the corners of staircases. Use a stiff-bristle brush or vacuum attachment to remove as much as possible.
- Work from the top down: This ensures you won’t be walking over the area you just cleaned. Handheld vacuums are easiest to maneuver here. Top-heavy stick vacuums can be dangerous. If that’s all you have, ask for help from those around.
- Shampoo if necessary: If your stairs look extra pitiful, you can make your way back up to the top stair and use one of the cleaning solutions mentioned in this article. Pay attention to each step to make sure you don’t miss any bits.
- Give them time to dry: Use towels to lift any extra water remaining on the stairs. If you have a portable fan, aim it towards the staircase to add airflow. Leave them to dry overnight.
- One last vacuum: Give a final vacuum the next day to remove anything remaining on the stairs.
How to Remove Odors From Carpet
Unfortunately, basic cleaning doesn’t always remove odors from your carpet.
Happily, though, there are ways to deodorize your flooring and we got your back on this one too:
Best Ways to Remove Carpet Stains
Now and then you’re bound to come across stains that just won’t budge.
A few helpful tips for specific stains include the following:
- Oil and grease: Add your chosen carpet cleaner to a dry rag and dab multiple times. Rinse by blotting with a clean rag soaked in lukewarm water.
- Food stains: Use the dab or blot method, lightly pushing down repeatedly with a wet rag dipped in vinegar. Avoid scrubbing as this could push it further into the carpet. Wait around 15 minutes before rinsing clean.
- Pet urine: For this, it’s a two-part job. First, dab with a carpet cleaning solution and wait 15 minutes. Dab again with vinegar, wait for about an hour and then gently rinse and dry the area.
- Chewing gum/wax: Fill a plastic bag with ice and rub the area until the stain solidifies. Break it up with a sharp object and remove/vacuum remaining bits.
- Ink: Following the blotting method from the “oil and grease” point above. It may take multiple attempts. If you see the stain lightening with time, it’s working.
Carpet Maintenance Tips
We have some additional expert points to help your carpets remain in tip-top shape.
These tips will also prevent you from working too hard on keeping your carpets that way.
- Leave your shoes at the door: It may seem obvious, but many still wear their shoes on carpets. This is a surefire way to make them dirty in no time.
- Act swiftly: When stains appear, try your best to avoid distractions and procrastination. You might forget. The longer it sits, the worse it becomes.
- Make vacuuming a habit: By doing this, you become very familiar with your carpet and will notice spots that require further attention. This also helps to keep debris from digging down deep overtime.
- Hire someone to help: Are you overworked or are your carpets in terrible shape? We all need help sometimes and hiring a professional could benefit you.
- Protect high-traffic areas: Hallways and living rooms are just two examples of areas that are prone to heavy use. If you must have carpet here, consider a runner or a rug on top to help protect what’s beneath.
- Install other protective features: These include chair mats or rugs under chairs to keep the legs from digging into the carpet. You can also install plastic protectors under the table and couch legs.
- Have an emergency kit ready: This is especially useful if you have kids or pets! If there are certain carpet accidents that happen on the regular, save yourself the hassle and keep a kit on standby. Place whatever you need inside so it’s ready to grab-and-go.
Spick and Span
We hope our how-to guide on cleaning your carpets was useful and informative.
As you can see, there are many methods and solutions for this dilemma. It all depends on the traffic in your home and what your carpets require.
Furthermore, you don’t want to beat yourself up over the task either. Take advantage of the supplies you have at home and keep an emergency kit ready. When you just can’t handle it alone, a professional will be your best bet.
Finally, keep in mind any allergies or pet issues and adjust your cleaning routine accordingly.