Carpet Guide

How to Clean Carpet – DIY to Clean Carpet

Carpeting your room is the #1 easiest way to improve the aesthetics of your interior. But if you have carpeted rooms, you know that the maintenance part is not that simple to handle. Especially if you’ve got kids or pets in your house, it can be a real mess oftentimes.

However, it’s actually not difficult to do a basic clean, which is going to be enough in most cases. But once in a while, you’ll need to do an intense clean. Luckily, it’s pretty easy, and you can do it by yourself. Yet, you need to follow the right methods, or it’s not going to be effective.

To help you with that, let’s go over a definitive guide on how to clean carpet in your room so that you can do it without any issues.

Tools You Need

You’ll need to have some tools ready if you want to get the best possible clean. Let’s have a look at all the tools you need for cleaning your carpet effectively.

Vacuum for cleaning the surface Attachments for the Vacuum machine
A clean piece of cloth Carpet cleaner solvent
Access to clean water Wax paper to protect the furniture legs
A carpet shampooer machine Carpet cleaner or detergent
An extractor to soak the water Carpet dryer to dry it out after cleaning

These tools are nothing fancy, and you can get these in most of your local hardware stores. Yet, if you can’t find any, you can always look up online. Once you have these tools ready in your hand, you can start the process to clean your carpeted floors without any further adieu.

  • Using Vacuum

You probably can tell that you don’t always need a deep clean of the carpet. Sometimes if it’s too dusty, you’ll just need to vacuum it all out. That will be enough in most cases. However, if there’s a stain or something sticky, you’d need to use different methods that we’ll go through in the upcoming sections. For now, let’s go over the method for the most basic cleaning of your carpet, which is vacuuming.

Preparing the room for vacuuming

You can’t just start to run the vacuum machine without preparing the room. That’s not going to give you the flexibility or effective cleaning experience. Do the following thing before you go to use a vacuum machine in your carpeted room.

  • Take out any toys, small items, or anything like that. It’s going to damage the machine, which is not the best case for you. Just make sure that your room is clean of these small items, and you’d be good to go.
  • You must check everything under the furniture as well. Most of the time, some of the smaller items fall in there without you even noticing. That can damage the mechanism, and that’s why you need to look out under the furniture thoroughly before running the vacuum machine there.
  • Now, you need to dust as much stuff as you can, such as blinds, furniture, windowsills, and all the other things. It’s going to cause the dust to fall on the ground, which is going to make it a lot easier for the vacuum cleaner to clean off.

As you saw, these are nothing too difficult but will have a big impact on the vacuuming process. So, make sure to do all that before you move onto the next steps.

Using Proper Attachments

A Digital vacuum machine comes with so many different attachments that you can use to your advantage. It makes the whole cleaning much more efficient and it even takes less time to do it as well. For instance, the corners and edges of a room are usually a bit tricky to clean properly. To get a thorough clean, you must use a nozzle attachment with the vacuum on such areas. Also, sometimes moving the furniture out of the palace won’t be possible for you. In that case, you can use an extension attachment with the vacuum to clean under the furniture without moving it.

As you saw, it’s very critical to use the right attachments in the cleaning process. Most of the modern machines come with some attachments that you can use here. But it’s always better to select according to your area so that you have a better understanding of which attachments you’ll need for your room.

However, if you have a vacuum that doesn’t have the required attachments, you can find these attachments online and buy these individually. Make sure to check the fit before the purchase. And, of course, if you can, go for a brand new good quality vacuum machine if you can afford it. You can tell that it’s going to play a huge role in keeping your carpeted room clean and tidy.

Vacuuming the Right Way

Once you’ve got a powerful vacuum machine and the necessary attachments, you are ready to start cleaning the floor with it. In the beginning, you should start to clean it either left to right or forward and back. Make sure that you cover everything in between while cleaning the carpet.

Once you are done, you should start cleaning it the other way around. That’s where most people don’t get the best cleaning experience as they don’t go through the whole process. If you want to know how to clean a rug more efficiently, you should note down that it’s absolutely necessary to vacuum the carpeted room both horizontally and vertically. That’s going to ensure that no place is left uncleaned, and it’ll give you the best cleaning experience.

Also, if you have pets in your house, you’d see their dander and hair sticking on the carpet. The repeated cleaning method will help to get rid of this hair pretty effectively so that you won’t have to waste your time on it any further.

If You Want, Read More About How to Choose Carpet Color – Guide to Picking Carpets

Vacuuming The Carpet Often

As you saw, it’s not that hard to do the basic cleaning of a carpeted room using a vacuum machine. But how often do you need to clean it? Well, that depends on a lot of things, and it’ll be different for everybody. In most cases, people don’t take time to clean it, and as a result, the carpet gets dirty. A dirty carpet can ruin the impression of the interior of your house and make it look super clumsy. So, it’s actually super important for you to clean a carpeted room to keep it fresh.

As far as the basic cleaning goes, you are good enough cleaning your carpeted room once every next day, which will be enough for most cases. However, you also need to remember that it’s not the rule of thumb to stick to that one particular thing. If more people live in your house, especially children or pets, then you’ll need to clean it more often. In that case, cleaning it daily would be a necessity for you. But if you live alone or with somebody, doing it every next day is going to be enough for you. But if you see that the carpeted surface is visibly dirty, you’d have to clean it anyways.

  • Cleaning the Spots

Let’s get real for a moment; if you have a carpeted room, you know that if you spill anything, it’s going to get stained. In that case, a vacuum machine will do you no good, and you’d have to use some other techniques. For instance, if you spill coffee on the carpet, you’d need to know how to get coffee stains out of carpet.

However, to do that properly, you’d need to gather the right tools for it. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at how you can remove the stains from the carpet.

Using the Right Cloth

In this technique on how to clean carpet, you are going to use materials such as cleaning solvents, which are pretty intense on your carpet. If you use the wrong type of cloth, it can ruin the appearance of the carpet. That’s why you need to be extra careful about the type of cloth you use, and also the color as well.

You should always use a clean white cloth to help maintain the color integrity of the carpet. Just start bloating the carpet using this white piece of cloth to eliminate some of the stains from the carpet. You can use a paper towel as well in that case, and it’s going to work just as well. However, you should never use bristles or stiff brushes on the carpet as it damages your carpet permanently.

Also, you need to remember that it’s just prep work for the upcoming steps. Bloating the stain will make it more receptive to the solvents that you are going to use, and make the whole thing much more efficient as well. So, grab a clean white piece of cloth or a paper towel and start blotting the stained area. Just don’t spend too much time on it.

Picking Up a Carpet Cleaner

In the process of cleaning stains from the carpet, it’s critical to use a good quality carpet cleaner. These are powerful cleaning solvent that is specially made for cleaning carpet. You can use any regular detergent as well, but it might mess up the color integrity of the carpet. That’s why you need to get a quality carpet cleaner to get the best results there.

However, as there are a ton of products available online, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by it. You can’t just get an all-purpose cleaner and expect it to give you the best effective cleaning. For instance, if you are looking for how to get blood out of carpet, you need a cleaning solvent that has enzyme-based detergent. That type of cleaner is also for pet urine and other such issues.

If you can’t find any specific cleaner in your local store, you can make your own as well. Using an ammonia solution with detergent and warm water is going to give you pretty effective results as well. And for most stains, you can use one-third of vinegar in water and use that solution to get great results. Yet, if you are dealing with a fresh stain, all you are going to need here is some detergent and some water.

Testing out the cleaning solvent

Once you got the right cleaning solvent in place, you need to test it in small areas before you apply it as a whole. For that, you can just put some product on any normal area of your carpet. If you put it directly on the stain, it can spread the whole thing rather than cleaning it. That’s because some of the cleaning solvents don’t suit the texture of your carpet. So, if you use them without checking, you’d damage the carpet in a long term.

Now, when you are doing this experiment, you don’t want to put the product in the middle of your room. It’s too visible, and if something goes wrong, it’s going to be super hard to cover as well. So, you might run such tests on the closet or such closed-off places. If you see that it’s damaging the carpet, you must avoid using this product to remove stains. However, if you see that everything is well and it keeps the color integrity of your carpet as well, you know that it’s the right cleaning solvent to use.

Dabbing the Area Properly

Now that you are sure about what product to use, it’s time to apply the product. To do this job properly you’ll need to pour a tiny amount of cleaning solvent on a clean white piece of cloth. Then you can simply start bloating the stained area to start cleaning it. You have to remember that more product doesn’t mean that you are going to get a better clean. There is no point in washing the cleaning solvent, and it’s even going to cause issues as well.

If you use too much cleaning product, you’d have a higher chance of leaving some soap on the carpet. That’s going to pull more dirt, which will make more stains, and these will be pretty hard to get rid of as well. Also, you must not scrub the carpet too hard. It might cause the stain to get deeper into the carpet that’s going to be super hard to clean. And it’s going to mess with the color integrity of the carpet as well. So, be very gentle while you are soaping the area with the cleaning products.

Rinse the Carpet

The final step of this method of removing the stain from the carpet is using water to rinse off any detergent or soap from it. As you know already, leftover soap can cause various issues in the near future that you want to avoid at all costs.

To rinse off the soap properly, you need some water and a clean white piece of cloth. Then using the cloth, you need to blot the affected area gently. Try to soak up as much as soap that you can, and take your own time while doing it. Just be sure not to soak the whole carpet up with water as it’s going to leak the water underneath the carpet, which is going to damage the surface.

Also, you don’t need to do anything else besides letting the air dry the carpet. But if the carpet is soaked with too much water, you can always put a fan or a carpet dryer beside it to quicken the process. However, you don’t want to immediately start using the carpet as it will damage the quality of the fabrics in it. Just leave it to dry for at least one full day before you move on to start using it.

  • Washing the Carpet 

This is the method where you shampoo your carpet to wash it properly and make it as good as new. However, it’s not that easy to do like the methods shown above, and it also takes a lot more time and preparation. But if you use the right techniques, you’ll be able to do it much faster and efficiently as well. Yet, you don’t need to do this kind of intense washing often, and in most cases, the 2 methods shown above will be enough for you.

Now, let’s go over the steps on how to clean carpet by shampooing and getting the best possible clean.

Preparing the Room

As you are going to do a deep cleansing of the carpet, you’ll need to prepare the room properly before you even start. If you can, you should remove all the furniture that you can from your room. If there’s some heavy stuff that you can’t take away, just put some protective sheets to protect it from taking any water damage. You can find such protectors online, and they are pretty cheap as well.

However, if you are not able to find any, you can cut squares of aluminum foil or wax paper and use it underneath the furniture. That’s going to protect the feet of the furniture from the water, which can easily mess up its quality. You need to remember you are not going for how to get gum out of carpet as it’s a full carpet cleaning process. You need to prepare the room for optimized cleaning, and that way, you’ll get better effectiveness as well. So, make sure to do all the prep work properly before you move onto the next step.

Vacuuming the Carpet

After you move the furniture and objects from the room, you should vacuum the carpet. It’s going to take out some of the dust and debris from the carpet, which will help to give you the best results. However, you should not spend too much time as you are going to go through a thorough cleaning process afterward. Wasting too much time on vacuuming the carpet will do you no good, and you should avoid it.

Also, it’s a perfect time to do the basic spot cleaning as well. That’ll ensure an even better and thoroughly clean once you use the shampooer. If you see dried out spots, use a knife to scrape it and get as much of it out as you can.

Get a Carpet Shampooer

This is a crucial tool that you are going to need in this cleaning process. You can easily find it at many local hardware stores. However, if you don’t find one there, you can always pick it up online. Also, you can try out renting a carpet shampooer from many local stores as well. It’s a great idea to do all the preparation tasks before you go to the store, which is going to save you a lot of money. That’s because you won’t waste the rental time, and it’s going to charge you less.

Another critical thing you need to remember is that you must use this machine carefully. Especially if you haven’t used it before, you should consult with an expert to give you a helping hand on it. Otherwise, you might struggle using the machine properly and damage something. Make sure to read the product user manual to learn how to use it properly. You can also watch tutorials online to get a clear idea of how to use it, and that’s going to be pretty effective. So, once you’ve got the carpet shampooer in place, you are ready to move on to the next step.

Plan Out the Directions

As you can probably tell, this method requires cleaning of the whole carpeted floor. So, you won’t be able to walk on the floor until it’s properly dried out. But if that’s the case then how are you going to get out of the room? For that, you need to plan out everything in advance. It’s nothing complicated; you just need to start from the farthest from the door and make it through the entire room.

Planning out your exit carefully will make your life so much easier afterward. You don’t want to ruin a perfectly cleaning surface by walking on it. It can also mess with the color and structural integrity of your carpet, and damage the fabrics as well. So, make sure to plan out your exit as well as doing all the other stuff.

Get the Cleaning Solvent Ready

The cleaning solvent is one of the most essential parts of the cleaning process. It’s going to determine the effectiveness and the quality of the whole thing as well. In most cases, you’ll get the shampoo or the cleaning solvent with the cleaner or shampooer machine that you are going to use. They are specially designed for cleaning the carpet, which is the best type of product to use in that case. However, you can simply pick a good quality product online and go with that.

Start by adding clean water to the container of the machine. Then, you’d need to start adding detergents, which will do the cleaning of the carpet. However, you need to remember that less is more when you go to apply detergent. If you use too much, it might mess up the mechanism of the shampooing machine, which you don’t want to happen. Start with less, and you can always add on if it’s a bit short. It’s a wise idea to go for less than the recommended amount of the machine that you are using. Whatever you do, try not to go up that level as it’s going to make a mess.

Remove the Shoes

You might recognize that wearing shoes is not the best idea while you are cleaning your carpet. However,  some of the detergents are not safe for the skin, and you should not go barefoot for that reason. Having your shoes on will ruin your shoes as well. In that case, the best thing to do would be to wear a sock. You can simply wrap plastic around the shoes to protect it as well, and it’s going to be pretty effective. Also, you can buy special boots from the market that don’t take damage from water and detergent. That way you can have the comfort and freedom to work however you want to, which is pretty helpful.

Use an Extractor to Soak Water

In that phase, you will use an extractor to pull out as much water as you can, and that’s going to make the rest of the work easier. Typically the machines are designed to soak the water as you pull it back, which is exactly what you’re going to do here. If you push it forward, it’s going to push the water out, and you don’t want that to happen. So, start pulling the water, and be sure to stay very slow and gentle with it.

However, if you see that the carpet is still too wet, you should spend a bit more time soaking it up. That’s because if you keep it damp, it might lead to mold and mildew, which is something you don’t want to happen. That’s why it’s super important to hone in on the problem when it’s short, and that way you can resolve it without much effort at all. If you can’t use an extractor, however, you can look it up online and see a guide on how to use it. That’s going to give you a better idea about it and you’ll easily do it.

Dry out the Carpet

After soaking the carpet with an extractor, it’s time to dry out the carpet properly before you move on to using it. The easiest and the most obvious way to dry out the carpet would be to let it air dry naturally. For that, you can keep the windows and doors open, which will keep the airflow natural and dry the carpet. However, you must wait for at least 24 hours before moving on to using it. Doing that will prevent mold buildup, and that’s essential if you want to maintain the longevity of your carpet.

If you feel like 24 hours is a bit too long, you can make the drying process a bit faster as well. For that, you’d have to turn on the air conditioner and set it to a moderate setting, which is typically around 72 to 78 degrees at its best. To enhance it even further, you can bring in carpet dryers, fans, or air movers to make the drying process significantly faster.

However, you need to know that the drying process takes a bit of time, and you should be patient during that period. Don’t rush in to move the furniture back, or start to walk on the carpet when it’s still wet. Once it’s dried out properly, then you can move the furniture back and start using it properly without any issue. Try to be gentle with the whole process, as the bottom of the furniture can damage the carpet particles permanently.

Go for a Second Clean

If you follow the steps properly, you should be done with the cleaning process by now. Yet, it’s a common case that there might be a little bit of soap remaining on the carpet. That can attract more dirt and debris that can make the carpet look worse in a short period. If you see that there’s a bit of soap remaining on the carpet, you must consider giving it a 2nd clean.

For that, mix some white vinegar and clean water in the machine at a 1:1 ratio, and go through the whole cleaning process once again. This solvent will definitely get all the remaining detergent soap that’s left on the carpet, making it super clean.

Also, if your home has a pretty high traffic area on the carpets, you should try to shampoo the carpets at least twice a year. But if there are fewer people in your house and you don’t have much traffic on the carpet, you are good with just one clean per year. However, if the carpet seems to look dirty, it’s better to clean it off right away and deal with it. It’s going to save you from a lot of hassle in the near future.

Keeping Your Carpet Clean by Preventing Messes

You just went through a few in-depth methods on how to clean carpet, and now you can clean your carpeted room yourself. However, it’s not about cleaning the carpet all the time, and that’s not the most efficient approach to take. The best way to go would be to prevent messes so that it doesn’t get dirty in the first place.

However, keeping the carpets clean is not an easy thing to do, especially if you have kids in your house. You may benefit from learning how to get slime out of the carpet, but it’s certainly not possible to keep the carpet clean all the time. To help you in that situation, let’s go over some techniques that you can use to keep your carpet clean so that you don’t have to deal with the constant need for cleaning it.

Keep the Mess Making Substances Away

The best thing you can do to keep your carpet clean is to take out all the substances that can make the carpet dirty. Cleaning a carpet is not easy like tiles or any other hard surfaces. That’s because the substances stay on top of the surface on hard surfaces, and you can easily clean it off. But in the case of carpets, the dust and debris get stuck in deep, and it’s not easy to clean at all. And if it’s any liquid substance, it’s going to take a deep wash to clean it off of the carpet.

So, it’s the best idea to keep such things as far as possible from the carpeted areas. For instance, don’t put food items near it. Try avoiding eating on carpeted surfaces, and go for a non carpeted room. Similarly, it’s going to be a great idea to carpet all the other sections of the house beside the kitchen and the dining room. These are the areas where there’s a lot of mess making substances that can ruin the carpet. So, make sure to follow these tips to keep the carpet clean without having to deal with too much effort.

Don’t Wear Footwear on Carpet

Removing all your footwear will prevent dirt and dust from your carpets. It’s a good idea to keep your footwear outside or in spots designed to put these in. That’s going to help to keep the carpet free from dirt longer. Especially if there’s more traffic on the carpet areas, you should make a rule to prevent wearing footwear before stepping on the carpet. Having a dedicated shoe spot on a side of a room can help make it a habit. So, make sure to do that to make the carpet last a very long time without having to clean it very often.

Training Your Pets

If you own a pet, you know how hard it is to maintain your carpet and keep it clean. Pets such as cats or dogs seem to love peeing on the carpet, and that can be very hard to clean it. The bad odor is super sticky, and you need to do a lot of effort to properly clean off everything.

So, it’s actually better to train your pets to pee and poop on a litter box. Just get a litter box from your pet store, and place it on a rubber mat so that it can’t make the carpet dirty. Then you can train your pets to use it over time and not make a mess on the carpet. If you don’t exactly know how to start on that, go online and watch a few videos. It’s super easy, and you’ll pick it up in no time.

Clean it off as soon as you can

No matter how careful you are, the carpet can get messed up. You need to take action immediately and take out as much stain and dirt as possible. Over time it’s going to get more difficult to deal with and you don’t want it to happen.

If you are dealing with colored liquid, you need to mop the carpet by dabbing a clean white cloth and removing as much liquid as you can. Don’t rub it left or right; go for an up and down motion. Rubbing it left or right will spread the liquid making the whole thing worse. If you are dealing with dirt, it’s best to use a vacuum cleaner to clean it up.

However, if you have to remove chewing gum, butter, or other solid but sticky objects, you can use a blunt knife to scrape these up without any problem.

If you follow these tips properly, you won’t have to clean your carpet that often. That’s because it’s not going to get dirty like before. Yet, you need to remember that the amount of traffic plays the biggest role in this as well.

To Wrap Up

As you went through the methods on how to clean carpet, you saw that it’s a pretty easy thing to do even by yourself. However, most people don’t take the time and effort to do such a simple task.

But you should always check if your carpet has too much dust buildup that needs a basic clean. And you also know how to clean carpet stains as well, and you can use it to remove any stains or dirt. Remember, a dirty carpet can make the home interior look super sloppy. So, if you’d like to have your house look as fresh and gorgeous as possible, make sure that you clean the carpets once a while too. Read How to Fix Carpet on Stairs -A Complete Guide for 2021

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