How do I deep clean my carpet?
If you want a clean and fresh-smelling carpet, you don’t need to hire an expensive professional carpet cleaner. You can deep clean your carpets yourself using either wet or dry methods. To begin, make sure that you’ve already vacuumed and spot-treated your carpet. You can use a carpet cleaner that will scrub the dirt out of the fibers using water and a special solution. If you do not want to wait for your carpet to dry, you can also use a dry cleaning solution, which you will simply vacuum up.
Preparing the Room for Cleaning
Pick up anything on the ground.
You will need to have the carpet completely clear before you start deep cleaning. Pick up any toys, books, papers, shoes, or other items from the ground. Clear away any large or visible debris or trash from the carpet, and throw it out.
Move furniture out of the way. You should try to have as much furniture moved out of the room as possible. Lift chairs, tables, TV stands, and other smaller items, and take them to another room. If you have large heavy items that are difficult to move, such as couches or bookcases, you should put small pieces of aluminum foil under their feet.
Vacuum the carpet first. Vacuum the entire carpet to get as much dust and dirt out as possible before you deep clean the carpet. Go over the entire floor, especially areas that were previously covered by furniture.
Pretreat stains. If there are any soiled or stained areas, try to get the stain out before you clean the whole carpet. Use a carpet cleaning solution, and spray it over the affected area. Wait for fifteen or twenty minutes. Blot the stain out with a damp cloth or sponge, but do not rub.
- If you do not have a spot cleaning solution on hand, you can use shaving cream. Spray the cream onto the stain, and wait 30 minutes. Blot it away, and spray the spot with vinegar. Wipe away any leftover residue.
- You can make your own spot cleaning solution by mixing 1/4 cup (75 g) of salt, 1/4 cup (100 g) of Borax, and 1⁄4 cup (59 mL) of vinegar. Put the paste on stained areas, and wait until it dries before you vacuum it up.
- If you don’t have Borax, you could use baking soda or washing soda instead.
What You Need
Ingredients: Salt, borax and white vinegar.
Equipment: A vacuum and a carpet steam cleaner, don’t worry, I explain why we need the heavy equipment below.
Start out with good old spot cleaning then move to the more heavy duty all over work.
1. Vacuum. Vacuum like you’ve never vacuumed before: go in 3 different directions and take your time. Get the dust, hair and particles out of the pile.
2. Mix 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup borax and 1/4 cup vinegar, then apply this paste to deep stains or heavily soiled sections of carpet. Allow the paste to sit on the carpet for several hours until it dries completely, then vacuum it away.
3. Start up the steam cleaner. Why are we using a steam cleaner you ask? I’ve looked into lots of options from dry chemical cleaning (vetoed because of the chemicals and what is left in the carpet) to steam cleaning and have decided that renting a steam machine is the best option because the chemicals are optional. Try to rent a new machine to increase efficiency and do a little pre-cleaning of the machine if it doesn’t come to you pristine.
4. Skip the carpet shampoo. Hot water can get most grime out of your carpet alone, just make sure you’re filling your machine with really hot water.
5. If you have especially soiled carpeting you can add 1 cup white vinegar to 2.5 gallons of water for very deep cleaning.
6. Most machines have 2 modes. First you depress a button and release the hot water and second you release the button and it sucks water back up. Spend 3/4 of your time on the second mode. Soak the carpet then go over it three or four times to dry the carpet as much as possible.
7. Steam clean the carpets a second time. You rented the machine for the day right? you might as well get your money’s worth and do 2 passes.
8. Let the carpets dry completely. Once they are mostly dry you can bring furniture back in but we usually put aluminum foil under the legs to avoid any stain bleeding onto the wet carpets. Then, let them dry all the way before you walk on them to avoid staining them again.
9. Finally, dispose of the water from the machine responsibly. Many places that rent out the machines will take the machine back full to avoid putting the chemicals from your carpet down the drain. Otherwise, call your local water treatment plant to enquire about how to dispose of the waste water.
How To Clean Carpet At Home: What Not To Do
Now that you know how to properly clean a carpeted floor, let’s talk about what not to do.
- First and foremost, you shouldn’t go to town on your carpet with your vacuum’s beater bar on the lowest or hard floor setting. This may seem like it would get your carpet cleaner, but it can cause your carpet to look worn beyond its years. Over time, the fibers can fray, mat down, and fall apart.
- Furthermore, avoid using any product on your carpet that isn’t designed for it. Even products that claim to be designed for all carpet may wreak havoc on your specific carpet.
- In the worst case scenario, an inappropriate cleaner can cause delamination of the carpet backing, discoloration, or even melting of the carpet fibers. Therefore, the spot test is very important.
- As a rule, a few things to keep away from your carpet are any products containing bleach, ammonia, acetone, certain oil-based solvents, oil soaps, furniture polish, waxes, and colorants, among other things.
- Finally, the most common mistake made when cleaning carpet is oversaturating it with water. Whether you are spot cleaning or deep cleaning, this is one thing you should always avoid. Oversaturation can cause moisture to become trapped in the carpet and pad leading to mold, mildew, and even rot.
Over time, excessive moisture can also cause your carpet to pucker and ripple which requires professional re-stretching. Sometimes, the carpet becomes moisture-damaged beyond repair and must be replaced.
How to Clean Carpeted Stairs without a Machine
If you live in a multi-story house, you know how quickly the carpet on the stairs can get dirty. Most commercial carpet cleaners aren’t built to clean individual stairs. It means that to get the carpet on your stairs clean, you’ll have to do it by hand.
Natural Carpet Cleaner for Use Without Machine
- 1 cup vinegar
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 15 drops lavender oil
You’ll need to make or buy a carpet cleaner. To make a homemade carpet cleaning solution, combine the hot water and vinegar in a large spray bottle. Add the lavender oil and salt to the container. Replace the cap and shake well.
To remove dirt and debris from your stairs, use a stiff brush and scrub the stairs, starting from the top stair and working your way down. Brushing the stairs will help to get rid of any stubborn dirt that a vacuum cleaner can’t remove. Next, you’ll want to clean the loosened dirt with a vacuum. Again, start on the top step and work your way down.
Next, you’ll want to take the cleaning solution and spray each stair liberally. To get a deep clean, use a scrub brush, and scrub each stair. Allow the carpet to dry, then vacuum the stairs to remove any residue.
Manually Clean the Carpet with Baking Soda
Baking soda is a miracle product because it can be used for everything from baking to cleaning your carpets. It is an inexpensive solution that is environmentally friendly and will tackle stains and odors in your carpet. Cleaning your carpet with baking soda is simple.
Just sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over your floor, or directly on a stain. It works similarly to other homemade floor cleanerand DIY carpet stain remover recipes.
With a spray bottle, lightly mist the soda with hot water. Let the mixture sit for at least three hours to allow it to soak up and absorb the dirt and odors. After the area has dried, use your vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the baking soda.