Cleaning a carpet at home – made easy
Carpets endure a lot – from spilled food to being trampled on by muddy shoes or paws. While a quick vacuum can pick up some of the larger bits of dirt, it won’t be enough to clean a heavily soiled carpet. Don’t worry, spills happen to the best of us, but regardless of whether you’ve accidently knocked over some red wine or dropped some snacks, it’s a good idea to deep clean your carpet fairly regularly. We’ll show you how with our top carpet cleaning DIYs.
Prepare to clean your carpet
Before we dive straight in, it’s a good idea to prepare your carpet for a deep clean:
- When cleaning up fresh liquid stains, it’s best to soak up excess liquid immediately using a cloth or paper towel. Try to pat the area dry as much as you can.
- Mud or chocolate stains are better left to dry before attempting to clean them.
- Vacuum the carpet thoroughly before a deep clean.
Best way to clean a carpet naturally
We all love that soft feeling of carpet beneath our feet, but when left unwashed for a long time, carpets can collect a lot of dirt, dead skin, and hair, quickly turning them into a breeding ground for dust mites. Regular vacuuming is great, but it won’t be enough to get rid of tenacious gunk. No wonder then that a carpet wash is recommended every three to six months. But in many cases, there’s no need to buy an expensive carpet shampooer or commercial cleaner.
To remove or pre-treat stains naturally:
- Sources online claim that you can easily make a DIY carpet cleaner using vinegar and water (1:3). Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the affected area liberally. Leave to soak for a few minutes and blot the stain with a cloth. It’s best not to scrub stains, because that could make them worse. Always do a blotch test before using vinegar.
- As an alternative to vinegar, you can try pouring some salt on the stain to absorb the liquid. Leave it to dry for a few minutes and then vacuum the area.
To deep clean a carpet naturally:
- Once you’ve pre-treated the worst stains, you can move on to clean the entire carpet using baking soda. Sprinkle it on and leave for 10 minutes before vacuuming. The baking soda will bind odours and dirt for a cleaner-looking carpet.
- As part of your deep clean routine, you could also add a few drops of essential oils (pick a scent you like) to your vinegar-water carpet cleaner and liberally spray it on. Then allow the carpet to dry, and vacuum.
How to clean heavily soiled carpet
If natural carpet cleaner isn’t working or your carpet is heavily stained, you may need to get a carpet shampooer or buy special carpet cleaner. Our top carpet shampooing tips can help make the process easier.
To remove stains or pre-treat spills:
- Purchase a commercial carpet cleaning product. Simply spray or sprinkle on the carpet and follow the instructions on the packaging.
- For some stains such as blood, you may need to buy a specialist cleaning product.
Carpet cleaners can cost anywhere between £100 to £400. You could also rent one from a homeware shop or borrow one from a friend.
- Prepare the carpet shampooer by filling the tank with water and commercial carpet shampoo. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Start to move the machine across the carpet several times. Try not to apply too much shampoo, however, as that could leave a residue.
- Remove the shampoo with water in the shampooer.
- Remove excess water from the carpet. You can simply touch the carpet to see how much moisture has been retained.
- Leave the carpet to dry fully which may take several hours.
- Vacuum again to pick up any excess dried shampoo or loosened dirt.