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How to clean your carpet

how to clean a carpet

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 or stained 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 hacks.

Preparing 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.
  • Vacuum the carpet thoroughly before a deep clean.

Best way to clean a carpet

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 or stains No wonder then that a carpet cleaning is recommended every three to six months. But in many cases, there’s no need to buy an expensive carpet cleaner.

You can use 20 Mule Team Borax™ to help clean old and new spills and stains like wine, juice, and coffee off your carpet. Borax is all-natural and free of chlorine and phosphates.  

To remove new spills and stains, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Borax
  • Clean cotton rags
  • A metal spoon
  • Spray bottle with cold water
  • Paper towels
  • Heavy books


  1. Soak up the spill by blotting it with a clean cotton rag or paper towel. Be sure not to rub the spill as that will push it further into the carpet fibers.
  2. Once you’ve blotted as much of the spill as possible, spray the area with cold water and then sprinkle some Borax on the spill. Then cover it with a damp rag and press on the rag with the back of the spoon to rub the Borax into the stain
  3. Blot the area again using a clean cloth to remove the excess liquid. If the spill has not been totally removed, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the spill is gone.

To spot clean older spills and stains, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Salt
  • Borax
  • Vinegar
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula or spoon
  • Vacuum


  1. Mix equal parts salt, Borax and vinegar into a mixing bowl to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your carpet stain using a rubber spatula or spoon. Work into the paste into the stain and then let it dry completely.
  3. After the paste has dried, vacuum it up. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

How to clean a heavily soiled carpet

If the above methods are not working or your carpet is heavily stained, you may need to get a carpet cleaner or call in the professionals. Our top carpet cleaning tips can help make the process easier.

To remove stains or pre-treat spills:

  • Purchase a commercial carpet cleaning product. Make sure to follow directions according to the product manual or instructions.
  • For some stains such as blood, you may need to buy a special cleaning product.

Carpet cleaners can cost anywhere between $100 to $400. You could also rent one from a home improvement store or borrow one from a friend.

  • Fill the tank of the carpet cleaner with water and carpet cleaning liquid. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Start to move the machine across the carpet several times. If possible, try not to apply too much cleaning liquid as that could leave a residue.
  • 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.