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Cleaning · How To Clean Carpet: Treating Stains, The Best DIYs, & More
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How To Clean Carpet: Treating Stains, The Best DIYs, & More

Your one-stop shop for all of my best tips, tricks, and DIY solutions for keeping your carpets clean.

As far as flooring options go, carpet can be pretty polarizing. I used have strong anti-carpet feelings myself, but that was before we replaced the carpet in our main living area with hardwood floors. It didn’t take long to learn that wood floors come with issues of their own, and that maybe carpet wasn’t quite as awful as I had made it out to be!

Like any other type of flooring, carpet will get dirty over time. But cleaning carpet doesn’t have to involve hours of back-breaking labor! It can even be quick and easy, as long as you are using the right tools and methods!

And that’s exactly what I hope to share with in you today’s post! I’ll be going over everything you need to know about how to clean carpet, from removing specific stains to mixing up your own cleaning solutions. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the tips, tricks, and recipes you need to keep your carpet clean and looking great, no matter what life throws at them! 🙂

Related: How to Clean Blood Stains From Carpet the Easy Way

How To Clean Carpet Effectively

How To Remove Stubborn Stains

This is my go-to method for removing tough carpet stains and cleaning high traffic areas, because the combination of ammonia and steam packs a powerful punch against grime of all kinds. If you have an existing stain or spot that you haven’t gotten around to cleaning, I highly recommend giving this method a try!

You’ll need:

Related: How to Clean an Iron (Inside and Out!)

Directions:

Step 1 – Prep

Plug your iron into the closest outlet to the stained area (or use an extension cord, if necessary) and allow it to heat up for a minute or two. Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of equal parts ammonia and hot water, then replace the spray top and shake to combine.

Step 2 – Spray

Spray the ammonia mixture liberally over the carpet stain, then spread a clean towel over the top of it.

Step 3 – Iron

Place your iron onto the towel, moving it around slowly to avoid singeing the carpet. After a few seconds, pull back one edge of the towel and have a look.

If all goes well, you should see that quite a bit of the stain has been lifted out of the carpet onto the towel!

Step 4 – Repeat

Spray more of the ammonia and water mixture onto the stain as needed to keep it moist, then repeat the ironing process using a clean towel. You may have to use a few towels depending on how severe the stain is, but eventually the whole stain should come up out of the carpet! Be sure to let your carpet dry completely before walking on it again.

How To Remove Pet Stains

Removing pet stains requires a specific approach, because you’re usually not just trying to get rid of the visible staining—you want to get rid of the smell as well! But never fear, because the combination of two of my favorite household cleaning ingredients is more than up to the challenge!

Baking soda and white vinegar are two the most powerful deodorizers in your carpet cleaning toolkit. In addition to neutralizing the odor of pet stains, they also produce a fizzy chemical reaction that helps lift the stain out of the carpet fibers.

Get the full tutorial here.

How To Remove Spilled Wax

Wax melts are a popular alternative to traditional candles because you can still enjoy the aromas of scented candles without the added risk of an open flame. But those warmers full of melted wax aren’t without their own risks, and wax spills are definitely one of them!

But even though a puddle of spilled wax can certainly seem like a death sentence for your carpet, it doesn’t have to be! You can remove spilled wax from carpet with the help of your trusty clothes iron, a stack of newspaper, and a small amount of patience. 🙂

Get the full tutorial for how to remove spilled wax from carpet here (and check out the impressive before-and-after photos too!)

How To Make A DIY Carpet Stain Remover Spray

Back when my kids were little, new carpet stains would crop up so often that they became part of my daily routine, like watering the flowers or getting the mail. Eventually I started keeping my carpet cleaning supplies at the ready, because I knew that the best way to remove a stain was to get to it quickly and not let it dry!

If you find yourself frequently trying to get your carpets clean, I highly recommend mixing up a batch of my DIY carpet stain remover spray! Featuring powerful cleaners like white vinegar and borax, it’s an effective all-purpose carpet cleaning solution that will help you deep clean just about any stain.

Get the recipe for my DIY carpet stain remover spray here.

How To Make A DIY Cleaning Solution For Carpet Cleaners

Before the last decade or so, the only options we had for cleaning large areas of carpet were to hire a professional carpet cleaner service, or rent a bulky machine at the grocery store. But today, home carpet cleaners are much more affordable and much more effective, making them an attractive alternative to rental machines!

Another advantage of owning a carpet cleaner is that you can use whatever cleaning solution you like, including homemade ones! Using DIY cleaning solutions is often cheaper, and you have complete control over which ingredients go into it.

Learn how to make a homemade carpet cleaning solution for carpet cleaners here.

9 Useful Tips For Carpet Cleaning

1. Treat Stains ASAP

The sooner you treat a carpet stain, the better chance you have of being able to remove it completely. So don’t put it off—treat it as soon as you possibly can, before it has a chance to dry!

2. Get Rid Of Solids/Liquids

Regardless of what substance was spilled on the carpet, it’s important to remove any excess material first before you do anything else. Scrape up any solid or dry bits with a butter knife, and sop up excess liquid with a cloth or paper towels.

3. Try Water First

Before reaching for your carpet cleaning product of choice, try treating it with water first. Blot the stain with a clean, damp cloth, and depending on the stain, that might be all you need to get it out! (Club soda is also effective here, just like grandma used to use!)

4. Don’t Scrub Stains

When cleaning a stain, always blot it instead of scrubbing or wiping. Scrubbing at a stain often ends up spreading it around or pushing it deeper into the carpet fibers rather than lifting it out!

5. Don’t Soak Stains

Be mindful of the amount of liquid you apply to a stain while cleaning it. Over-wetting your carpet can damage the backing, so apply a small amount of liquid at a time and be sure to have absorbent towels handy while you work.

6. Use Powders To Absorb Grease

If you’re tackling a greasy or oil-based stain, the best way to start is by sprinkling a dry, absorbent powder like baking soda or powdered chalk over it. Wait for an hour or two, and the powder will draw out a lot of the grease and make the remaining stain easier to remove.

7. Follow Directions

Don’t forget to consult the care instructions for your carpets or rugs! There may be a tag on your rug that offers directions for cleaning it or removing stains. As for carpet, look up your carpet’s manufacturer to see if their website offers care instructions.

8. Do A Patch Test First

Before using any carpet cleaning solution, do a patch test first to test the colorfastness of your carpet. Start by applying a small amount of the cleaning solution to an inconspicuous area of the material. Hold a damp, white cloth against it for one minute, then check the cloth for color transfer, change, or damage. If there isn’t any, you can proceed to cleaning with confidence!

9. Vacuum Carpet Regularly

Regular vacuuming helps to remove loose soil from your carpet and protect against wear from ground-in dirt. Frequent vacuuming will go a long way toward making your carpets last as long as possible!

What’s your best carpet cleaning tip or trick?

Cleaning Carpet Stains (Step by Step)

Jill Nystul
Carpet stains are no fun at all, but in just a few easy steps you can clean carpet so it looks like new!
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Cost $10
Yield 1 clean carpet

Equipment

  • Iron
  • spray bottle
  • Clean White Towels

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1 cup hot water

Instructions
 

Removing Stubborn Carpet Stains

  • Plug your iron into the closest outlet to the stained area (or use an extension cord, if necessary) and allow it to heat up for a minute or two. Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of equal parts ammonia and hot water, then replace the spray top and shake to combine.
  • Spray the ammonia mixture liberally over the carpet stain, then spread a clean towel over the top of it.
  • Place your iron onto the towel, moving it around slowly to avoid singeing the carpet. After a few seconds, pull back one edge of the towel and have a look. If all goes well, you should see that quite a bit of the stain has been lifted out of the carpet onto the towel!
  • Spray more of the ammonia and water mixture onto the stain as needed to keep it moist, then repeat the ironing process using a clean towel. You may have to use a few towels depending on how severe the stain is, but eventually the whole stain should come up out of the carpet! Be sure to let your carpet dry completely before walking on it again.
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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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