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How to Clean Dirty Carpet at Home?

Carpet Cleaning / May 10, 2016

Image titled Clean Carpets Step 1Vacuum regularly. Invest in a good vacuum that sucks up dirt from deep within the carpet fibers, especially if you have a shaggy carpet or you live with cats and dogs. Vacuuming regularly keeps your carpet looking and smelling fresh.

  • Vacuum several times a week. If you have pets, you may need to vacuum every day.
  • Don't rush the vacuuming process. Even high-powered vacuums need a moment to grab dust, dirt and fur from the base of the carpet fibers. Run the vacuum over the carpet more than once to ensure it is completely clean.
Protect heavily-traveled areas of the carpet. If your carpeting reaches your front door, kitchen, or other areas of your home that tend to get a lot of traffic, consider protecting those areas with throw rugs or plastic carpet protector mats. That way you won't be struggling to clean up clots of dirt and bits of grass with the vacuum cleaner every day.
  • Plastic carpet protector mats have the added bonus of allowing the carpet to be visible through the clear plastic. They are an inconspicuous way to protect your carpet from dirt.
  • Use carpet runners in hallways, which tend to get a lot of foot traffic.
Clean up spills right away. Letting spills soak into your carpet and dry makes it much harder to remove the residue. If you can get to a spill right after the accident, you'll save a lot of time later.
  • Use a clean cloth or paper towels to absorb the spill, then pour baking powder over the area and let it sit for 15 minutes. When the spill is completely dry, vacuum it up.
  • If wine or another colorful liquid is spilled, add a little club soda before sprinkling on the baking soda.
Know the right technique for removing older stains. Sometimes its impossible to get to a stain right away. If you're faced with an old wine or coffee stain, don't panic; many carpets are pre-treated with stain resistant chemicals, so stains aren't usually difficult to remove. Use a spray bottle full of vinegar to lightly spray the area, then wipe it with a cloth. For deeper stains, saturate the area with vinegar or carpet cleaner, sprinkle with baking soda, and vacuum the area once the baking soda has dried.
  • Don't attempt to scrub stains away from carpets. Scrubbing damages the fibers and makes the area look worse.
  • Don't douse the area with too much vinegar, water, or any other liquid.Image titled Clean Carpets Step 2 If it seeps too deeply into the carpet to dry, it could lead to mold growth.
  • Lighter carpets can be effectively cleaned by applying a mixture of lemon and salt. Do a spot treatment in a discreet area to make sure it doesn't stain your carpet a different color.

Method 2

Removing Odors From Your Carpet
  1. Vacuum the carpet. Prepare your carpet for odor-removal treatment by thoroughly vacuuming it first. If your carpet is holding a lot of dirt, sweep it first with a broom to lift the fibers and loosen the dirt, then vacuum.
  2. Make an odor removal mixture. Carpets can be effectively cleaning using products you probably already have in your cabinets. Mix the following ingredients in a bowl you don't plan to use again for cooking:
    • 1 cup borax (available at hardware stores)
    • 2 cups cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup baking soda
  3. Treat stained or smelly areas with vinegar and water. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of half vinegar, half water and spray the areas that need the most help. Be sure not to completely douse them with liquid, since you don't want unevaporated moisture to lead to mold growth.
  4. Sprinkle the cornmeal mixture over the carpet. Spread it evenly around the carpet, focusing on the areas that tend to get dirtiest or smell the most. Leave the room and let the mixture sit on the carpet for an hour.
    • Keep children and pets out of the room while the mixture sits on the carpet.
    • Don't use more powder than your vacuum can handle. A light sprinkling should be enough to remove odors and light stains.
  5. Image titled Clean Carpets Step 3 Vacuum the carpet again. Run the vacuum several times over the carpet to clean up the cornmeal mixture. When you're finished, discard the vacuum bag.

Method 3

Deep Cleaning Your Carpet
  1. Buy or rent a carpet-cleaning machine. The deepest stains and toughest odors can be removed with a carpet-cleaning machine, which uses hot water and a chemical cleaner to wash the fibers of your carpet.
    • Carpet-cleaning machines can be rented from home and garden stores, Walmart, and specialty vacuuming or carpet stores.
    • Carpet-cleaning machine rentals come with cleaning solution and stain removal treatment. It's important to know what kind of carpet you have before renting a machine, so you can ensure that you use the proper cleaning solution for your carpet.
    • You may also wish to hire a professional to come to your house and use the cleaner to clean your carpet for you.
  2. Vacuum the carpet. Make sure it is completely free of all loose dust and dirt before you start the deep cleaning treatment. Sweep the dirtiest parts of the carpet to kick up dirt before vacuuming.
  3. Pre-treat stained areas. Most carpet-cleaning rentals come with a solution that is meant to be applied to stained areas before the deep cleaning is conducted. If you don't have a stain remover solution, spray stained areas with vinegar instead.
  4. Add water and cleaning solution to the machine. Follow the directions that came with your machine to add the appropriate amounts of hot water and carpet cleaner.
    • In some cases the water and solution are each held in their own tank; as instructed, remove the tanks and fill them with water or cleaner.
    • Make sure the tanks are properly fitted on the machine before proceeding.
  5. Plug in the machine and clean your carpet. Run the machine slowly over the carpet, making sure to cover every inch. You may overlap areas that have already been cleaned to be sure you don't miss a spot. On some machine models you will see dirty water splash into a receptacle when the machine is working properly.
    • If the machine runs out of water or cleaning solution, turn it off and unplug it. Discard the dirty solution, rinse the tanks, and fill them with clean hot water and cleaning solution.
    • Dirty solution may be poured into the toilet.
  6. Allow your carpet to dry. Within a few hours it should look and smell good as new.

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