Carpet Cleaning Guide – How to Clean Carpet Yourself

You do not need to hire a professional to clean your carpet. Following these tips, you can learn how to clean your carpet yourself effectiveness.

Learning how to keep your carpet clean will ensure it appears good and last longer. The first step to keep your carpet clean is through regular maintenance. Using a vacuum cleaner is important. According to experts, you should use the vacuum to remove dirt and debris two or three times a week. Your regular maintenance will include removing stains on a daily basis either from your pet’s throw up or when your kids spill juice on the carpet. You can use a stain remover purchased from a store or make your own cleaning ingredients in your kitchen.

Depending on the type of stain, you can clean carpet stains using the following :

Oils (grease, crayon, makeup)

Try your best in scraping off the stain as much as possible. Rub alcohol on the stained surface using a towel or cloth. Blot with a clean towel. Repeat this process multiple times if the stain is intense.


To remove rust stain from carpet, apply lemon juice on the rust stain. spread with cream of tartar. Rub the solution, allow it stay for 15-30 minutes or much longer till the rust wipes off. Using a clean towel or wet cloth, blot the area. Ensure you don’t scrub to prevent the rust stain from spreading. Use a towel to dry the area.

Organic (blood, berries, fruit juice)

On the stain, apply a capful or two of hydrogen peroxide (3% solution found in drugstores). After 5 minutes, clean area with a soft cloth soaked with clean water. Dry area with a towel.


Allow mud to dry, then break mud stain into smaller particles and vacuum. Apply a mixture of soap and warm water on the carpet. Dab with a sponge and dry the area with a towel.

Pet urine

You should learn how to clean your carpet especially when you have a pet. Make a mixture of white vinegar (1 cup) with warm water in a spray bottle. Apply on the soiled area, allow for 5 minutes, then blot with a cloth. Also, you can also apply baking soda on the stained carpet and clean with vinegar solution or water.

Ketchup and other acidic material

Make a solution of ammonia (1 tablespoon + 1 cup of water) in a spray bottle. Sprinkle solution on stained carpet. With a towel, blot excess liquid from the carpet. Do this over again until the stain is removed. You can also clean with hydrogen peroxide using the description above.

You need to clean your carpet thoroughly at least once every year. An effective method to clean the carpet is to hire a steam-cleaning machine that applies hot, soapy water on carpet surface and extract is completely.

How to clean carpet yourself – Best ways to clean carpets at home

Carpet pros are better at cleaning, however, their service is pretty expensive. Therefore, the next approach is to select either DIY or pro cleaning. You can clean your carpet using the DIY “steam” – cleaning machine if you know how to operate it.

You can rent a steam cleaner from a grocery store. Many stores will bill you a half-day rate and allow you keep the machine till the next morning if you pick the machine late. The cost of detergent is also included. Normally, for every gallon of water, you are required to use a tablespoon or less.

Have a budget of $60-$300 or more if you want to buy a steam-cleaning machine. The expensive model has features like a powerful water jet and suctions, and others a heater to keep water hot. These machines have mixed reviews, and some are liable to faults. Before you buy one, carry out proper research on the internet. Search using “carpet cleaning machine.”

Most rental machines are preferable to purchased models because they weigh more, reserve more ware, come with a wider wand; these features make them useful for larger, high traffic areas. Purchased models are small in size, portable and easy to maintain. Whether you are interested in purchasing a machine or renting, do not damage your carpets and preserve you cleaning following our tips on how to clean carpets.

Do not wait for the carpet to be dirty before you clean

The type of carpet traffic (either kids or pets) will determine how often you clean your carpets. Ensure you clean your carpet once the color appears dull. Cleaning may be more difficult, expensive and time-consuming if you wait until it is very dirty.

Vacuum properly before and after cleaning

You can use the vacuum before you clean to get rid of large soil particles. Using the vacuum after cleaning is a good way to remove soil particles that attach to the surface during drying.

Pretreat stains and high-traffic areas

Apply a mixture of detergent and hot water using a spray bottle on the dirty area. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before cleaning.

Remove or elevate furniture

If your furniture is difficult to move, you can prevent rust or stains by putting aluminum foil, wood blocks or plastic film under and around the legs of all furniture.

Do not over wet the carpet

DIY machines apply too much moisture to the carpet, and most lack an effective suction to extract the moisture. When using this machine, make a pass when using the soap and water solution and when using the neutralizing rinse solution. Then make 2-3 dry passes with the water off.

Allow your carpet dry thoroughly

A wet carpet provides a suitable environment for mold and mildew. After cleaning, you can open the windows, use fans, or the AC on moderate settings (72-28 degrees) to extract excess moisture from the air. Ensure the carpet is completely dry before you replace furniture or walk on the carpet. Drying may take up to 12 hours or less.


  1. Use DIY machines carefully

Cleaning carpet in a hurry will leave soap residue, wet carpet can create an environment for mold or mildew. Ensure you pull larger rental machines instead of push.

  1. Use less soap than required

The soap used in DIY machines tend to foam a lot, this can leave lots of residue and trap or attract dirt. Despite the directions, ensure you use a tablespoon or less per gallon of hot water to avoid soap residue.

  1. Use a mild acid rinse to neutralize soap residue

Most DIY machines come with a neutralizing rinse. However, you can also make yours by mixing a cup of white vinegar with one gallon of hot water. Ensure you rinse after one pass with detergent solution.

Clean strains immediately

Act quickly. There is a 99% possibility you can clean your carpet immediately it gets stained. It becomes difficult to remove stain the more it reacts chemically with the carpeting.

Use water first

Plain water can remove 80% of stains. To remove the stain, press a clean dry, white cloth over the stain to absorb the spill. Repeat the process to absorb spill completely. Afterward, apply water to the stain with a damp cloth and blot until the stain removes. Change cloths when needed. If the spot is difficult to remove, visit “spot solver” resource at The Carpet and Rug Institute to identify stain type and solutions to remove them. If the area is very wet, use a fan to dry.

Blot– do not rub or scrub

You will only damage the carpet fiber and create a fuzzy area when you scrub. Always blot towards the center from the outer edge to prevent spreading the spit and causing further damage.

Be patient

You need to be patient when cleaning your carpet to remove stains. Apply water to the spill gently and blot with a dry cloth. Repeat this till the stain is removed all the water extracted.

Try vinegar or club soda on tough spots

Before applying stronger commercial cleaning products, you can make a solution of vinegar and water or club soda to remove touch stains water cannot remove.

Test commercial products first

Some products can damage the carpet’s color and texture or makes it trap dirt. You can find recommended products to remove stain for different carpet manufacturers at The Carpet and Rug Institute. Before using any product, observe the effect on an inconspicuous area first.

Tools required for the How to clean your carpet project

For this project, you will need a good vacuum cleaner, shop vacuum, sponges, and a DIY steam cleaning machine. Material required for the How to Clean Carpet project includes:

  • Carpet-cleaning soap
  • Indoor and outdoor floor mats
  • Paper towels
  • Spot treating cleaners
  • Vacuum filters


  1. Do not dig or scoop food spills
  2. When you dig or scoop, the stain will work into the carpet. If there are solids on the stain, ensure you scrape carefully with a spoon or dull knife. After that, treat the stain.
  3. Use a shop vacuum on wet spills
  4. Continue vacuuming till liquid are completely removed. After vacuuming, you can treat remove colored spill using methods used in removing stains.