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DIY Carpet Cleaning: Tips and Tricks

a cleaner cleaning carpet

In this DIY carpet cleaning guide I will teach you how to keep your carpets looking like new from the comfort of your own home.

Prepare Your Carpet for Cleaning

First things first you need to get your carpet ready for the clean. This means doing a few things.

  1. Pre-treat your carpet. This will loosen up any dirt, grime or carpet stains that have built up over time. You can use a carpet cleaning solution for this or some good old dish soap and water. Just make sure to let it sit for a bit before you start cleaning.
  2. Vacuum your carpet. This will remove any loose dirt and debris that’s sitting on the surface. Make sure to go over the whole carpet and pay extra attention to high traffic areas.
  3. Move any furniture or obstacles out of the way. This will give you better access to the whole carpet and make the cleaning process much easier. Just be careful when moving heavy furniture and make sure to put down some protective mats or blankets to avoid any damage.

Choosing Your Cleaning Products

Now that your carpet is all prepped and ready to go it’s time to choose your cleaning products.

There are many different carpet cleaning solutions out there, and it can be overwhelming to choose which one to use. The key is to look for pH-balanced products that won’t harm your carpet. A popular choice is a detergent carpet cleaner. This involves mixing translucent liquid dish soap with warm water to clean synthetic and natural fibre carpets.

You may also want to consider eco-friendly and pet safe options if you have furry friends in the house. These are kinder to the environment and won’t leave any harsh chemicals behind. Plus DIY cleaning solutions are highly effective and promote a chemical free home.

Before you use any new cleaning products make sure to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area of your carpet.

This will ensure the product is compatible with your carpet and won’t discolour or damage.

Spot Removal Techniques

Dealing with stains can be a real pain but there are some tricks you can use to get rid of them. First you need to identify what type of stain you have. This will help you choose the right method to remove it. Using a homemade carpet stain remover can be effective for many types of stains including food, spills and pet odours.

For example if you have a grease stain you’ll want to use a blotting technique rather than rubbing. Rubbing can push the stain deeper into the carpet fibres. Blotting is a gentler approach that will lift the stain out. Applying the cleaning solution with a spray bottle will help pre-treat the stain and get an even distribution.

You can also use some everyday household items to tackle stains. Things like club soda, white vinegar and even baking soda can be great at removing all sorts of yucky spills. Just make sure not to use any harsh chemicals or over wet the carpet as this can cause more damage.

Using a Carpet Cleaning Machine

When choosing a carpet cleaning machine make sure to read the instruction booklet for warranty information. You’ll want to consider the size of your space and the type of carpet you have. Some machines are better for larger areas and others for smaller or high pile carpets.

Once you have your machine set up make sure to follow the instructions. This includes filling the water and solution tanks and adjusting the suction power for best results. You’ll also want to make sure you cover the whole carpet overlapping your passes so you don’t miss any spots.

High Traffic Areas

One of the hardest parts of carpet cleaning is the high traffic areas. These are the areas where people walk the most like entryways, hallways and stairways. They get dirty faster and are a real pain to clean.

To tackle these areas give them some extra attention. Start by applying a bit more pre-treatment or agitation to loosen up the dirt and grime. You may also want to use a stiffer brush or scrubbing tool to work it in.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the corners and edges of your carpet too. These areas are dirt and debris magnets so make sure you scrub them good.

Drying and Maintenance

Once you’ve finished the big clean make sure to let the carpet dry completely before you start using it again. This can take a few hours or even a day or two depending on the size of your space and humidity levels.

To speed up the drying process you can use fans or dehumidifiers to get some airflow. Just make sure to keep any foot traffic off the carpet until it’s dry as this can cause the fibres to become matted or compacted.

Once your carpet is all dry and looking fresh it’s a good idea to get into a regular cleaning routine. This might mean vacuuming once a week and doing a deep clean every few months. Taking care of your carpet will make it last longer and look its best.

Stubborn Stains

Sometimes even with all your efforts you might still have a few stubborn stains. These can be a real pain to deal with but there are a few tricks you can try. One is to use a homemade carpet cleaner for stubborn stains.

First you need to try to identify the source of the stain. This will help you choose the right cleaning method. For example if you have a grease stain you’ll want to use a different approach than you would for a wine stain. A homemade carpet cleaning solution is great for deep cleaning various types of stains.

You can try using some spot removal techniques like blotting or applying a targeted cleaning solution. If that doesn’t work you may need to bring in the big guns – a steam cleaner. These powerful machines can really get deep into the carpet fibres to lift out even the toughest stains.

If you’re still having trouble you may want to call in a professional carpet cleaning service. They have the big guns and expertise to tackle even the toughest stains.

Future Carpet Soiling

Of course the best way to deal with carpet cleaning is to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your carpet looking its best.

First and foremost vacuum regularly. This removes any loose dirt and debris before it can get ground into the carpet fibres. You may also want to use doormats and area rugs in high traffic areas to protect your carpet.

If you do get any spills or accidents make sure to deal with them straight away. The longer a stain sits the harder it is to remove. Blot up any excess liquid and use a carpet cleaning solution to tackle the stain before it sets.

Last of all make sure everyone in your household knows how to care for the carpet. This may mean teaching kids to take their shoes off before they come inside or reminding everyone to clean up any spills straight away.

Professional Carpet Cleaning vs DIY

At the end of the day you have to decide whether to do the carpet cleaning yourself or call in the professionals. Both have their pros and cons.

Professional carpet cleaning services have the expertise to tackle even the toughest stains and problem areas. But this level of service comes with a higher price tag so consider the cost of hiring a professional carpet cleaner especially if you have pets, kids or both.

DIY carpet cleaning is a more cost effective option. With the right tools and techniques you can get your carpet looking great without blowing the budget. DIY carpet cleaners are good for spot cleaning synthetic and natural fibre carpets and you should start with vacuuming and not pour the solution directly onto the carpet.

Ultimately it’s up to you and your needs and budget. If you have a lot of high traffic areas or tough stains a professional cleaning may be worth the investment. But if you’re on a tight budget or just want to do a quick tidy a DIY may be the way to go.


What are the benefits of DIY carpet cleaning?

DIY carpet cleaning saves money, allows for more frequent cleaning and gives the homeowner control over the products and methods used on their carpet.

What are some common carpet cleaning mistakes to avoid?

Common carpet cleaning mistakes to avoid are using too much water, not testing cleaning products in an inconspicuous area first and not vacuuming thoroughly before cleaning.

What are some DIY carpet cleaning solutions?

DIY carpet cleaning solutions are white vinegar and water, baking soda for odour removal and mild dish soap for spot cleaning. Homemade carpet solutions are cost effective and eco friendly so a great alternative to store bought cleaners. Homemade carpet cleaners are good for all carpet types and stains and can be used for spot cleaning and larger areas.

How often should carpets be cleaned?

Carpets should be vacuumed at least once a week and deep cleaned every 12-18 months or more often in high traffic areas or homes with pets.

How to keep carpets clean?

Vacuum regularly, clean up spills and stains straight away, use doormats at entrances and no shoes inside.