Cleaning Carpet Hacks: How to Deep Clean Carpet

With three little kids and a big dog, spills are a constant part of my daily routine. Whether it’s a coffee mishap or an impromptu marker masterpiece on the floor, it feels like I’m constantly dealing with little messes. It’s almost amusing at times, but my poor carpet bears the brunt of it all. Lately, I’ve been on a quest to find effective carpet cleaning tricks that actually work.

Our main living area has wall-to-wall carpeting, making it a magnet for spills and dirt. Instead of resorting to the hassle and expense of hiring a professional cleaner, I’ve discovered some fantastic DIY carpet cleaning hacks that not only save money but also time.

I’m excited to share my top 17 carpet cleaning hacks with you. From using a brush to work in cleaning solutions to pouring the right mix into a container, these tips will keep your carpet looking fresh without breaking the bank. Say goodbye to the stress of constant spills, and hello to a cleaner, more budget-friendly solution!

1. Lint Roller to the Rescue

Ever feel like no matter how much you vacuum, there’s always lingering debris, crumbs, and hairs that your vacuum just can’t tackle? It’s a common struggle, especially with long-hair carpets. Even the mightiest vacuum cleaner might not clean the fibers to perfection.

The solution? Get yourself a lint roller for those stubborn areas and put in some elbow grease until you collect all those tricky particles. Depending on your carpet type, you might spend no more than five minutes per carpet.

2. Eliminate Pet Hair with a Squeegee

Dealing with pet hair that stubbornly clings to your carpet, resisting the efforts of your vacuum cleaner? Lint rollers might not cut it when you’re dealing with the entire surface, especially with heavy shedding pets.

If your carpet has short hairs, a trusty squeegee can come to the rescue. While squeegees are designed for windows, their design is perfect for dislodging substances like pet hair on short-hair carpets. Wet the squeegee and use it on your carpet as you would on a window.

3. Remove Stains with an Iron

Stain removal has challenged homeowners for as long as carpets have been a staple in homes. Here’s a three-step process: First, vacuum the stained area to remove hard particles and focus solely on the stains.

This is crucial prep work. Second, treat the spots with a mixture of water and vinegar in a 3:1 ratio, letting it penetrate the stained area for about five minutes. Finally, place a towel over the stained area and apply a heated iron.

The pressure and heat cause the stain to transfer into the towel, much like a reverse temporary water tattoo.

4. Always Rub, Never Blot

It’s instinctual to rub away dirt, whether polishing shoes or washing dishes. However, with carpets, rubbing can lead to spreading and potentially working the stain into the fabric, resulting in permanent discoloration.

Regardless of the cleaning solution you use, remember that only blotting will effectively remove the stain. Blotting inward from the outside of the stain ensures that the stain doesn’t spread further, protecting the carpet fibers.

5. Homemade Deep Clean Carpet Cleaner

Sure, you can load up on store-bought detergents for a thorough carpet cleaning, especially if you own a carpet shampooing machine. But what if you’re all about leading a healthy, organic lifestyle and want to minimize your environmental impact? Well, this recipe is tailor-made for you.

Here’s what you’ll need: ¾ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide, a ¼ cup of white vinegar, 5 drops of essential oils, 2 tablespoons of dish soap, 2 tablespoons of fabric softener, and one gallon of hot water. It’s a cleaner alternative to store-bought options, and the results are just as effective. Load up your shampooing machine, and you’re all set for a deep and thorough clean.

6: Baking Soda Combats Oil Stains

Dealing with oil stains on your carpet can be a real headache, and hot water and dabbing might not always cut it. Sprinkle it generously on the stain, let it sit until it absorbs the oil and forms a dry crust.

Then, easily vacuum it up, leaving you with a much lighter stain. After most of the oil is absorbed, you can proceed to dab away the remaining stain.

7. Baking Soda Masks Pet Accidents

I know it might seem like a baking soda commercial, but it’s genuinely effective. When housebreaking pets, accidents are inevitable, and pet urine is not an easy mess to deal with.

Baking soda, generously applied, absorbs the smell and makes it easier to blot away the rest of the mess. This trick is a lifesaver when training an energetic puppy to wait for a walk.

8. Rubbing Alcohol Removes Nail Polish

Concerned about using rubbing alcohol on carpets, especially for removing nail polish stains? Don’t worry; clear rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover aren’t strong enough to bleach your carpet.

Once the nail polish has dried, gently chip off as much as possible with a blunt tool like a butter knife. Then, dab with a cloth or paper towel until the nail polish dissolves and is absorbed into the material.

9. Shaving Cream Solves Normal Dirt Stains

If you have lighter carpets in colors like beige, yellow, white, or soft pastels, you’ve probably encountered dirt patches from high traffic, dust, or accidental spills. Kids can leave visible skid marks, making dirt a real headache.

But here’s where shaving cream comes to the rescue. Any kind works, so it won’t break the bank.

Whether the stain is fresh or old, rubbing shaving cream into it and letting it sit not only removes the stain but also leaves the carpet feeling soft and fluffier. It’s like an anti-aging cream for carpets.

10. Baking Soda For Fresh Carpet

If you want to freshen up your carpet, whether for guests or a special event, all you need is baking soda and essential oil. Grab a 16-ounce box of baking soda and a bottle of essential oil (citrus scents work well).

Add 10 to 20 drops of oil to the baking soda, depending on how noticeable you want the scent to be. Sprinkle this mixture on your carpet like you’re dusting a cake with sugar, then vacuum after 5-10 minutes.

11. Strong Deodorizer Recipe

Got kids or pets and want a fresh-smelling carpet without harming your loved ones? Here’s a simple recipe: start with one to two tablespoons of Borax in a large container, add 10 drops of essential oil (considering your pets’ sensitivity to scents), and finish with two cups of baking soda.

This mixture absorbs bad smells, freshens the carpet fibers, and the Borax kills germs and microbes in safe quantities.

12. Shag Carpets Need Special Care

Shag carpets may be a trendy addition to your home, but cleaning them isn’t a walk in the park. Most vacuums with strong suction can cause shedding, making fibers frizzy or loose.

To avoid this, vacuum with only the hose attachment. This method reaches deep into the roots of the fibers without damaging the weave.

13. Fluff The Carpet with Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile solution for carpet care, much like baking soda. One interesting use is reviving high-traffic areas where the carpet looks worn and fibers are flattened. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then spray the solution on the affected area.

Once absorbed, take a regular spoon and run it sideways along the carpet to loosen the fibers and restore their original texture.

14. Fluff The Carpet with Ice Cube

This trick is for those dents left in carpets by heavy, rarely moved furniture. To restore your carpet, place a regular ice cube on these impressions and let it melt.

Blot excess water, then iron the area through a towel until dry. Once the fibers are almost dry, they become pliable, allowing you to fluff these areas by hand easily.

15. Keep Carpets Clean with Shoe Caps

Moving or expecting high foot traffic for an event? Protect your carpets by having people wear shoe caps indoors.

These caps prevent imprints from boots, running shoes, and stilettos, minimizing dirt tracked into the house. Prevention is as crucial as maintenance, reducing the need for extensive cleaning.

16. Runners and Area Rugs

Love showing off your fine carpets during gatherings but worry about foot traffic wear? Use runners and area rugs for high-traffic areas. Remove them when guests arrive to save time on vacuuming and keep your carpets looking new for longer.

17. Ice vs. Gum

Gum on the carpet is a nightmare, but it’s not impossible to remove. The key is to tackle it when it’s still soft. Instead of stretching it, which can cause more damage, harden the gum by placing an ice cube over it for about half a minute. Once frozen, scrape it off with a spoon, minimizing damage to your carpet.

We’ve shared the tips we could think of. Carpets vary in color, shape, size, and material, so not every tip may apply. Consider your carpet’s needs before implementing these suggestions. If you have additional tricks for specific stains, feel free to share them in the comments

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