Best Way to Clean Carpet – 5 Easy Steps

What is the best way to clean a carpet? It’s important to vacuum the carpet every now and then to keep it clean. However, over time, spills, stains, and dirt will build up and require a deeper clean than just vacuuming. In this article, I’ll describe the best way to clean a carpet, including vacuuming and deep cleaning tips.

The best way to clean carpet is by following these 5 easy steps:

  1. Clear the Carpet
  2. Vacuum
  3. Get a Carpet Cleaner OR Prepare a Cleaning Paste
  4. Clean the Carpet
  5. Let the Carpet Dry

Your carpet needs to be kept clean not just to make your home look better but also to avoid health problems.

Read on to learn the best way to clean carpet and maintain its cleanliness for years.

Also, take a look at one of the best vacuum cleaners on the market, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. The Dyson V11 is powerful, easy to use, and makes vacuuming a breeze.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Best Way to Clean Carpet – 5 Easy Steps

1. Clear the Carpet

The first step before cleaning your carpet is to remove all furniture on top of the carpet. For very big and heavy furniture, you could just put small pieces of plastic or rubber under its legs. This will give protection against water damage since carpet shampooing uses so much water.

Pick up any loose objects on the carpet that will affect the operation of the vacuum cleaner. Dust the windowsills, furniture, baseboards, and blinds so that their dust will be picked up by the vacuum cleaner.

2. Vacuum

Next, vacuum the whole carpet just like you normally would suck up all dirt, dust, and debris from the carpet. You are not just vacuuming, but you are also getting the carpet ready for the next steps of cleaning it.

Begin vacuuming the carpet from the front to the back. Then, vacuum it again, going from left to right. As you use the carpet over time, the fibers of the carpet get twisted. By vacuuming it horizontally and vertically, you will touch and clean every fiber in the carpet. If you have furry pets, this method will remove the fur and other hidden debris.

Also, while vacuuming, take note of the major stains that show up on your carpet. You can then come back to these areas when you are doing a deep clean.

Don’t forget to vacuum the nooks and crannies, too. To clean carpet edges and baseboards, use the nozzle attachment. These areas typically accumulate more dust and dirt.

The vacuum I use, and one of the best on the market, is the Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This vacuum can run up to 60 minutes on a single quick charge. The V11 also has twice the suction power of any cordless vacuum.

This Dyson vacuum can quickly convert into a handheld vacuum for spot cleaning and cleaning of hard-to-reach places. There are many attachment tools that come with the machine as well. Vacuuming with the Dyson V11 doesn’t feel like a chore. It is actually kind of fun as it is so easy.

3. Get a Carpet Cleaner OR Prepare a Cleaning Paste

Option 1 – Get a Carpet Cleaner:

From what I have tested and reviewed, the best carpet cleaner for the money is the Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner with Stain Remover Wand:

Click here to see this cleaner on Amazon.

It is designed with easy, automatic cleaning technology that eliminates guesswork. Simply push forward to clean and pull back to dry. Its Auto Mix feature accurately mixes and dispenses the cleaning solution for efficient carpet washing.

If you have a huge home with a lot of carpets to clean, you could try the powerful Bissell Big Green Carpet Cleaner:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Big Green has more water capacity, a larger cleaning brush, and a more powerful motor. It is durable, sturdy, and provides excellent cleaning power even for those hard-to-reach places. 

Alternatively, you can rent a carpet cleaner from a Home Depot or a similar type of hardware store. However, the cost of renting a carpet cleaner can actually be more expensive than buying one in the long term. If you end up cleaning your carpet two or three times a year, it would be better just to buy a carpet cleaner than go through the hassle and cost of renting one each time.

If you get a carpet cleaning solution, follow the bottle’s instructions on how to prepare and use it. Typically, you need to fill the machine’s container with water and some cleaning solution.

Only use the amount of liquid cleaner recommended by the supplier. Adding too much could damage the carpet and the machine. Simply put, a good quality carpet cleaner is the best way to clean carpet stains and is the best way to deep clean carpet and upholstery fabrics.

Option 2 – Prepare a Paste:

A carpet cleaner is the most effective and easiest way to clean carpets; however, there is another option. You can make a cleaning paste. Prepare and mix ¼ cup of vinegar, ¼ cup of borax, and ¼ cup of salt. Combine these ingredients until you achieve a paste-like consistency.

4. Clean the Carpet

It is not wise to go barefoot while cleaning the carpet because the carpet cleaning chemicals could irritate the skin on your feet. Slippers or sandals could also be ruined by carpet cleaning chemicals. The best idea is to wear shoes, slippers, or sandals covered with a clean plastic bag covered over each.

Using a Carpet Cleaner:

If you are using a carpet cleaner, start shampooing the section of carpet that is farthest from the exit, and then gradually work your way to the exit.

Most carpet cleaning machines will generate water as you push it forward. It will also suck up the liquid when you pull it back. When pulling back the carpet cleaner, do it very gently to enable the machine to extract as much liquid as possible.

Don’t allow any moisture to be left behind on the carpet to avoid mildew and mold, which can damage your carpet and cause health problems for you and your family.

After cleaning your carpet, no one should walk or even step on it while it is still wet. So start from the farthest wall, and work your way back to an exit. In other words, avoid “carpet cleaning yourself into a corner.”

Using a Cleaning Paste:

Like when using a carpet cleaner, start at the farthest wall and work your way back towards the exit door.

Use the paste to cover all stains and the heavily soiled parts on the carpet.

Allow the paste to sit on the carpet for about two to three hours until it dries.

Use your vacuum cleaner to vacuum the paste on the carpet.

5. Let the Carpet Dry

Better airflow will speed up the drying process. Open the windows and doors to let outside air enter the area. To quicken the drying time, turn on an electric fan and focus its whirling blades on the carpet. Ensure that the carpet is completely dry within 24 hours to prevent the formation of mold.

The carpet may get dry within 6 to 12 hours. But you should not walk or even step on it during this period. Also, you should not take the plastic or rubber on the legs of furniture until the carpet is completely dry.

See the below video for some other great tips on how to clean your carpet:

How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?

How often should you clean your carpet? You should vacuum your carpet at least every week. You should deep clean every few months, depending on how many people and pets are in your home.

For vacuuming, the general recommendation is to vacuum your carpet once a week for every person or approximately 20 pounds of pet. Take note that one primary reason why you are vacuuming your carpet is to clean out hair and dander.

Following this rule, if you have two cats, you should vacuum your carpet three times per week. You should vacuum your carpet four times a week if you have a dog weighing 60 pounds. Moreover, if your carpet is visibly soiled, clean it right away, even if it is not due for vacuuming.

best way to clean carpet yourself

The same general recommendation applies to deep cleaning your carpet. The more pets you have and more people in your home, the more often you should do a deep carpet clean.

For carpets in high traffic areas, the recommendation is deep cleaning or shampooing two times a year. Carpets in less frequented areas can be deep cleaned at least once every 18 months. When carpets with light colors start to look dirty, shampoo them right away.

The best way to clean carpet stains with or without a carpet cleaning machine is to clean liquid spills before they dry. If wine or juice or anything else like that drops on your carpet, clean it right away.

Conclusion – Best Way to Clean Carpet Stains / Deep Clean

So what is the best way to clean carpet? The best way to clean the carpet yourself is by following these 5 easy steps:

  1. Clear the Carpet
  2. Vacuum
  3. Get a Carpet Cleaner OR Prepare a Cleaning Paste
  4. Clean the Carpet
  5. Let the Carpet Dry

It can seem a chore to clean your carpet, but it really is easy. The better your tools are, the easier it will be. If you have a good quality vacuum, you are halfway there. Vacuuming should be done once a week at least and more if you have multiple people and pets in the home.

Vacuuming isn’t enough, however. You also need to deep clean your carpet every few months. Carpet cleaning also doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you have a good quality carpet cleaner, it makes the job so much easier.

Alternatively, you can make and use a carpet cleaning paste. Apply the paste to the carpet, especially on the stains. Scrub the stains with a brush as you go. Then vacuum up the paste.

By following the steps and tips in this article, you will keep your carpet clean and fresh all year.