How to Clean a Carpet – 5 Simple Steps

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

How to clean a carpet? It’s important to vacuum the carpet on a regular basis, at least every week. However, over time, stubborn stains and dirt will build up and require a deeper clean than just vacuuming. In this article, I’ll describe how to clean a carpet, including deep cleaning tips.

How to clean a carpet? To clean your carpet, follow these 5 easy steps:

  1. Clear the Carpet
  2. Vacuum the Carpet
  3. Get a Carpet Cleaner OR Make a Cleaning Solution
  4. Clean the Carpet
  5. Dry the Carpet

Your carpet needs to be kept clean not just to make it more liveable but also to avoid health issues that come from a dirty carpet.

Read on to learn more about how to clean a carpet and keep it clean all year.

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.

How to Clean a Carpet – 5 Simple Steps

1. Clear the Carpet

The first step is to clear your carpet of all furniture and any clutter. For furniture that is hard to move, you can just put pieces of rubber or plastic under and around the legs. This will protect the legs of the heavy furniture from water damage.

Remember to pick up all loose objects and any other clutter that could get in the way of your vacuum cleaner. You can now also dust the furniture, baseboards, windowsills, and blinds. The dust will fall to the carpet, and when you vacuum in the next step, it will pick up the dust.

2. Vacuum the Carpet

Next, vacuum the carpet to get rid of all the dust, debris, and dirt from it. In this step, by vacuuming, you are preparing the carpet for the next step of cleaning it.

Begin vacuuming the carpet from the back of the room to the front of the room. Then, vacuum it again, going from right to left. Over time, the carpet fibers will turn and twist in different directions. By vacuuming it vertically and horizontally, you will get dust and dirt out of every carpet fiber. If you have pets, it is even more important to vacuum in both directions to remove all pet hair and dander.

Also, while vacuuming, take note of any deep carpet stains that you find. You can come back to these stains later when you clean the carpet.

Remember to vacuum all the small corners, crevices, and tight spots of the room. Most good vacuums these days come with various nozzle attachments, including ones for tight spaces. These nooks and crannies typically gather more dirt and dust, so it is important to vacuum those spots.

Arguably the best vacuum on the market, and the one I use in my own home, is the Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner:

The Dyson V11 runs for 60 minutes, so you won’t have to charge it again. It has a powerful suction motor that is twice as strong as any cordless vacuum on the market.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Dyson V11 Cordless Vacuum converts into a handheld vacuum for cleaning hard-to-reach places. There are a variety of attachments that come with the vacuum as well, including ones for baseboards, corners, and more. Vacuuming with the Dyson V11 is so easy it actually feels fun rather than a chore.

3. Get a Carpet Cleaner OR Make a Cleaning Solution

Option 1 – Get a Carpet Cleaner:

Of all the carpet cleaners I have tried, the best one for the money is the Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner with Oxy Cleaning Solution.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This Hoover Carpet Cleaner is built with automatic cleaning technology that makes the job a breeze. Simply push the carpet cleaner forward to clean and pull it back to dry. It accurately mixes and dispenses the included Oxy cleaning solution for easy and effective carpet cleaning.

If you have a very big home or a lot of carpets to clean, you could try the more powerful Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaning Machine.

Click to see this cleaner on Amazon.

The Big Green has a more powerful motor, a larger water capacity, and a larger cleaning brush. It is sturdy, durable, and delivers excellent cleaning power for your carpet.

The below video demonstrates how to deep clean a carpet with a Bissell carpet cleaner:

You can rent a carpet cleaner from a hardware store such as Home Depot; however, renting a carpet cleaner can cost more than buying one over time. If you rent a carpet cleaner two or three times a year, it would be cheaper to buy a cleaner than rent one every time.

Remember to just use the exact amount of cleaning solution that is recommended by the supplier. If you pour too much into the carpet cleaner, it could damage the machine. So in our steps of how to clean a carpet yourself or how to clean carpet stains yourself, a carpet cleaner is the easiest and most effective way.

Option 2 – Make a Cleaning Solution:

A carpet cleaner makes the job of cleaning carpets much easier; however, another option is to make your own cleaning solution. To make your own DIY cleaning solution, mix a ¼ cup of borax, ¼ cup of vinegar, and a ¼ cup of salt. Stir these ingredients together until a paste-like consistency is formed.

4. Clean the Carpet

When cleaning your carpet, I recommend putting clean plastic bags around your shoes or sandals. You should not be barefoot as the carpet cleaning chemicals could irritate your feet. I also don’t recommend just wearing your sandals or shoes as the chemicals in the carpet cleaner could damage them. The best idea is to wear shoes, slippers, or sandals covered with a clean plastic bag covered over each.

Using a Carpet Cleaner:

When using a carpet cleaner, clean from the farthest wall and work your way back towards the exit door.

A carpet cleaner will dispense the water and cleaning solution as you push it forward. When you pull back the carpet cleaner, it will suck up the excess liquid. Pull back the cleaner very gently so that it sucks up as much excess liquid on the carpet as possible.

It’s important to avoid leaving puddles of moisture on the carpet as this can lead to mold and mildew. The mold and mildew will damage the carpet and lead to health issues for you, your family, and your pets.

After you finish cleaning the carpet, you should not walk anywhere on the carpet while it is still wet. Remember to just start at the back wall and clean back towards the exit door. So don’t paint yourself into the corner!

Using a Homemade Cleaning Solution:

Just like using a carpet cleaner to clean your carpet, when using a DIY cleaning solution, start by cleaning the farthest wall, and work back towards the exit.

Use the cleaning solution to cover all stains, including the very dirty parts on your carpet.

Allow the homemade cleaning solution to soak into the carpet for about three hours or until the solution dries.

Use your vacuum cleaner to vacuum any existing cleaning solution on the carpet. So to answer the question, “how to clean carpet stains yourself,” the best answer is with a carpet cleaner; however, a DIY carpet cleaning solution can be effective if you put in the time and effort.

The below video gives some other useful ways to clean carpet stains:

5. Dry the Carpet

To make your carpet dry faster, you need to get good airflow through the room. Open all of the room’s windows and doors to let air flow into the room. To speed up the drying time, put an electric fan in the room and focus it on the carpet. Make sure the carpet dries out fully within 24 hours to avoid any mold from forming.

The carpet may get dry within only about 6 hours but remember to not step on it at all while it is drying. Also, do not remove any rubber or plastic leggings you added on the legs of the furniture until the carpet is fully dry.

How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?

how to clean carpet yourself
How to clean a carpet yourself – How often?

We’ve looked at how to clean a carpet yourself, but what about how often should carpet be cleaned? Vacuuming the carpet should be done at least once or twice a week. Deep cleaning of the carpet should be done every two or three months. How often you vacuum, and deep clean depends on how many are in your home and how many pets you have.

For vacuuming your carpet, a good rule is to vacuum once a week for every member of your house, or about 20 pounds of pet. Remember that one of the main reasons for vacuuming is to remove dander and hair from your carpet.

Following this cleaning rule, if you have two dogs or cats, you should vacuum three times every week. If you have a dog that weighs 60 pounds, you should vacuum your carpet four times a week.

The same rule applies to cleaning your carpet with a carpet cleaner or DIY cleaning solution. The more people and pets you have in your home, the more frequent you should deep clean it.

For high traffic carpet areas, you should deep clean or shampoo the carpet about twice a year. Carpets in lower-traffic areas can be deep cleaned about once every 18-month period. Light color carpets should be cleaned as soon as they start to look dirty.

Conclusion – How to Clean a Carpet

How to clean a carpet? To clean your carpet, follow these 5 easy steps:

  1. Clear the Carpet
  2. Vacuum the Carpet
  3. Get a Carpet Cleaner OR Make a Cleaning Solution
  4. Clean the Carpet
  5. Dry the Carpet

Cleaning your carpet can appear to be a dull chore; however, it really is easy. If you have a good vacuum, it will take no time to get rid of the dust and dander from the carpet. Remember to vacuum at least once a week and vacuum more if you have more pets and people in the home.

You also need to deep clean your carpet every now and then, about every two or three months. Just like vacuuming, deep cleaning a carpet or shampooing a carpet is fairly easy. With a good quality carpet cleaner, the job is much easier.

Alternatively, you can make and use your own DIY cleaning solution to clean your carpet. This requires more time and effort to cleaning the carpet, but it can get all the stains and dirt out. Use a scrub brush for those stubborn stains, let the solution dry, and then vacuum up the paste.

You will keep your carpet clean all year by following the above carpet cleaning steps and tips.

Related reading:

How to Get Blood Out of Carpet – 3 Easy Steps

How to Clean Dried Cat Urine from Carpet? 6 Steps

Best Way to Clean Carpet – 5 Easy Steps

How to Remove Carpet Properly – 7 Easy Steps