Whether you’re rehabbing an investment property or your own house, you may have some carpeting that’s gotten a bit dirty. We have some DIY carpet cleaning tips for you to get your carpeting looking great again.
For the investor, knowing how to clean carpets can save you a good bit of money on your renovation costs. If the carpets aren’t really that old, you may just need to remove carpet stains instead of ripping out the carpets and replacing them.
For the homeowner, you may have just installed your new carpets or they’re just a few years old and you just need to refresh them, get them looking new again.
Whatever your situation, these DIY carpet cleaning tips will save you some cash over hiring a professional steam cleaner to come in and do a deep carpet cleaning.
You’ll also get the most wear out of your current carpets with some inexpensive do-it-yourself carpet cleaning solutions.
DIY Carpet Cleaning Tips to Extend the Life of Your Carpets
Regular Carpet Maintenance
If you’ve just had new carpet installed, you want to get years of wear out of it. And you can do this with regular maintenance. Here are some ideas:
- Vacuum your carpets at least once a week to remove dust and dirt particles.
- Remove your shoes when you come in the house. Leave a pair of indoor-only slippers by the door and change into those before walking on the carpet.
- Keep beverages away from the carpet, especially those that stain quickly and easily like red wine, coffee, tea and soda.
- Clean spills immediately to keep them from soaking into the fibers and staining.
- If you have pets, have a separate area rug to clean their paws before allowing them on the carpets.
Cleaning Carpet Stains
Almost every house has an area that’s well traveled. Right inside the front door, hallways and regularly used paths from one room to another can wear out sections of carpets faster than others.
These well-used areas are especially susceptible to stains from carrying drinks and food from one room to another; forgetting to remove dirty shoes before walking over the carpets, not cleaning your pets, etc.
If you notice certain areas are becoming stained or overly dirty, there are a few homemade carpet cleaning solutions you can use for spot cleaning.
First, always use a warm water solution, regardless of what other carpet cleaning products you’re going to use. Warm water breaks down dirt and oils faster and gives you a more complete cleaning.
You can use these solutions whether you’re doing spot cleaning, area cleanup or whole carpet cleaning.
Always remember that when you’re applying any carpet cleaning solution, never rub the solution into the carpet. You’ll only grind the dirt particles deeper into the carpet fibers and it’ll be even harder to clean.
Simply blot the area with the solution until the stain is removed, and then blot the area with a clean, dry white cloth to soak up the solution.
White vinegar. Added to warm water, this solution works great for whole carpet cleaning or for refreshing those heavily traveled areas. Yes, you can pick up some commercial products, but you can save a lot of money and get just as good results by using a white vinegar and warm water solution.
The vinegar will pull residue from the carpet fibers and leave them feeling softer and smelling cleaner.
Club soda. If you have a red wine spill – think holidays and dinner parties here – club soda will clean that up.
Brake cleaner. You can remove tough food stains, like spaghetti sauce for example, with brake cleaner. Yes, we’re talking the same stuff that you add to your car for your brakes. You can pick this up at just about any department store in the automotive section.
Simply apply the brake cleaner to a clean cloth and blot the stain until it’s removed. Immediately follow with a white vinegar and warm water solution.
WD40. This is almost a miracle product because it does so much more than just loosen up tools and door hinges. What you do is spray the stained or dirty area and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
Rinse the area with a dish detergent and warm water solution.
WD40 is also available in department stores in the automotive section.
Shaving cream. This is one of the best DIY carpet cleaning tips for removing normal wear stains, like dirt from shoes. Like the WD40, apply the shaving cream on the stained areas and leave it set for 30 minutes.
Once it’s set, gently blot the area with a clean, dry white cloth. Follow with rinse solution of white vinegar and warm water.
DIY carpet cleaning is one of the best ways to continuously maintain your carpet or even bring an older carpet back to life.