A warm, cozy carpet is one of the finer things in life that instantly makes us feel at home. Unfortunately, no matter how careful and clean you and your family are, eventually, your carpet is going to need a thorough cleaning.
With all the comings and goings in your house, your kids and pets, along with trapping dirt in and out, can make carpets pretty dirty- and fast.
Whether you have a great big stain that needs taking care of immediately, a long-forgotten stain that could do with some help, or just a general deep clean to get rid of dust and dirt, read on for our handy tips and tricks on how to clean your carpet by hand in the most efficient way.
Though you can hire commercial cleaners or buy a professional carpet cleaner, many times this isn’t practical and sometimes doesn’t even yield the best results- let alone the expense involved in hiring out a bulky machine!
What To Do Before You Get Started?
- Check what kind of material your carpet is. Different materials respond in different ways to various cleaning products and soak up stains in a multitude of ways. Be sure to find out what kind of material your carpet is before you start going at it as you could accidentally make stains worse!
- Gather up your cleaning supplies and make sure you have everything on hand you’ll need in this process so you’re not caught out halfway through. Have a look through your cupboards and drawers as you probably have a lot of these supplies on hand without needing to buy anything from the stores.
- Figure out what kind of stain it is that you’re tackling. If you’re unsure you may need to test out a small patch before committing to applying a solution to the whole thing. This will reduce the risk of you ruining your carpet for good, or leaving it worse than the stain itself. Oily patches for example can be particularly stubborn and will require a different stain remover to something like blood or wine.
- Test out a small area of your carpet with the stain solution you are applying. if you are unsure what kind of material your carpet is, you can place your stain solution in a tiny corner perhaps behind the radiator or skirting board so you can make sure that you’re not damaging your carpet.
What Tools Will I Need To Clean My Carpets?
- An old, but a clean towel that you don’t mind ruining
- An old toothbrush or scrubbing brush- make sure it is uncoloured as colours can transfer onto your carpet
- Clean rag for wiping away stains
- A bucket filled with slightly warm water- If you are planning on cleaning a large area in your carpet you may need to empty and refill your bucket a few times.
What Cleaners Will I need?
This all depends on the kind of stain you’re trying to remove and the material of your carpet.
Use A Dry Carpet Brush
- Clean Carpet Brush
Go over your carpet with a carpet brush, being sure to loosen up as much dirt and dust as possible. This is pretty labour-intensive but will prevent you from having to do more work in the long run with stain removers.
Once you have dry scrubbed your carpets to the best of your ability, hoover them clean. This process is great for when your carpets start to look dingy from outside dust and pollutants over time.
- A bucket of warm water
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- A sponge
Before you start with any hardcore cleaners, give a natural solution a try as you might be surprised how much it can do to lift and get up a stubborn stain. All you’ll need is a quarter of a cup of white wine vinegar and a bucket.
To start with, fill up your bucket with warm water and a quarter of a cup of white vinegar. Dip your uncoloured scrubbing brush into your water and start to scrub your carpet with your natural cleaning solution.
The aim here is to lift the stubborn stain so that when you see any colouration on your scrubber, immediately dip it back into warm water. Continue to scrub your carpet until the area is wet but not saturated.
Empty your bucket of dirty water and refill it with some fresh water. Using a clean towel, Dip it into your clean water and wring it out. Then, soak up as much of the dirty water in your carpet as you can with your damp towel. Squeeze away the water and repeat until you have as much liquid out of your carpet as you can.
Repeat these steps if necessary once more before letting it dry to fully assess how much you have lightened the stain.
Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Carpet
- A misting bottle filled with hot water
- Baking soda
- Carpet brush
Baking Soda is miraculous when it comes to cleaning, especially when getting rid of stubborn smells that won’t budge. This is a great environmentally friendly solution that is also perfect if you have any allergies or want to avoid harsh chemicals in your home.
Sprinkle your baking soda generously all over your carpets, or directly over your stain.
Gently mist with hot water, and let the mixture sit and activate for three hours or more to allow the baking soda to absorb the stain and odours.
Once fully dried, hover up the baking soda and use a carpet brush to make sure you agitate all of the baking soda out of your carpet. Hoover again.
DIY Cleaning Solution
- 10ml Ammonia
- 500ml warm water
- 1 tsp washing detergent
- Soft clean brush
- Dry towel
Mix your ingredients into a paste. Generously apply to your stain, being sure to do a patch test in a not noticeable area of your carpet first to prevent accidentally damaging your carpet.
Rub the stain vigorously with a soft brush to work in the mixture. Leave to sit for a while before rubbing dry with a clean towel. Hoover up any leftover mixture.
Cleaning your carpets by hand takes a lot of elbow grease but you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with some hard work and natural ingredients. If these solutions don’t work for you, you may want to try renting or even buying a steam cleaner for carpets for very stubborn stains.
Of course, unfortunately, sometimes stains just won’t budge no matter what you do, whether this is because of the type of stain or the material of your carpet.
But it’s always worth trying out these handy tips to see if you can get rid of it before giving up and investing in a new carpet.