When most people think of carpet cleaning, the first thing that comes to mind is a steam cleaner. If you don’t have a steam cleaner available, you may forgo a deep cleaning to remove carpet stains, ground in dirt, and debris that accumulates over time.
Carpets quickly become a magnet for dirt, bacteria, and germs, especially if food particles, pets, and plants are in the area. While carpet steam cleaners are ideal to use as an alternative to harsh chemicals, there are natural ways to deep clean your carpet with natural ingredients.
How to Clean Your Carpet
Does your carpet require a deep clean, steam treatment, or spot cleaning? Many people avoid carpet cleaning either because professional services are expensive, and using a steam cleaner isn’t an option. If your carpet is in a room that’s subject to high traffic, you can concentrate on spot cleaning when there’s a stain or spill that’s quickly contained. Dry debris, such as tiny beads, confetti, and similar items, are easy to remove with a handheld vacuum cleaner or carpet rake.
The best way to minimize cleaning is to immediately remove a spill, mess, or pet stain. Once debris dries to carpet fiber, you’ll need extra effort and a few items to deep clean the carpet.
What You’ll Need to Clean Your Carpet Without a Steam Cleaner
You’ll need a few household items to clean your carpet effectively, and you can avoid renting expensive equipment or professional services to get the job done:
- Table salt (the type you have in your kitchen)
- Hot water in a bowl
- Baking soda (any brand)
- A mild cleaning solution, such as a detergent, mixed with water (a carpet shampoo is also an option)
- A firm, bristle brush
- One or two spray bottles
- Old rags and paper towels
If you have dry towels, gloves, and a vacuum, you may find these items handy during the carpet cleaning process.
Step-By-Step Process for Cleaning Your Carpet
Before mixing the cleaning solution, use a pair of latex gloves and wear older clothes, though the ingredients used in this method are natural and safe, without any harsh chemicals or pollutants.
- Combine the detergent or mild dish soap with warm or hot water in a small bowl. You’ll only need a small amount of soap, about 1/8 teaspoon. Mix thoroughly and add to a spray bottle. Swish the mixture in the bottle just before using.
- Determine the area you need to clean, such as a specific stain, and sprinkle evenly with baking soda to cover the entire stain area. Then, add a layer of sprinkled salt. You’ll only need enough to cover specific spots or stains on your carpet or area rug.
- Spray the soap and water solution over the salt and baking soda-coated stain and allow this spot to set for a few minutes.
- Using a bristle brush, scrub the carpet in one direction to remove the dirt and stain debris to collect it at one side, then pick up the dirt with a paper towel and discard.
- Repeat spraying the soap and water solution, this time from an angle, to soak the area again. This step will collect leftover dirt residue and remove everything from the carpet.
- Once the area is cleaned, use a white cloth or old rag to soak up the water
- Allow the carpet to dry.
- Empty and rinse the spray bottle, refill with warm water, and spray where the stain was on the carpet. Use towels or clothes to soak up the water and dry it again.
An alternative to dish soap is white vinegar, which you can use with baking soda and warm water to clean stubborn stains on your carpet.
Tips for Maintaining a Clean Carpet
If you’re looking to avoid carpet cleaning as much as possible, there are some essential steps you can take to avoid debris build-up, minimize the chance of stains, and keep your carpet looking fresh. If you don’t have access to a steam cleaner, the following tips can help improve your carpet:
- Keep fabric softener on hand if you need to clean a spill with warm water. This will help remove the stain quickly, along with mild soap, and it will leave a pleasant scent.
- If you have pets, it may be helpful to limit their access in rooms with carpets or area rugs, to minimize pet hair and stains. Keeping your pets out of carpeted rooms also helps prevent and reduce dust mites.
- Keep food, drinks, nail polish, paints, and other items that are likely to spill and stain your rug or carpet away.
- Monitor the condition of your carpet so that you can avoid missing a stain or spill, which may go undetected and contribute to further dirt build-up.
- Dust your home regularly to prevent excessive dirt. This practice is essential to minimize allergens and keep your home healthy.
- Regularly wash your clothes, blankets, and items around your home, which can transfer dirt and dust onto the carpet.
- Keep a scrub brush handy in case of a spill, so you can clean it quickly and minimize its effect on the rug or carpet.
- Store all your cleaning supplies in a central spot so that you can access them easily in the event of a spill or stain.
By keeping a few valuable items nearby and regularly cleaning your home, you’ll find that maintaining your carpets is relatively easy and takes little effort.
It’s easy to keep a fresh, clean carpet in your home with a few simple items and regular maintenance. All the necessary cleaning supplies you need are safe, natural, and free of harsh pollutants and chemicals so that you can avoid allergic reactions.
Creating a homemade carpet cleaner is not only safe and effective, but it’s inexpensive and goes a long way to keeping your carpet in good condition. Once you get comfortable with this process, you’ll find that maintaining beautiful, durable rugs and carpets is easy and will save you from unnecessary expenses.