The idea of disinfecting a carpet and getting rid of stubborn stains, oil, dirt and food may seem like a difficult task that requires professional service or a carpet steam cleaner. Fortunately, there are effective ways to successfully disinfect your carpet or area rug without the need to steam clean or use harsh chemicals.
Before you consider investing in a steam cleaner, a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner, or a professional cleaning service, there are a few steps you can take to disinfect your carpet and keep your living space looking fresh.
Prepare Your Carpet or Area Rug
There are a few essential steps to prepare your rug or carpet to clean and disinfect. If you’re cleaning a large area, which includes under a sofa, chairs, or other furniture, remove these items from the area thoroughly, or as much as possible, so you can access all the carpet area you need to disinfect.
If you notice loose dirt, debris, or dust, use a vacuum cleaner to clear what you can from the carpet fiber before targeting specific stains and spots on the rug.
Ensure children and pets are not in the room when you begin the cleaning process. You’ll need to gather a few items to create a homemade carpet cleaner, including a bristle brush, paper towel, and ingredients for your cleaning solution.
Creating a Homemade Carpet Cleaner
When you prepare your homemade carpet cleaner, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients found in your home. These items are inexpensive and easy to find in your pantry, kitchen, or local grocery store:
- Several clean old rags or cloths
- Baking soda (any brand or container size)
- Paper towels
- White vinegar (apple cider vinegar can also be used, if available)
- A medium-sized bucket to mix
- Hot water and cold water (in separate cups or buckets)
- Liquid dish soap (preferably mild) or a carpet shampoo
- Fabric softener
Mix the cold water and vinegar in equal parts to prepare the cleaning solution. Warm or hot water is an option, though cold water also works effectively. Combine these two ingredients in a medium-sized bucket and add one teaspoon of dish detergent or a similar mild soap.
Swish the liquid and stir until it forms a foam on top, which means it’s ready to use. It’s important to note that while this natural cleaning solution is safe for your carpet, it may cause some discoloration depending on the type of carpet material.
Step-By-Step Carpet Disinfection and Deep Clean
- Place the scrub brush into the solution and place it onto the stain or affected area on the carpet or rug. Scrub the carpet with just a tiny amount of the mixture, as it won’t be as effective with too much water or when the carpet becomes too wet.
- As you scrub the carpet, use consistent pressure so that you remove the stain or debris evenly and thoroughly. After completing this step and removing the carpet stain, leave this area to air dry for a few minutes. During this time, the disinfecting process will occur.
- Use cold water to rinse the cleaned area of the carpet and wipe the excess dirt, rinsing in the water. This process will remove bacteria, dirt, and loosened oils from the stain.
- Allow the carpet to dry completely, then vacuum to clean any leftover debris or dirt left behind.
Once you complete all the steps, your carpet will appear clear of any dirt. If you miss any areas, you can simply repeat the process for the specific areas affected.
Additional Tips and Suggestions for Disinfecting Your Carpet
If you’re cleaning nail polish, a pet stain, or a specific type of material, such as a wool carpet, take extra care when disinfecting to prevent damage to the rug. There are a few crucial ways to keep your carpet looking fresh and odor-free:
- Prepare to clean your rug or carpet on a dry day, as humidity and moisture build-up can make this process challenging.
- Plan to check your carpet regularly for unnoticed stains, so you can keep on top of spot cleaning and avoid further stains and dirt.
- Keep or minimize pets and food from carpet areas to avoid germs, dust mites, and spills.
- Regularly spray the carpet with a water and vinegar solution to prevent unwanted odors that may accumulate on your rug or carpet over time.
- If you don’t have baking soda handy, you can use isopropyl alcohol, which is ideal for getting rid of stubborn stains and grime.
- Keep a steady supply of cloths, rags, vinegar, and baking soda on hand, in case of a sudden mess or spill.
- If you prefer a specific scent on your carpet, add a hint of fabric softener or a mildly scented soap to your cleaning solution. You can dilute as needed to spray or clean with just the amount preferred so that the scent isn’t too strong or overpowering.
Disinfecting your carpet or rug is easy and doesn’t require much effort with the right tools and cleaning ingredients. You may find many store-bought cleaning solutions are also effective. However, some may contain harsh chemicals or odors that cause an allergic reaction if you invest in a good-quality carpet cleaning machine or handheld vacuum to keep your rug or carpet free of everyday dirt and debris.
This simple cleaning solution is ideal for anyone without access to steam cleaning equipment, and it’s a quick process that takes approximately fifteen minutes.