The Ultimate Guide to DIY Carpet Cleaning

Discover the Secrets of DIY Carpet Cleaning

Cleaning your own carpets may sound like an unthinkable task.

Especially if you’ve seen the job done professionally by carpet technicians armed with their powerful equipment and heavy-duty detergents.

Armed with the right tools and tempered with a bit of patience, you can clean your carpets just as effectively fans the pros.

Take the mystique out of deep carpet cleaning.

In this article, we’re unlocking all the secrets in this comprehensive guide to DIY carpet cleaning.

We’ll also take a look at why it pays to call on professional carpet cleaners every once in a while too.

1. Bucket

While you may think of a bucket as something just for carrying cleaning supplies, it has a critical role to play in DIY carpet cleaning too. To get started, you’ll need your trusty 5-gallon bucket filled with warm water, white vinegar, baking soda, and detergent. A good rule of thumb is 1 cup of detergent or 48 teaspoons per five gallons of cold water instead of hot water. For extra heavy soiling, you might be tempted to use more detergent than that. But remember, using too much soap will actually make it harder for the natural fibres in your carpets to come clean until well after the job is done.

2. Detergent

The kinds of laundry detergent, carpet shampoo, dish soap, or cleaning solutions you use on your carpets are very important and can actually be the difference between success and failure. Try to stay away from harsh soaps and harsh chemicals like chlorine when choosing a carpet cleaning solution as they can damage delicate fabrics. Instead, go for specially-formulated eco-friendly detergents or carpet stain removers which are designed with the specific job of carpet cleaning process in mind. If you’re not sure what kind to buy, never hesitate to ask for advice at your local hardware store.

3. Clean cloth or paper towel

An old, yet very effective way to spot clean light to moderate spills and stains like wine stains, coffee spills, and pet stains is to use a simple white cloth or rag. Not only is it an ideal way for quickly dealing with accidents, but this traditional method can prove just as effective for getting out of tough spots without having to opt for a chemically-intensive commercial carpet cleaner instead of looking for homemade carpet stain remover. Simply wet the white cloth or rag and add a few drops of detergent. Giving just enough time for the cleaning solution to penetrate into fibres before gently rubbing away at any stubborn spots.

4. Spray bottle

A spraying bottle is indispensable if you ever find yourself in need of heavily pre-treating spots or stains before a deep clean. Especially, helpful for those times when a spot of pet pee might have gone unnoticed. As with the other tools above, you won’t need to break the bank: just make sure your spray bottle holds enough liquid so as not to cut your cleaning sessions short. Again, use an environmentally safe cleaning solution and fill it up with clean water before heading off to conquer that nasty mess. Don’t forget the extra help that steamers can give either. We’ll take a closer look at these tools shortly.

5. Scrub the brush with stiff nylon bristles

At last, you’re ready to break out a scrub brush with baking soda or carpet shampoo. Specifically, one with stiff nylon bristles is ideal for agitating carpet fibres and dislodging deep-set dirt and spots in traffic areas. But remember, be sure to go easy on the brush and exercise caution when applying pressure as it can be easy to damage the fabric if you’re not careful. More power isn’t always better. Gentle brushing is key here. Particularly, if your clean carpet is fairly new or in an area of foot traffic where more delicate fabrics might be found, like living rooms or bedrooms.

6. Old towels or rags

Now that you have the loose dirt, spots, and debris out of your carpets, it’s time to break out an old towel or rag for mopping up any loose liquid or rinse water. It’s a good idea to keep several of these on hand during each job, particularly if there’s been a lot of spillages. Because with every stroke of the brush and every big mess comes drippings and little spills that need to be cleaned up. In addition, using towels will help make sure you don’t leave behind pools of suds either. So use as many as necessary until you’re sure that everything has been wiped away.

7. Lukewarm water

It’s nearly time to break out of the lukewarm water. Remember: when spot cleaning, use only as much solution as needed and always blot up excess liquid immediately with a cloth or rag. Don’t keep rubbing and scrubbing, as that could cause the stain to spread further into the carpet fibres or even weaken them over time. Additionally, making sure you’re using lukewarm water rather than cold is also important for helping to ensure good results. Too hot or cold temperatures can cause color-run bleeding and shrinkage in certain fabrics.

8. Vacuum cleaner

To finish off your DIY carpet cleaning project, you’ll need a vacuum to suck up the last little bits of dust and grime. Keep in mind: just like when you were spot cleaning with cloths or rags, light strokes are better than aggressive rubs when vacuuming as too much force can damage the fibres. In addition, it’s best practice to do multiple rounds of vacuuming rather than attempting to lift everything out all at once. That way every nook and cranny gets some extra special attention.

9. Steam cleaner

Steam carpet cleaners can be a great investment if you’ve got the finances to support it and even a compact model can do a pretty decent job of extracting deeper grime, gunk, and grime more effectively than most machine  by penetrating below the face fibres of carpets with heated water vapour in order to carefully dissolve anything stubborn that might be living there. Plus if used regularly, steamers are also capable of keeping away musty odors and dissipating bacteria too. Making them imperative tools for any household prone to allergies or other potential health risks.

10. Mask

Before you get started with your DIY carpet cleaning project, make sure to protect your health. That’s why using a disposable dust mask is so important. To guard against any airborne particles or chemicals that might be released when dealing with carpets made from synthetic materials. Many of these fabrics come chemically treated and protected upon manufacture but could still use some extra help once momentary exposures occur.

Steps to Clean Your Carpet

  1. First step, moisten the area surrounding stains with lukewarm water with white vinegar from a spray bottle or damp cloth before blotting up as much liquid as possible with an old rag or towel.
  2. Next step, apply a detergent solution, carpet cleaner, salt, or white vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes or so before scrubbing away at stains with a stiff nylon brush.
  3. Next step, if necessary, power up your cleaning machine and go over the entire carpet. Make sure to repeat vacuuming sessions several times until any deep-seated dirt and spots lies extracted.
  4. After that step of wiping away any remaining suds or liquid with an old rag again, finish everything off by going over everything one final time with your cleaning machine in order to suck away leftovers missed during earlier rounds of extraction plus to remove further moisture from the fabric.
  5. All done. Now, the last step is to pat yourself on the back and enjoy your deep-cleaned carpets.

Helpful Tips

  1. Always test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous part of the carpet before using it on larger areas in order to avoid any unexpected stains or discolorations.
  2. When blotting up spills or scrubbing away dust, try to avoid stretching the fabric fibres beyond their limit as this can lead to fraying.
  3. It can also be helpful to run through traffic areas with hand-held cleaning equipment before beginning larger cleaning jobs as it will lift away any dust particles that might otherwise get pushed down into the fibres during a good brushing.
  4. And don’t forget: if by chance you do come across torn or ripped upholstery, there’s no need for despair. You can actually use specialised glue and tape kits which allow for seamless repairs without having to replace large swathes of clean carpets entirely.
  5. Finally, make sure your room is well-ventilated. This will help improve drying times. But more importantly, keeping windows open and improving air circulation can help ensure that off-dusting odors from chemicals are dissipated quickly and properly.


How often should I clean my carpets?

The frequency with which you clean your synthetic carpets will depend on how much foot traffic they get. Every 3 months or so is not unheard of. In general, you’ll know it’s time to reach for the cleaner when colors look murky and lost their former vibrancy. That’s a good sign that grime is clogging up the fibres and needs lifting out.

What cleaning products should I use to deep clean my carpets?

For beginners, it’s often best to buy a detergent specifically designed for use on clean carpets. These formulas are specially formulated with low foam and non-toxic ingredients created especially for cleaning carpets. Additionally, building up a stockpile of old cleaning rags and cloths can be useful too. An extra-long cord vacuum is unquestionably beneficial in this regard.

Should I hire professional carpet cleaners?

Although DIY carpet cleaning has its merits, hiring occasional professional for steam cleaning or wet carpet cleaning help never hurts either. Professional cleaners typically offer better extraction rates. This is because they come equipped with advanced hoses and powerful suction machines that take out even ground-in debris. Plus, hearing feedback from experienced experts helps you know better what works best for your particular kind of synthetic carpets.


DIY carpet cleaning can be a rewarding and satisfying experience.

Allowing you to whip up your synthetic carpets into a beautiful, spotless state of perfection.

All while proudly gazing down upon your own hard work. But it’s important to keep in mind, no synthetic carpet is ever truly 100% clean.

If anything, you’ll enjoy advice from an experienced perspective allowing for better-informed decisions for maintaining and deep-cleaning carpets.