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How to clean a carpet

Here’s how to clean a carpet by hand

How to clean a carpet
(Image: © Getty)

If you want to know how to clean a carpet without hiring or buying a dedicated machine then you’re in the right place - and the good news is that you don’t need anything fancy to help you get the job done. We’ll be sharing tips for how to use one of the best vacuum cleaners along with some household products that you’re bound to have lying around to give your carpets a clean and tackle stubborn stains. 

Hiring a professional carpet cleaner can be a big expense and you’ll be limited on how long you can use it for, but with these handy hacks you can spruce up your carpets without splashing out. 

It’s no secret that the carpets in our homes get a bit of a pounding over time - whether high-traffic areas are looking a bit worse for wear or that old red wine stain just won’t budge, giving your carpets a thorough clean will not only make them look better, but they’ll also smell much fresher too.

How to clean a carpet without a machine 

First things first, you’ll need to make sure your carpets are free of any excess dust and dirt before you can tackle any stains - and to do this, you’re going to need to give the floor a thorough vacuum. 

If possible it’s best to take as much furniture out of a room as you can so that cleaning your carpet is easier but if that’s not possible, move your furniture to one end of the room and work in sections. 

You’ll need to use your vacuum cleaner’s crevice tool first and work your way around the edges of the room swiping the tool in multiple directions so that you can suck up as much dust as possible. If you’ve still got furniture in the room, be sure to use the crevice tool around the feet of sofas and other furniture too. 

After you’ve cleaned the edges of the room, use your vacuum to clean the floor by using slow back and forth movements and repeating this going the opposite direction. If all that sounds like too much effort, consider one of the best robot vacuums. After your carpet has been vacuumed, you’re ready to start cleaning it.

How to clean a carpet

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to clean a carpet without a machine  

We’ll be sharing handy hacks for cleaning specific stains in a moment, but first, here’s how to clean a carpet without a machine - and it’s much easier than you think. To give your carpets a clean, take some dish soap, a bowl or bucket of warm water, and a clean white cloth. Avoid using a colored cloth or towel in case any color is transferred onto the carpet. If you’re looking for specialist carpet shampoo, Vanish is available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

Start on the edges of the carpet and rub the soapy water across the carpet but make sure the cloth isn’t too wet or you’ll end up with a very soggy carpet. The edges of carpets are prone to look darker than the rest of the floor because they often get missed during the vacuuming process, and dust and dirt can easily settle there. If you’ve scrubbed the edges and can’t see a bit of improvement, use some dish soap neat on your cloth and give the edges another scrub. 

After cleaning the edges work your way across the carpet paying particular attention to high-traffic areas. Once you’ve cleaned the entire room, avoid walking on the carpet as much as you can and open any windows and doors to let the room dry up as quickly as possible. After the floor has dried, vacuum it again following the steps we mentioned earlier. 

How to clean a carpet

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to clean carpet stains 

For those tough stains that just won’t budge it’s very likely that you’re going to need something more powerful to clean the carpet. It’s best to make your own solution and put it inside a clean spray bottle (it’s best to use a new bottle so that you aren’t contaminating any residues from previous cleaning sprays). 

To make a solution you can use one cup of white vinegar to two cups of water. You can also apply baking soda directly onto the stain and dampen it by spraying the solution on top. When the spray solution mixes with the baking soda it’ll start to foam which helps to lift the stain out of the carpet if you leave it on for a couple of hours before rinsing with warm soapy water. While this powerful yet natural cleaning solution can be very effective, always patch test an area of your carpet that won’t be seen before you apply it all over your flooring.