How To Deep Clean Carpet

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The average cost of a professional carpet cleaning lies somewhere between $100-$250[1][2] for an apartment the size of 650 to 1000 ft2.

What if I told you that you could save this money by following a few simple steps and using items that are likely available in your home? A deep carpet clean can be done by yourself with just baking soda, white vinegar, or a steamer, along with a few other commonly available household items.

In this article, we will show three ways for how to deep clean carpets with household items.

Baking Soda and Salt

Baking soda is an alkali that dissolves in water and reacts with acids in stains to neutralize them. This method will remove the hardiest of dust from your rug.

What You Will Need:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Baking Soda
  • Table salt (Kosher salt will also do)
  • A spray bottle
  • Plain water
  • A scrub brush
  • Towels

How To Do It:

  • Do a pre-clean: It is important to remove the layer of everyday dust and dirt before deep cleaning; otherwise, you will just end up pushing it deeper into the carpet. Run a vacuum over the carpet, doing a thorough clean. If there are stains, refer to your carpet manufacturer’s stain removal chart and treat them.
  • Make the magic mix: Add baking soda and salt in equal amounts in a small bowl. Fill up your spray bottle with some cold water as well. 
  • Scrub the salt in the carpet: Put the baking soda mix all over the carpet and rub it in deep, especially in super dirty areas. 
  • Sprinkle Water: Sprinkle cold water onto the carpet, making sure that every area is covered. You do not need to make the carpet very wet; it should just have a little bit of dampness. By adding water, the baking soda will start removing dirt from the carpet.
  • Work the baking soda in deeper: What you want is the baking soda to go in deep into the carpet’s layers. Use the scrub brush to make sure that it gets into the carpet’s fibers.
  • Loosen the dirt: Now, start scrubbing the scrub brush in the opposite direction to loosen out and separate the dirt.
  • Wipe: Next, bring out the towels and start wiping the muck from the carpet. Be thorough but gentle, and don’t worry if some of the baking soda remains on the carpet. We will take care of that in the next step. Let it out to air dry for some time.
  • Vacuum: Now, bring out the old vacuum once again, and remove the leftover baking soda from the carpet. Voila! Now your carpet will be good as new again. Baking soda is one of the best ways to deep clean carpet by hand.

White Vinegar

Vinegar contains a strong acid known as acetic acid, which gives it a bitter taste and pungent odor. Acetic acid is a common ingredient in household cleaners. It is strong enough to remove dust, minerals, and grease. This acidity is what makes white vinegar a great product for a deep clean carpet DIY exercise.

Sprinkle a white vinegar solution

What You Will Need:

  • Vacuum
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Spray Bottle
  • Microfiber cloth and bucket of water

How To Do It:

  • Vacuum the dirt: Just like the first method, you will need to remove the loose soil and dirt from the carpet before you begin the dirty work (pun intended). Try to remove visible stains using the manufacturer’s stain removal chart for your carpet.
  • Make a vinegar solution: Add white vinegar to water in a 1:3 ratio in a large bowl. Put some of this solution in a spray bottle. You might need to refill the spray bottle several times if you have wall-to-wall carpeting in your home.
  • Test the vinegar: Vinegar can cause the color of some materials to fade. Before starting, try the solution on a small patch of carpet that is less visible or hidden from the eye. If you see the color start to bleed out or fade, then stop right here. In this case, the baking soda method might be better for you.
  • Sprinkle the solution: Start sprinkling the solution in generous quantities onto all parts of the carpet. Make sure that the surface does not get too saturated with the solution. Let the solution stay on for almost five minutes for the best effect.
  • Blot it out: Take the microfiber cloth and start blotting out the vinegar solution (and the loosened dirt and grime that comes with it). Keep cleaning the cloth in the bucket of water to refresh it so that you do not end up dirtying the carpet again. 
  • Air Dry: Open the windows, and if you have a table fan, put it on near the carpet to speed up the drying process. Make sure nobody walks on the carpet while it is drying out.

Pro Tips:

  • It would be best if you work systematically, carving out small areas, applying the solution to them, then moving on to the next one. 
  • For area rugs, make sure that you keep a plastic sheet underneath so that you don’t end up damaging the floor underneath.
  • You might need to change the water several times when you are blotting out the dirt.
  • Sometimes, it might be difficult to avoid people walking on the carpet while it is drying. Use plastic sheets or a tarp to cover up areas where somebody might need to step.


The first two methods are great if you want to deep clean the carpet by hand. If you want to use stronger stuff, then steam is the way to go. You can use either a clothes steamer or, if you have a steam mop, that would be even more ideal.

steam mop

What You Will Need:

  • Clothes Steamer or Steam Mop
  • Baking Soda and Salt
  • Scrub brush
  • Microfiber Cloth

How To Do It:

  • Vacuum: As before, clean out the loose dirt and stains.
  • Baking Soda and Salt: Make the mixture in equal parts, just like in the first method explained above.
  • Sprinkle and Steam: Sprinkle the carpet all over with the mix. However, this time, instead of spritzing water, steam the carpet using your steam mop or clothes steamer.
  • Blot: Take the microfiber to absorb the dirt and grime which has become loose. Let the carpet air dry and then run a vacuum over it again to ensure that you completely remove the baking soda solution.

Pro Tips:

  • For a clothes steamer, the trick is to hold it about half a foot to a foot away from the carpet. Let the steam make the carpet fully damp, and then use a scrub brush to work the baking soda solution deep inside the carpet’s fibers.
  • For the steam mop, see if it comes with a special carpet attachment and use that. If not, use the mop head for working in the baking soda mix. A once-over with a scrub brush will help here too.



[2] HomeGuide

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