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10 tips for carpet cleaning

Tips for carpet cleaning
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Carpets add tonnes of comfort and warmth to a home, but with that comes significant maintenance. From vacuuming to professional steam cleaning, the upkeep can be time-consuming which is why these top 10 tips for carpet cleaning will help you out. 

Whether it's general wear-and-tear, pet accidents, or dinner-party spillages, there are many reasons why you will need know how to clean a carpet (opens in new tab). Opting to get rid of dust regularly using the best vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) will help to keep on top of day-to-day dirt, however, if you're looking for hidden hacks that will transform your chores, look no further than the following clever tips. 

1. Always dab, never smear

What the expert says…

Bailey Carson, Home Care Expert at Angi, (opens in new tab) recommends, "Vacuum often: Vacuum your home at least once a week, especially in high-traffic areas like hallways, entryways and the living room. Make sure to vacuum in different directions and go over everything a few times to make sure all the debris is picked up."

The first rule of removing stains is to dab and never smear. With this knowledge, no matter which cleaning method you use, you will stand a far better chance of getting rid of it for good. 

Using a microfiber cloth will soak up any standing liquid while using small dabbing motions will prevent the stain from leaking further into the carpet fibers. After this, you can go in with a dedicated stain remover and continue dabbing until the mark disappears - voila! 

2. Use a squeegee 

Sometimes the most underrated tools are the ones that work the best. Pet and human hairs can quickly become bound within carpet fibers, making it difficult to vacuum out. 

A squeegee is a great way to quickly lift hair from carpet, and is easy to use - simply scrape across the surface and dispose of the dirt. It's also affordable and easy to pick up online or at a grocery store, so you can get straight to creating a fresh, clean home. 

3. Try a lint roller

A lint roller is another great tool used for cleaning a carpet without a vacuum, as it quickly lifts any larger bits of mud or grime off the surface. Lint rollers are another inexpensive option so you don't need to worry about replacing them regularly, and luckily their sticky paper filling is easy to rip off and dispose of as you go. 

By rolling it across the carpet, you can quickly pick up pet hair and crumbs, before going in with stain removal or deep cleaning techniques. 

4. Utilize area rugs

Not only do area rugs add a stylish touch to an interior, but they are also a great way of reducing how often you clean carpet. They come in many different sizes, so you can decide whether you want to protect the majority of your carpet or just small spots.

Bailey Carson, Home Care Expert at Angi (opens in new tab), says, "Place area rugs in high-traffic areas or even rooms where there might be heavy eating and drinking activity. The extra layer of protection will keep stains away and your carpet fibers healthy."

5. Heat hardened wax

There is no end to the possible spillages that can occur on carpet, and one that is often forgotten is wax. Whether it's from candles or crafting, wax dries quickly so can be difficult to remove without further damaging the floor, 

While this tip sounds counter-productive, heading up hardened wax will make it easier to clean up using the steps below.

Step 1: Place a paper towel on top of the hardened wax.

Step 2: Using a warm iron, press down on top of the stain and paper towel.

Step 3: Gently press down until all of the wax has transferred onto the paper towel. 

6. Use baking soda to remove odors

Stains often don't just look unattractive, but they can also smell bad. When it comes to accidents like pet urine or food spills, your carpet can easily end up with a foul odor that makes a home environment unpleasant. 

Baking soda is a great way to combat this as it's an affordable cupboard staple that acts as a natural deodorizer. It's easy to sprinkle on a stain before vacuuming off, leaving fresh air in its path. 

7. Move furniture around

One way to get the most out of vacuuming is by moving furniture around. Not only will this enable you to get to every corner of a room, so that no dust is left lingering, but it will also mean that your carpet is less likely to be damaged. 

Large items such as sofas and dining tables have heavy legs that will permanently indent into the carpet over time, so moving them around every so often will help your floors look newer for longer. 

8. Adjust vacuum height

Depending on the type of vacuum cleaner you have, there will be a number of different height settings that offer a clever carpet cleaning hack. Setting your vacuum on a too low or high setting can actually prevent the appliance from working efficiently, so this is definitely something to make note of to make chores easier. 

For most models, the lowest setting is most commonly used for hard flooring or thin carpet while the middle setting offers a good general suction for carpets. For those with thick fluffy rugs or plush carpets, the highest setting will be best for eradicating dirt. 

9. Consider adding a carpet treatment

Sometimes the best cleaning tips are things that you can do to prevent actual time spent on chores. There are a variety of carpet treatments out there, from professionally applied to at-home methods, that will add an extra layer of protection to your floors. 

This is especially handy for households with pets and children, as it means stains are less likely to take hold and general maintenance will be much simpler. 

10. Pick the right vacuum

Bailey has also noted the importance of choosing the right vacuum cleaner for your floors and lifestyle. 

"Use a vacuum that works for you: It’s important that your vacuum meets the needs of your household. If you’re constantly cleaning pet hair, you might want to opt for a pet vacuum model. If you have stairs that need to be cleaned, look for a model with different attachments that can get into small crevices or a light cordless option that’s easier to carry around."

Discover more guides for the home…

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Holly is the Features Editor at Top Ten Reviews where she focuses on creating informative, how-to advice. She has a degree in English Literature and previously worked as a copywriter at Howdens, specializing in kitchens and trend-led interiors. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her exploring the best London bars and brunch spots, or planning the next budget-friendly city break. 

With contributions from