Smart & Simple Homekeeping: Tips for Keeping Carpets Clean

updated May 5, 2019
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That pristine wool carpet you just installed looks great. Keep it looking that way for years with these straightforward, easy tips.

  1. Vacuum regularly. Loop carpets like Berbers are more delicate and should be vacuumed only with suction. Pile carpets, like Saxony pile and textured pile, can withstand heavier cleaning and should be cleaned with a beater bar. Natural wool has a wax coating that keeps dirt on the surface, making it easy to keep clean by vacuuming.

  2. Stain treat immediately. Always blot spills — rubbing can wear at the fabric and set the stain. Use white paper towels or a neutral-colored towel, so that you don’t compound the problem by transferring dye. Also, remember to continue blotting the area until it’s almost dry and then vacuum it. Water left in the carpet can lead to mold and bacteria problems.

  3. Try a specific stain-removal method. We like club soda for coffee stains and red wine; salt for mud, and wine; cornstarch for grease; the iron and transfer method for candle wax; and Nature’s Miracle for pet stains. If necessary, try a small bit of dishwashing soap mixed in with water, but beware — soap can be extremely hard to remove from carpet and can lead to dark spots. If you need more in-depth spot-treatment ideas, check out this great stain removal chart from A Typical English Home.

  4. Try a DIY green cleaner, especially for truly bad spills. We like this Magical Carpet Cleaner from Lizzy Writes — she used it to get up spilled salad dressing.

  5. Make your own deodorizer. If you like to deodorize your carpets, avoid chemical-laden options and make your own with baking soda and a few drops of essential oil. If you need a starting point, try this recipe from the Organic Authority.

  6. Call the professionals. I have a green cleaning company clean my carpets twice a year and I can’t believe what they get up, even with my maintenance. It’s best to avoid companies that clean with chemicals like perc — it’s not good for you or your carpets. If your carpet is tricky to clean, you may also want to call a cleaner the minute a bad spill occurs.
(Images: Apartment Therapy/Dominic’s Vintage Gold Coast Gem)