Keep your carpet clean with these expert tips

Few things beat the plush feel of carpet under foot. Whether yours is brand new or has been part of your home for years, these expert cleaning tips can help ensure it’ll last for many more.

Keep your carpet clean with these expert tips

Vacuum — whether it needs it or not!

A good vacuum will remove 85 per cent of the dirt in a carpet, so frequent vacuuming, perhaps weekly depending on traffic, is the best way to make your carpet last.

Choose the right vacuum

  • An upright model designed for carpeting is your best bet, though a motorized attachment for a canister-type vacuum is almost as good.
  • The latter has the advantage of being able to reach farther under furniture. Both types have a rotary brush, designed to loosen the dirt in carpet.

Change the bags often

  • As the bag fills up, the vacuum's suction power is reduced. Change them when they're about half full.

Don’t vacuum antique Oriental rugs

The strong suction and rotary brush on your vacuum will shorten the life of valuable Oriental rugs.

  • Instead of vacuuming, send them out to be professionally cleaned.
  • Make sure to ask your cleaner if they have experience with Oriental rugs.

Steam-clean to give your carpet a new life

Even with regular vacuuming, dirt eventually works its way deep into the pile where the vacuum can't reach.

  • To really renew your carpet, steam-clean it every six to 18 months.
  • You can rent a steam cleaner and do the job done yourself, but for the best results, hire a professional carpet-cleaning company.

The pros will swoop in with a big truck, get the job done, and get out of your way.

  • The big truck contains a heating unit, which keeps the water very hot throughout the cleaning process, and a very powerful vacuum, which will suck up all the water that the cleaner puts down.

Remove carpet stains like a pro

Modern carpeting is designed to resist stains, so you can usually remove them if you use the right method. Find the culprit on the list below and follow the steps to successfully clean it up. Remember, the sooner you get to a stain, the easier it will be to remove.

Animal urine

  • Immediately blot up excess with paper towels.
  • Soak the spot with club soda.
  • Blot again.
  • Scrub with diluted carpet shampoo.


  • If fresh, blot up with cold water.
  • If dried, cover with equal parts cold water and meat tenderizer.
  • Let set for 30 minutes.
  • Sponge off with cold water.

Chewing gum

  • Freeze with ice cubes in a plastic bag.
  • Scrape off with a butter knife.
  • Blot with trichloroethylene (dry-cleaning fluid), available at drugstores and hardware stores.

Coffee, beer, milk

  • Blot up excess with paper towels.
  • Scrub with diluted carpet shampoo.
  • Cover with paper towels and weigh down for two to three hours.

Fruit juices, soft drinks

  • Blot up excess.
  • Sponge with a solution of 5 g (1 tsp) of powdered laundry detergent and5 ml (1 tsp) of white vinegar dissolved in 1 L (1 qt) of warm water.

Grease, oil, lipstick, butter

  • Blot up excess with paper towels.
  • Sponge with dry-cleaning fluid, working from edges to centre.

Shoe polish, ink, dry paint

  • Dab with paint remover.
  • If that fails, use dry-cleaning fluid.


  • Scrape off as much as possible.
  • Place a brown paper bag over the area and run a warm iron over it.
  • The bag will act as a blotter and absorb the wax.

Regular vacuuming and steam-cleaning combined with the know-how to remove stains will ensure you enjoy your carpet for years to come.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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