Interior Design

How to deep clean a carpet – an expert guide for a spotless finish

This is how to deep clean a carpet the right way – according to the experts

How to deep clean a carpet
(Image credit: fibre)

Wondering how to deep clean a carpet? It's a question that many carpet owners ask themselves at some point in their life – whether you're tackling a morning coffee spill, a muddy footprint, or an inevitable red wine stain. A spotless carpet holds the secret to a tidy home, but what do you need to know for the perfect clean? 

From living room carpet ideas to your entryway and bedroom – these experts know how to deep clean a carpet the right way. 

How to deep clean a carpet – according to the experts

Bedroom carpet ideas with grey wool carpet, duck egg blue upholstered bed, beamed ceiling and red and yellow bedding

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

If you're experimenting with new carpet trends or hoping to revive an old favorite, the method remains the same. These are the four steps to the perfect deep clean. Bear in mind that if you need to get paint out of carpet, the steps will be different and you will be best consulting our separate guide.

1.  Prepare your carpet for cleaning 

Brintons carpet

(Image credit: Brintons)

According to Julian Downes, a flooring specialist at fibre, it is important to pre-treat all your carpets to make the process easier – and enhance the clean. He recommends investing in a professional stain inhibition treatment that will repel all dirt, including oil-based spills. 

'Antic static agents in these cleaners prevent the attraction of dry soils, ensuring quick everyday cleaning,' he says. 

However, the preparation process doesn't end there. Roman Peysakhovich, a professional cleaner and CEO of Onedesk cleaning company, also recommends vacuuming your carpet to remove any loose soil, dirt, dust, and debris. Investing in one of these best vacuums will prevent you from pushing your soil deeper into your carpet's fibers.

2. Create your cleaning solution  

Carpet trend with patterned tile carpet

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Perhaps the most important step in understanding how to deep clean a carpet is creating the right cleaning liquid. Roman suggests mixing one part of distilled white vinegar and three parts of cold water in a spray bottle to create the perfect solution. 'You'll need to refill the bottle a few times if cleaning a wall-to-wall carpet,' he adds. 

3. Apply, wait and blot

Carpet trend striped rug

(Image credit: Future)

The expert explains that you should spray the vinegar solution onto the carpet until it's very damp – then allow the solution to remain on the carpet for approximately five minutes (so it can break down the soil). Roman then suggests using a microfiber cloth (such as these from Amazon) to blot away the solution and the soil.  

4. Allow the carpet to air-dry

How to deep clean a carpet

(Image credit: fibre)

Lastly, it is essential to allow your carpet to dry entirely before re-exposing it to everyday wear and tear. This is especially the case for wool carpets, whose tiny air pockets make it harder for them to dry. Both Roman and Julian emphasize the importance of ventilating the area thoroughly – to speed up the drying process. 

'Increase the airflow in the room by adding oscillating fans or opening doors and windows. Don't allow any foot traffic on the carpet until it's completely dry,' Julian says. 

Whether you're refreshing your bedroom carpet ideas or taking your living room or dining room to the next level, these tips will ensure your carpet comes up spotless. 

How to maintain neutral carpets in between deep cleans

How to deep clean a carpet

(Image credit: fibre)

If you're specifically caring for neutral carpets, Jodie Hatton, Residential Design Manager at Brintons, recommends vacuuming regularly and effectively treating spillages as they occur. This will ensure your interiors look tidy in between deep cleans, especially when it comes to the dangerous paler colors. 

'Use a vacuum with good suction, and for cut pile carpets, a vacuum with a brush & beater bar to help lift the pile and remove particulate dirt,' she says. 'A wet suction vacuum cleaner will help pull out spillages and stains.' 

Knowing how to deep clean a carpet will elevate your decorating ideas and keep your home looking pristine. We're starting now.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.