11 of the Most Useful Tips for DIY Carpet Cleaning

11 of the Most Useful Tips for DIY Carpet Cleaning

Murphy’s Law states that in any given situation, whatever can go wrong most certainly will go wrong.  There is perhaps no better real-life example of this law than our household carpets and the various stains that litter them at one point or another.

But fret not, because just as there are carpet stains, there exist a plethora of means to combat or otherwise erase them.  Unfortunately, not every trick is going to work, so we’ve taken the liberty of putting together 20 of the most useful carpet cleaning tips we could find.

Why DIY a carpet cleaning job?

Why DIY a carpet cleaning job

Now, you may be thinking: “Why would I clean my own carpet when I could just pay a pro to do a bang-up job?”  

For the most part, you’d be right to consider a professional cleaner, but unless you’re having your entire carpet cleaned, the service may not fully be worth it.

Since professional cleaners charge a flat rate, you won’t be able to have them clean only specific parts of your carpet.  Because of this, you’ll end up paying for a full-service cleaning regardless of whether or not your entire carpet is dirty.

Beyond costs, carpet cleaners may also take longer to finish cleaning your carpet.  This can be a real problem if you’re pressed for time or unable to stick around to supervise the carpet cleaning process.

Last but not least, there’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with putting in some elbow grease and successfully removing a pesky stain on your carpet.  While this may be overrated for some, it’s always useful to have some good ol’ household tricks up your sleeve.

If you’re ready to try your hand at some stain-busting techniques, it’s time to dive into our DIY carpet cleaning tips.

Tips for Carpet Cleaning Success

Tips for Carpet Cleaning Success

Lint rollers are a vacuum’s best friend

Vacuums work considerably well when you’re taking care of crumbs, loose dirt, and small debris.  Unfortunately, when it comes to carpets with deep piles, vacuums don’t always have the power to get the job done.

For stubborn particulates, it’s best to keep a lint roller handy since the adhesive pads are far better suited to picking up small pieces of dirt and rubbish.  It may take a bit more effort, but you can be sure that your lint roller will clean what your vacuum cannot.

Pet hair removal is a breeze with a squeegee

At first glance, you’d think that a lint roller would also be the answer to the locks of pet hair decorating your furniture.  Sadly, even the lint roller is no match for these mammalian fibers which cling to your couch and padded seats like velcro.

Instead of reaching for the nearest lint roller, find a window squeegee instead.  Though they are normally intended for window panes, the rubber coating on most squeegees also allows them to pick up swathes of pet fur with relative ease.

Iron stubborn stains for easier removal

If after vacuuming, treating, and blotting, you still can’t seem to remove a stain, we’d suggest placing a towel atop the affected area and applying a heated iron.  The theory behind this technique is that the pressure and heat will cause a reaction with the stain.

During this reaction, the stain will transfer from your carpet to the warmed towel, thereby lifting the stain off and making your carpet good as new!

Rubbing carpet stains Is a DIY don’t

While it may seem like a no-brainer to vigorously rub a stain until it disappears, this can actually be counterintuitive to your cleaning efforts.  Rubbing a stain on your carpet will often cause the stain to either spread further or penetrate deeper into your carpet.

To avoid this mishap, we’d recommend blotting stains as this will saturate the stain with liquid, which is then absorbed by your cloth or sponge.  Though it may not completely remove your stain, you can rest easy knowing that it won’t spread or stain even more.

Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, & dish soap, a match made in stain-removing heaven

The combination of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, dish soap, essential oils, and fabric softener leads to a fragrant concoction that works wonders on stains.  Due to their specific properties, these everyday items work well to penetrate carpets and lift stains.

Baking soda is great for pet stains

Any pet homeowner knows that animal urine can be extremely troublesome to deal with if not handled properly.  To avoid leaving permanent stains on your carpet, we suggest adding a liberal dash of baking soda to lift the urine and make blotting easier.

Rubbing alcohol Is a quick remedy for nail polish

While it may come as second nature to remove spilled nail polish immediately, the better course of action is to wait until it dries and then chip away at the dried stain with a butter knife.  When you’ve taken off as much as possible, grab the nearest bottle of alcohol and blot away.

Shaving cream is the bane of dirt stains

Dirt patches on a white carpet can be clear as day, but with a few dollops of shaving cream you can at the very least reduce the visible appearance of dirt stains.  In addition, the introduction of shaving cream to your carpet helps make it feel extremely soft and fluffy

Baking soda also works as a deodorizer

Aside from dealing with pet stains, baking soda also makes for an excellent homemade deodorizer.  All you need to do is mix it with some essential oils, and sprinkle it over your desired areas.

After 5 to 10 minutes, simply vacuum up the baking soda and marvel at the fresh-smelling carpet before you.

Ice cubes work great for fluffing carpets

Heavy furniture can leave serious impressions on your carpet if left immobile for extended periods of time.  To fix these impressions, simply grab an ice cube and apply it directly to the impression.

The cold temperature and moisture will help introduce fluff to your once flat carpets.  Once you’re satisfied with the volume of your carpet, simply introduce a light breeze and allow the moistened area to dry.

Ice also makes short work of gum and adhesives

In the case of gum and sticker residue, grab another handful of ice cubes and place them in an air-tight Ziploc bag.  Place the bag of ice directly over the gum or adhesive and wait for a few minutes.

After some time has elapsed, you can lift up the bag and chip off the frozen gum/adhesive by hand.


Of course, not every stain is going to give up without a fight, and in some cases, it may not give up at all.  But there’s no need to be disheartened because there is still one ace in the hole available to you.

If all else fails and you simply cannot remove a stain, it’s finally time to call in a cleaner.  There’s no shame in seeking some professional help, especially if you’ve exhausted every possible cleaning alternative.

To make things easier, we’ve gathered a reliable list of cleaners in Wellington, Tauranga, Hamilton, Christchurch, and Auckland.  If you find your carpet needing more than just a cleaning, we’ve also reviewed great carpet repair services in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

That wraps up our collection of handy DIY carpet cleaning tips.  Should you ever find yourself tackling a pesky carpet stain, we certainly hope this guide will be of use to you.