11 Carpet Cleaning Hacks All Homeowners Should Know

Why spend money for a professional carpet cleaner when you have these handy carpet cleaning hacks?

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High Traffic

In living areas that see a lot of foot traffic, over time even the highest quality carpet will get stained and worn out. To keep carpet in high-traffic area looking its best, dilute vinegar in a spray bottle with equal parts water, then spray on the carpet. Allow the mist to fully absorb, then use a stiff spoon and run it sideways along the carpet to loosen up fibers. The carpets will have noticeable lift!

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Family Handyman

Use a Putty Knife for Solids

Using a paper towel or rag to scoop up solids can also force the stain deeper into the carpet. Your best bet is to use a putty knife and dustpan to scrape it up. Sink the edge of the putty knife into the carpet at the edge of the mess, then push it forward to move the solid waste up and into the dustpan.

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Don’t Stomp on Paper Towels

By stomping on liquids that have made their way into your carpet like pet urine and vomit, you actually cause the mess to penetrate deeper into the padding and then into the subfloor. When an accident happens, your best bet is to run for your handheld carpet extractor to pull up as much of the liquid as possible, as quickly as possible. Follow these cleaning tips for long-lasting carpet.

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Linty Shag

When it comes to cleaning hacks for shag carpet, less is more. Be kind to your shag. In-between vacuuming, try a few passes with a lint roller to keep things fresh and tidy. A carpet rake will also get the job done. Here’s how to clean area rugs yourself.

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Deodorize with Borax, Essential Oils and Baking Soda

An essential part of carpet cleaning is deodorizing, especially when you have children and/or pets! Mix one to two tablespoons of borax (also known as sodium borate, an alkaline mineral salt with a powdery white appearance better known as a laundry washing powder) with 10 drops of essential oil and two cups of baking soda. Spread the mixture on the carpet, allow it to dry and then vacuum it up. Make sure you disinfect your carpet once you’ve cleaned it.

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HH ice remove gum stuck in carpet
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How to Clean Chewing Gum off Carpet

Chewing gum is one of the most dreaded things to get stuck places — beneath your kitchen table, in your kid’s hair, and yes, on your carpet. To remove gum from carpet, place ice on the gum for five to 10 minutes. It will harden and loosen the gum’s grip on the fibers, allowing you to scrape it off. Here are the 10 best ways to get gum out of things.

Check out the best carpet cleaner solutions for maintaining a fresh carpet.

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Kryuchka Yaroslav/Shutterstock

How to Clean Carpet Oil Stains

Oil stains can be challenging to get out of carpet because they spread and stick to the fibers. The best way to extract oil is to spread a thick coat of baking soda across the area where the stain can be seen and leave it there until the sides form a dry crust. Then vacuum up the residue. The stain will hopefully be much lighter or gone altogether. You may have to repeat this process to get the oil stain completely out of the carpet. Here’s how to remove oil stains from concrete.

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How to Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet

If you haven’t learned your lesson about doing your nails on or near carpet, we’ve got you covered with this carpet cleaning hack. Chip off as much of the dried polish as possible using a butter knife, then dab what’s left with rubbing alcohol and a white cloth until the stain is absorbed. Avoid nail polish remover because it could strip color from your carpet. Here’s how to remove stains from plastic laminate countertops.

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Pet Stain Removers

People rave about these two pet stain removers: Krud Cutter and Nature’s Miracle. Both products claim to remove just about any stain that’s set into your carpet using microorganisms (Krud Cutter) or enzymes (Nature’s Miracle). They work for odors, too. Here are 20 common household cleaning products you should never mix.

Buy Krud Cutter now on Amazon.

Buy Nature’s Miracle now on Amazon.

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How to Get Wax off of Carpet

When wax melts into carpet, wait for it to harden. Scrape the hardened wax loose with a butter knife and vacuum up the chunks. Next, dampen a white cotton towel, fold it in half and place it over the wax. Press an iron set on high over the towel for 10 seconds to draw out any remaining wax. Finally, use a spray cleaner on the stain and scrub it into the carpet with a spoon. Dab it dry with a clean white towel. Here’s a more in-depth look on how to get wax out of carpet.

Here’s how to use car wax in your kitchen!

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What to do With Wine, Coffee and Tomato Sauce Spills

Especially after a party, you may have to deal with spills on your carpet. Start by pushing the hose of a wet/dry vacuum directly onto the carpet fibers and leave it in place for several seconds. Then apply a cleaning solution.

You can make your own by mixing 1/4 teaspoon dish soap (clear is best) with one cup water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it to the soiled area. Allow the solution to soak in for a few minutes, then fold a clean white cloth into a small square and dab the carpet, starting at the outside edge. Finally, dab or spray clean water onto the area until the stain has disappeared.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com