How to Deep Clean Carpets: An Expert Guide

Read time: 8 mins

Deep cleaning your carpets is essential for maintaining their appearance and for improving the overall hygiene of your home. Regular vacuuming is important, but it’s not enough to remove all the embedded dirt, allergens, and bacteria that accumulate over time. 

Deep cleaning your carpets every six months can make a significant difference and help extend the life of your carpets for a healthier living environment.

Carpets can harbor a lot of hidden dirt and allergens, especially if you have pets or wear shoes indoors. This guide will walk you through the process of deep cleaning your carpets thoroughly and effectively. 

We’ll cover everything from the tools and materials you’ll need to detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to get your carpets looking and feeling fresh and clean.

What You’ll Need

Before you start, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Vacuum Cleaner with Strong Suction: A vacuum with a HEPA filter for removing dust and allergens.
  • Spot Cleaning Tools: A brush, clean cloths, and a good spotting solution are essential for tackling stains.
  • Steam Cleaner: If you don’t own one, you can rent a model like the BISSELL TurboClean or Dupray Neat.
  • Cleaning Solutions: White vinegar or a commercial carpet cleaning solution.
  • Optional Items: Baking soda and essential oils can be used to add a fresh scent.

Step 1: Preparation

Choose the Right Day

Pick a dry, non-humid day for deep cleaning. This will help the carpets dry faster and prevent mold and mildew from developing.

Clear the Area

Move all furniture out of the room to ensure you can clean the entire carpet surface. If moving furniture is not feasible, place aluminum foil or plastic under the legs to prevent staining.

Inspect the Carpet

Look for any stains or particularly dirty areas that might need extra attention. Plan to tackle these spots first.

Step 2: Vacuum Thoroughly

A thorough vacuuming is the first step in deep cleaning your carpet. It removes loose dirt and debris, making the deep cleaning process more effective.

How to Vacuum Properly:

  • Use a HEPA Filter: This type of filter is more effective at trapping small particles like dust mites and allergens.
  • Vacuum Slowly: Take your time and vacuum each section slowly. This allows the vacuum to pick up more dirt.
  • Multiple Directions: Vacuum the carpet from multiple directions to ensure that you’re picking up as much dirt as possible. Aim to vacuum each section from at least four different angles.

Step 3: Spot Cleaning

First, examine your carpet for any stains, which commonly include food and drink spills, pet accidents, and mud. After identifying the stains, choose a spot cleaner that is appropriate for the specific type of stain. COIT’s Spot Removal Guide can assist you in selecting the right product.

Spot Cleaning Methods:

Food and Drink Stains

For most food and drink stains, a mixture of water and white vinegar can be effective. Apply the solution to the stain and blot with a clean cloth. If the stain persists, use a commercial carpet cleaner designed for food and drink spills.

Pet Stains

Use an enzyme-based cleaner to break down the proteins in pet stains and eliminate odors. First, blot up as much of the mess as possible with a clean cloth. Then, apply the enzyme cleaner and let it sit for the recommended amount of time before blotting it up with a clean cloth. Repeat if necessary.

Mud and Dirt

Let the mud dry completely, then vacuum up the loose dirt. For any remaining stain, mix a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Apply the soapy water to the stain and blot with a clean cloth until the dirt is lifted. Rinse with clean water and blot dry.

Oil and Grease Stains

Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain to absorb the oil. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. Apply a small amount of dish soap directly to the stain, gently scrub with a soft brush, and blot with a clean cloth. Rinse with water and blot dry.

Ink Stains

Dab a cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol on the ink stain. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the ink. Blot until the stain is removed, then rinse with water and blot dry.

Wine Stains

Blot up as much of the wine as possible. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, apply to the stain, and blot with a clean cloth. For stubborn stains, a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap can be effective. Apply, let sit for a few minutes, then blot and rinse.

Blood Stains

Use cold water to prevent the blood from setting into the carpet fibers. Dab the stain with a cloth soaked in cold water, then apply a mixture of cold water and dish soap. Blot until the stain is removed, rinse with cold water, and blot dry.

Step 4: Drying

Proper drying is crucial to prevent mold and mildew from developing in your carpet. 

Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate, which helps speed up the drying process. Place oscillating fans around the room to increase airflow, and if available, use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. Keep everyone off the carpet until it’s completely dry, as walking on damp carpet can push dirt back into the fibers and slow down drying. 

After a few hours, check the carpet for damp spots and focus fans on those areas until they dry completely.

Step 5: Post-Cleaning Care

  1. Once the carpet is dry, move furniture back into the room. Use protective pads under the legs of furniture to prevent staining or damage.
  2. Walk around the room and inspect the carpet for any missed spots or areas that need additional cleaning. Spot clean as necessary.
  3. If desired, use a carpet rake to lift the fibers and restore the carpet’s texture. This can help it look fresh and new.

Maintaining Your Carpet

Consistent care is essential to keep your carpets clean and extend their lifespan. Here’s how you can maintain your carpet once it’s been deep cleaned:

Regular Vacuuming

To keep your carpets looking their best between deep cleans, vacuum regularly. Aim to vacuum at least once a week, more often in high-traffic areas or if you have pets.

Spot Cleaning Spills Immediately

Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s important to clean spills right away to prevent stains. Blot (don’t rub) spills with a clean cloth and use a suitable spot cleaner as soon as possible.

Use Doormats

Placing doormats at all entrances can help reduce the amount of dirt and debris tracked onto your carpets. Encourage family members and guests to wipe their feet and remove their shoes upon entering.

Professional Cleaning

Even with regular maintenance, professional carpet cleaning once a year can help remove deeply embedded dirt and extend the life of your carpets. 

Professional cleaners have access to powerful equipment and cleaning solutions that can achieve a deeper clean than home methods. COIT offers expert carpet cleaning services that utilize advanced techniques and eco-friendly products to ensure your carpets are thoroughly cleaned and safe for your family. 

Trusting COIT's experienced technicians can give you peace of mind and exceptional results.

Contact COIT for a professional cleaning!


How often should I deep clean my carpets?

You should aim to deep clean your carpets every six months. If you have pets, children, or high-traffic areas, you might need to deep clean more frequently.

What if I don’t have a steam cleaner?

If you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can rent one from a local hardware store. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar for a less thorough but still effective cleaning.

Can I use homemade cleaning solutions?

Yes, a mixture of vinegar and water is a popular and effective homemade cleaning solution. It’s also safe for pets and children.

What’s the best way to dry my carpets quickly?

To dry carpets quickly, open windows and use fans or a dehumidifier. Avoid walking on the carpet until it’s completely dry.

How do I deal with particularly tough stains?

For tough stains, such as red wine or coffee, use a commercial spot cleaner or a homemade solution of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. Apply the solution to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot with a clean cloth.

Expert Tips

Professional Advice from COIT: Regular maintenance and immediate spot cleaning can seriously prolong the life of your carpets. 

Investing in high-quality cleaning products and tools will make a big difference, too.

Our Product Recommendations:

  • Vacuum Cleaners: Consider models like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away or Dyson Ball Animal for strong suction and HEPA filters.
  • Steam Cleaners: The BISSELL Big Green or Dupray Neat are highly rated for their effectiveness and ease of use.
  • Spot Cleaners: COIT’s Spot Removal Guide offers great solutions for various types of stains.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Vacuum Regularly: Aim for at least once a week, more if you have pets or high-traffic areas.
  • Treat Stains Immediately: The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to remove.
  • Protect Your Carpet: Use area rugs and runners in high-traffic areas to reduce wear and tear on your carpets.


Deep cleaning your carpets is essential for a healthy home environment. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively remove dirt, stains, and allergens from your carpets, leaving them looking and feeling fresh. 


If you have any questions or concerns, COIT is here to help. Our expert team is ready to assist you with professional cleaning services and advice to keep your carpets in top condition. Happy cleaning!


Contact COIT for a professional cleaning!

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