We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Keep a Carpet Clean?

By Deborah Ng
Updated Jan 30, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Carpets are a source of contention for many homeowners. On the one hand, they feel soft and warm to bare feet, but on the other, they're just one more thing requiring maintenance and upkeep. Most home owners vacuum their carpets once or twice a month, bringing in a professional once or twice a year for cleaning. This isn't always enough, however. If you're interested in keeping your carpet looking fresh and clean, there are a few simple basic upkeep tips that will ensure its longevity.

  • Don't wear shoes on the carpet. The last thing you want to do is track in outside dirt. Leave dirty shoes at the door. If this isn't an option, utilize a heavy duty door mat and make sure feet are thoroughly wiped before entering the home.
  • To keep dirt from building up and your carpet from looking dingy, vacuum as regularly as possible -- once a week should be fine. You may also want to try a robotic vacuum cleaner for the added convenience.
  • If something spills, spot clean it immediately. The longer you leave a stain, the better its chance of becoming a permanent addition to your room.
  • Never rub frenetically at a stain because this will only cause it to spread. It will also weaken the fiber helping it to wear out quicker.
  • Use a mild soap such as dish detergent or shampoo to spot clean, rather than something chemical. Club soda and vinegar also work wonders.
  • If a stain reappears, you're a victim of wicking. Wicking is what happens when liquid pools at the bottom of the carpet. You may have believed you cleaned that stain, but in reality, you've only cleaned the surface and soon the liquid will make its way up to through the fibers to pay you another visit. To prevent this, cover the stain with a thick towel and weigh down with something heavy. Leave twenty-four hours, or at least overnight, and then clean as usual.
  • Never use heat such as a hair dryer or iron to dry a stain. This will just seal the stain into your carpet.
  • Every six months or so, give your carpets a good steam cleaning. This will help it to look fresh and remove anything ground in. No need to call professional, steam cleaners can be rented at just about any supermarket.
  • If you'll be employing the use of a chemical spot cleaner, test in a hidden area such as in a closet or under furniture, first.
  • To keep your carpet smelling fresh, sprinkle baking soda or carpet freshener on your rug every two weeks before you vacuum. This will prevent smells such as those coming from cigarettes, food or even body odor from permeating into your carpet.

This may seem like a lot of work, but in reality keeping your carpet clean doesn't entail much heavy labor at all. As long as you frequently run a vacuum and spot clean as necessary, your carpet should last for a very long time.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon950097 — On May 08, 2014

Does wearing shoes on carpet break down the fibers quicker?

By anon926460 — On Jan 19, 2014

Absolutely no shoes on the carpet. If it is a light carpet, then have your family wear slippers. For guests, keep slippers for them or ask them in advance to bring their own. Oils from bare feet can damage your carpet and eventually mark them.

By maxiealioto — On Jul 05, 2012

Remove shoes. This is a sure method to make carpet last longer. If you have a nice home with nice carpet, people generally aren't offended by this rule.

By anon246216 — On Feb 08, 2012

Steam cleaning your carpet can actually decrease the life-span of the back of the carpet.

By anon204014 — On Aug 07, 2011

Professional steam cleaning "resets" the pile on a crushed carpet. It uses less water and soap than a carpet shampooer that you might buy in Sears.

Soap and soap residue do attract dirt. That's why we use them to wash. But, when they're left over, they'll make the carpet look dingy faster.

By anon19773 — On Oct 19, 2008

Why do you recommend steam cleaning carpets when the water seeps through the carpet and into the padding ruining both. Isn't dry cleaning the best way?

By anon2043 — On Jun 25, 2007

I have always heard don't use heat or soap on carpet and the heat breaks down the fibers and the soap is sticky and tends for carpet to look dirty faster because the dust and dirt stick to it. Is this true? I have 9 year old white builder grade carpet, raised two kids a dog, two cats, don't ever wear shoes, but have only used cold water to clean up spots and cold water in my carpet cleaner. It looks brand new.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.