How to deep clean carpet

When you have a new carpet, or are simply maintaining the one you already have, applying the right level of care is key. Cleaning regularly is important to keep away surface dirt and ensure your carpets remain in tip top condition. But just once in awhile you should be deep cleaning your carpets instead of just vacuuming them. In this guide, we will explore how to deep clean your carpet at home so you can keep your carpets looking their best.

Why Deep Clean Carpets?

You should be regularly vacuuming and cleaning your carpets and floors to prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, bacteria, and more. But sometimes vacuuming isn’t enough for carpets. However, to keep your carpets completely clean, deep cleaning carpets takes it a step further. That's because a deep clean washes the carpet fibres and gets rid of dirt and bacteria that is deep inside, alongside helping get rid of tough stains. Essentially deep cleaning your carpet is a big reset and helps to make your carpet last longer, giving it a second lease of life when it looks worn.

How Often Should I Deep Clean a Carpet?

How often you should deep clean a carpet all depends on how much traffic is in that room. At minimum twice a year with a weekly hoover is recommended. But if you have pets, kids that often traipse in mud, or have any smokers within the home, you should deep clean your carpet every three months.

How Hard Is It to Deep Clean Carpet?

Deep cleaning carpets, like any deep cleaning in the house, can take some time. On average it can take between 30 mins and a couple of hours, depending on the size of the carpet and the condition the carpet is in. Realistically speaking, deep cleaning a carpet is easy and you can deep clean a carpet by hand at home, without a machine, or with a carpet cleaner or steam cleaner. We’ll explore the different ways you can deep clean your carpet further on in this guide.

What You’ll Need to Deep Clean a Carpet

Before diving into ways to deep clean carpet, first let’s cover what you may need:

  • Vacuum
  • Spray bottle
  • Bucket
  • Cloth or towel
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Table salt
  • Spot cleaning solution or shaving cream
  • Commercial carpet cleaning powder/solution or carpet shampoo

What to Do Before Deep Cleaning Your Carpet

There are a few things you should do before you start your deep cleaning process, so let’s run through those quickly.


  1. Prepare the room for cleaning: First things first, clear the room entirely. Tidy away things off the ground including toys, books, or anything lying around. Make sure you move any furniture out of the way as well.
  2. Vacuum your carpet first: This does a quick routine clean before the deep clean to get out as much dust and dirt out as possible, so when you deep clean, you’ll get all the dirt you missed.
  3. Pretreat carpet stains: If you’ve got stains in your carpets, it’s best to pretreat them and get rid of it before you deep clean the whole carpet. You can use a carpet cleaning or stain remover solution. If you don’t have one, you can use shaving cream to spray on the stain. Wait 30 minutes and blot it away, then spray the spot with vinegar and wipe any residue.
  4. DIY carpet stain solution: You can also make your own spot cleaning solution to pretreat stains, just mix 1/4 cup of salt, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1⁄4 cup of vinegar. Then put the mixture onto the stained areas and when dried vacuum up.

How to Deep Clean Carpet by Hand

Sometimes you don’t want to rely on a cleaning machine or vacuum to do the work for you. To take the old school routine, and deep clean your carpet by hand, you'll want to consider a different approach. Here are some step-by-step instructions. And remember, this is especially great if you are deep cleaning just one area of a larger carpet.


  1. First start by mixing a 1/8 teaspoon of soap with water in a spray bottle.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda and table salt over the carpet or the area you wish to deep clean if not deep cleaning the whole carpet.
  3. Spray the mixture of soapy water over the carpet and let it sit for a few minutes to soak in.
  4. Get a stiff-bristled scrubbing brush and brush the carpet in one direction first, this will accumulate most of the dirt to pick up easily. Then you can move to scrub the carpet in opposite directions to get in every angle.
  5. Then press a towel into the carpet to soak up the water.
  6. After the area is damp or dry, spray the carpet with regular tap water and again press the towel or cloth into the carpet.


Although this method is best for if you are deep cleaning a small area of carpet, deep cleaning carpet by hand can be time consuming if you are cleaning your whole carpet. However, there is a better way to deep clean carpet at home without a carpet cleaner. Let’s explore that next.

How To Deep Clean A Carpet Using A Hoover

This option uses a hoover and a dry-cleaning solution and is often a little easier than the previous.


  1. First vacuum the carpet or entire area that you wish to clean to get rid of any dirt on the surface.
  2. Sprinkle a carpet cleaner powder or baking soda along the area.
  3. Mix dish soap in a bucket of warm water and swoosh around until you see bubbles.
  4. Using your preferred cleaning tool (brush, cloth, sponge, or towel) gently scrub areas of your carpet with the warm soapy water. You don’t have to soak the floor, just scrub enough water to get into the carpet fibres.
  5. Let the carpet air dry now, so open any windows or turn on any fans.
  6. Once the carpet is dry, vacuum again to get all the dirt that you scrubbed to the sur-face.

How To Deep Clean With Carpet Cleaner

Deep cleaning with a carpet cleaner is by far the easiest and best way to deep clean carpet. A carpet cleaner is a machine that looks like a vacuum but uses water and cleaning solution to do all the hard scrubbing work for you. If you have one, great, if not you can always rent a carpet cleaner or buy one. You can also buy carpet cleaner solution in a store or make your own. Let’s explore how to deep clean carpet with a machine.


  1. Fill your carpet cleaner with water and solution, or a great carpet shampoo. You can also make your own by mixing equal parts vinegar and water and add them to the carpet cleaner tank. You can add drops of essential oils if you don’t want your carpet smelling like vinegar.
  2. Make sure you read the carpet cleaner’s manufacturer’s instructions closely as every machine is different. But when you’re ready, plug in and turn on the machine.
  3. Use the carpet cleaning like a vacuum and start to clean areas of your carpet. Start cleaning as far away from the door as possible and slowly go across the room. You’ll want to start away from the door because you’ll end at the door without stepping on clean, wet carpet.
  4. After you’ve deep cleaned your carpet, it might still look dirty. If it does, let it dry for a few hours and give your carpet a second coat of cleaning.
  5. Letting your carpet air dry takes time, it can take several hours to a day to dry. To help it dry, open windows and doors if you can or turn circulating fans on. This helps to prevent mold developing in the carpet or room while it dries.
  6. The last thing you need to do is to dispose of the water in the carpet cleaner. If you used vinegar and water mix you can dispose of the water down drains. However, if you used chemi-cals such as carpet cleaner solution, don’t pour these down the drains, instead dispose of it safely.

Is Deep Cleaning the Same as Steam Cleaning?

No, steam cleaning a carpet does more than vacuuming, but isn’t as much of a deep clean than deep cleaning by hand, or with a machine. Steam cleaners can be used on sealed floors or on carpets to clean the surface or just below. Deep cleaning carpet by hand, however, gets deeper into the carpet fibres. Deep cleaning with a carpet cleaner is the best option are these are designed to get to the bottom of the carpet layers to remove dirt and bacteria that you can’t reach on your own.


How to Steam Clean Carpet


As stated before, a steam cleaner doesn’t get much deeper than the surface of the carpet, but it is better than simply vacuuming. You can also steam clean carpets in between deep cleaning sessions. Here's how:

  1. Make sure to follow the specific steam cleaner instructions as all cleaners are different.
  2. You can put water and cleaning solution in the steam cleaner, or just mix vinegar and water.
  3. To get rid of the vinegar smell you can add drops of essential oils.
  4. Start away from the door and walk the steam cleaner along the carpet.
  5. Allow the carpet to dry for a few hours.

Deep Clean Carpet Services

Although you can deep clean carpets at home on your own, you may have expensive carpets and don’t want to risk doing the wrong thing. Or perhaps you’ve tried deep cleaning carpets yourself and there is dirt that just won’t shift. If this is the case, there are various professionals that offer carpet cleaning services which can help. Simply google a local professional in your area and check their reviews before booking.

If you’ve got old carpets, or just one that is too stubborn to get clean no matter what you do, maybe it is time to get a new carpet. If you’re looking for a new carpet, we offer free carpet samples to help you decide the best one for you.

When you’ve found the perfect new carpet, we also offer an uplift and disposal service and a fitting arrangement service so all the hard work is done for you.

For more carpet cleaning and care advice to maintain and make sure your carpet lasts, take a look at all our carpet care guides or get in touch with one of our team.