What's the Best Way to Clean Carpets?

Dirty carpets can be tough to clean. In addition, dirty carpets tend to cause serious health issues such as allergic reactions, respiratory infections, and other health problems. The name itself defines the odor that emanates from dirty carpets: it stinks! That foul smell is brought about by Campylobacter bacteria, which thrive on dirty carpets at the coldest times of the year.

What Lives in a Dirty Carpet?

Dust Mites

Dirty carpet edges and dirty carpet surfaces are breeding grounds for dust mites. These are tiny insects that thrive in dirty carpets, providing the perfect host for their eggs. That's why regular carpet cleaning is so important. If you find dust mites in your house, there may be an indoor air quality problem, as most homes have poor air quality due to poor ventilation.

Dust mites make themselves at home in dark, moist places, such as underneath heavy furniture, in mattresses, and the carpet. A dirty carpet can produce up to two pounds of dust mites every day.


A layer of dirt and bacteria found on a carpet also provide a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. These fungi produce methane gas, a chemical that makes it easy for the fungi to survive and spread.

Bacteria too can grow in dark, moist, and warm areas, such as underneath furniture, so keep these areas clean and look for signs of mold or mildew. Dirty carpet also provides a haven for fungi that produce acid, toxins, and waste products.

How Do You Clean a Dirty Carpet?

If you’re in the market for a carpet cleaner, you have probably asked yourself, "What’s the best way to clean carpet?" This is an excellent question and one that deserves some careful thought.

Carpets collect dust, hair, oils, and other residue over time, and if they aren't cleaned regularly, they can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. In addition, when the trapped dirt is not removed quickly and efficiently, it can compromise the health of your family and home occupants.

Methods Used in Carpet Cleaning

Deep Cleaning

One method used to remove dirt and carpet stains is called "deep cleaning." In this process, a carpet cleaner will use water and a powerful cleaning agent to penetrate deep into the carpet's fibers. The cleaning agent will break down the dirt and grime and expose the clean, hidden rug underneath.

This is the best way to keep the carpet clean because the deep cleaning agents break down the dirt and grime deep in the carpet's fibers and then vacuum away the debris, leaving behind a much easier residue to remove than the initial grime. In addition, deep cleaning reduces the need to re-carpet the entire floor with a new covering.

Steam Cleaning

Another method used to remove dirt and stubborn stains from a carpet is called steam cleaning. In steam cleaning, a carpet cleaner will apply warm water, plus the appropriate cleaning solution or chemical, to the carpet. Steam cleaners will then use a machine-washable, plush carpet cleaning machine to warm the water, steam it through the carpet, and then run over the wet carpet.

The carpet cleaner will then extract the water, clean the carpet, and vacuum the remaining dirt and residue. Although this process does not remove stains such as pet stains, it can be used to remove ground-in dirt and mildew that has built up over time and embedded dirt and grime that the vacuuming cannot reach.

Deep Cleaning vs. Steam Cleaning - Which One Should You Use for Your Carpet?

Most professional carpet cleaners perform both types of carpet cleaning and recommend the first method for your carpet. They’ll also point out that steam cleaning can be very effective even when only using a carpet cleaner and chemical solution.

If your carpet is heavily soiled or stained, you may be able to lift the dirt simply by wiping it with a towel. However, it would be best to let the damp carpet dry naturally before attempting to remove any stubborn stains.

What Should You Do When Your Carpet Has Been Heavily Soiled or Discolored?

When a deep clean or steam clean doesn’t work for you, you may want to purchase a carpet cleaner with stain-removing power. These cleaners are more expensive than other carpet cleaners, but they often last longer. Even if you choose a more expensive machine, make sure it is designed specifically to clean discolored or stained carpets and test it extensively before installing it in your home.

DIY Carpet Cleaning at Home

If you don't want to get your carpet professionally cleaned, one sure way to get rid of stains and clean dirty carpet is to sprinkle baking soda and white vinegar.

Vinegar is used in many kitchen and bathroom cleaners because it’s an excellent cleaner for soil, grease, and stains. Be careful, however, because too much vinegar is toxic. The best way to use vinegar is to dilute it with clean water or apply it directly to a stain. Do this with caution, especially if you have a respiratory infection or another health condition that a robust vinegar solution could aggravate.

Invest in Equipment

The best answer to the question, "What’s the best way to clean carpets?" may not always be evident to everyone, but when you know which type of cleaning is best for your carpet, you should feel confident that you have made the right choice.

Although this may be avoided by routine cleaning and frequent vacuuming from time to time, either at home or by an experienced professional, it’s normal to have dirty carpet. After all, your investment in steam cleaning machinery and equipment is a one-time purchase that will last for many years, so spending a little extra time choosing the best cleaning system is well worth it.

Equipment can be expensive, however, and many people may not have the training necessary to operate it properly. If you truly want a job well done, contact us at Naturally Green Cleaning. We can help make your carpets like new again.

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