3 Ways to Remove Dirt from Carpet

A man cleans dirty carpet in a room.
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • $20-70
What You'll Need
Spray bottle
Baking soda
White wine vinegar
Warm water
Mild detergent
Carpet cleaning products
Sponge, washcloth, scrub brush, or paper towel

If any carpets in your home have recently fallen victim to any manner of filth, you may be curious how to remove dirt from carpet. Fortunately, there are a number of simple and effective ways to make your carpet dirt-free in no time.

1. Use a Commercial Carpet Cleaner

spray bottle and sponge to clean a carpet

Commercial carpet cleaning products, such as Resolve and Woolite, can often prove very effective at removing dirt from carpet. To utilize these products for carpet cleaning purposes, simply spray them onto the carpeted area you wish to clean, paying special attention to the dirtiest spots, then allow them to set in for the amount of time specified on the packaging so that they can penetrate and break down stains and dirt deposits. Then, after allowing your cleaner to sit, use a sponge, washcloth, scrub brush, or paper towel to wipe your carpet clean. If any dirt remains, continue to repeat this process until the carpeted area is completely free of dirt.

Once the carpet has been successfully cleaned, use a spray bottle filled with warm water to rinse away any remaining traces of your carpet cleaner. Given the high chemical content in many commercial cleaning products, make a point of being as thorough as possible when performing the final rinsing. Also, never combine commercial cleaners, as the results can produce hazardous fumes and chemical reactions.

2. Use a Vinegar-based Carpet Cleaner

If you're bothered by the potent chemicals found in most over-the-counter cleaners or simply don't feel like paying top dollar for commercial products, you'll be pleased to learn that you can easily produce your own homemade carpet cleaner. To do this, take an empty spray bottle and create a mixture of ¼ cup baking soda, ¼ cup white wine vinegar, and ½ cup warm water. After adding your ingredients, close the bottle and gently shake it until your cleaning solution forms. Then, in much the same fashion as a commercial carpet cleaner, spray this newly formed solution onto your dirty carpet, taking care to apply a little extra to any stained or noticeably filthy areas. Once the solution has been applied, give it 3 to 5 minutes to penetrate the dirt on your carpet. Due to its acidic nature, vinegar is very good at breaking up stains. Next, use a sponge, washcloth, paper towel, or scrub brush to give the carpeted area a vigorous scrubbing, thus removing all the dirt from your carpet in the process. Follow up with a warm water rinsing.

3. Use a Homemade Soap and Water Carpet Cleaner

dishsoap and sponge

If the dirt on your carpet doesn't seem to have set in, it can be effectively removed with an easy-to-make soap and water cleaning solution. To produce this solution, just combine a mild liquid soap and warm water in an empty spray bottle, then seal the bottle and shake it until the solution begins to sud. Dish-washing liquid typically works best for this solution, but hand soap is generally okay, too. Apply this solution in the exact same fashion as the previously discussed cleaners, then proceed to remove the dirt from your carpet with a sponge, washcloth, scrub brush, or paper towel. Rinse the solution with warm water once the dirt has been purged.