DIY Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

person steam cleaning carpet

Carpet and upholstery cleaning has many benefits such as extending the life of your carpet and furniture and keeping your family healthy by getting rid of all the allergens. Cleaning your carpets and upholstery does not have to be a dreaded task or a break the bank kind of deal. You can hire a professional and pay 100’s of dollars to get your carpets and upholstery cleaned or you can do it yourself.

Carpet and Upholstery Machines

  1. Home Portable Machine - Ranges from $100-$300.

The advantage of this kind of machine is it is yours to keep and it is conveniently available when you need it.

  1. Rent Steam Carpet Cleaner - Ranges from $40-$100.

The advantage of this kind of machine is it is normally a hot water clean that reduces allergens and is cheaper than buying one. You also don’t have to worry about where you will store it.

Cleaning Products

  • New Green Products

These are great for those who are looking for environmentally friendly products.

  • Pet Odor Products

These are great for those who have pets and odors as they are specifically-formulated to tackle that task.

  • High Traffic Products

This product is great for heavily soiled carpets.

  • Homemade Products

This is a matter of mixing a liquid soap (castile soap, dish soap, or laundry soap all will work) and vinegar. Use one tablespoon each of vinegar and liquid soap for each quart of water.

  • Oxi-Clean Products

This is for deep cleaning and spot removal.

Spot Removal

One major thing people struggle with is getting stains out of their carpet and upholstery. There are ways to do this with some well known household products that will save your carpet and keep it looking nice.

Ink Stains

Cream of Tartar and lemon juice can remove ink. Sprinkle Cream of Tartar onto the ink stain then add a couple drops of lemon juice and rub gently.

Isopropyl alcohol can remove ink stains. Pour the alcohol onto the stain and gently blot until the ink disappears.


Cold Water or Club Soda will normally wash the blood away. Remember to blot instead of rubbing.

Hydrogen Peroxide will bubble up and remove the stain.

Grease and Oil Stains

Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet, rub it in and then leave over night. The next morning when you vacuum it up the grease/oil should be out of the carpet.

Pet Stains and Odors

Liquid dish soap with a solution of one part vinegar to eight parts warm water. Scrub it with this and then blot dry.


Combine liquid dish soap with a solution of one part vinegar to eight parts warm water. Apply to the stain, rinse, and blot dry.

Apply baking soda on the vomit after you have cleaned as up as much as you can. Rub the baking soda in and let set for about an hour to soak in and then vacuum.

Red Wine or Colored Kool Aid

Baking soda or cornstarch rubbed into the carpet after the excess has been blotted up should remove the stain.

Pour club soda on the stain and then blot until the stain comes out.

Steps for Cleaning Carpets and Upholstery

cleaning couch cushion with a steam cleaner

  1. Vacuum Carpet and Upholstery getting out all loose dirt.
  2. Spray furniture and carpet down with a pre-spray if you have spots or high traffic areas that need extra attention.
  3. Fill the carpet cleaner with your choice of cleaner.
  4. Use the machine according to the directions to clean the carpet and upholstery thoroughly.
  5. Go over the carpet one last time without using water to get out all the extra water.

6. Try to stay off the carpet for 24 hours to let it dry. Running a fan or dehumidifier and opening windows will help with getting the carpet dry.