Unilever logo
Cleanipedia ZA logo

How to Clean Carpets By Hand

Imagine the scenario, you’re having a party at your house to celebrate a milestone occasion. There is music and lots of red wine. The inevitable happens, someone spills their wine on your favourite carpet. You can’t exactly pull out the huge vacuum cleaner and stop the party, can you? So, what can you do to prevent the stain from setting in?


Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to Clean Carpets By Hand

Here are some quick and easy DIY methods on how to clean carpets by hand that should yield great results on the spot – both literally and figuratively. We’ll also give you guidance on when to know it’s time to call in the professionals.

Carpet Cleaning Checklist

Always make sure you have the following products available under your kitchen sink in case of a carpet cleaning emergency. The key to any stain is the quicker you get to it, the less likely it is to leave a long-lasting stain.

  • Here’s what to have on hand to use:

  • A good carpet cleaner

  • White vinegar

  • Dishwashing liquid

  • Hard-bristled brush or old scrubbing brush

5 Steps To Clean Carpets By Hand

Follow this step-by-step guide on the best way to clean a carpet by hand for the best results. Whether you’ve spilt red wine, coffee, or even blood, these tips and tricks will work as easy ways to clean a carpet by hand.

Step 1 – Always Do A Test

Take a small area to use as a tester. Use an area that is usually covered by a couch or chair and is not often seen. Apply your cleaner of choice to the area and see if anything bad happens like colour loss.

Step 2 – Create A Cleaner

Choose your carpet cleaning detergent of choice. We highly recommend these cleaning products that can either be bought or made at home:

  • A good quality carpet cleaner bought from your local retailer.

  • A paste of equal parts water and white vinegar – this works well for liquid stains like red wine and coffee.

  • A good dishwashing liquid, like Sunlight – works well for oily or fatty food stains.

Step 3 – Clean the Area Well

This step requires a little elbow grease. Pour a small amount of your chosen cleaner onto the carpet stain. Using a hard-bristled brush or an old scrubbing brush, scrub the area well. Add more cleaning products as you go along if it feels like it’s getting too dry.

Step 4 – Rinse Well

Once you’ve successfully scrubbed the stain, use a bowl of clean water to rinse the area and dab it dry with a dry dishcloth to remove any excess product or liquid. Allow to air dry well.

Step 5 – Deodorise

Deodorising the carpet is the final step in the process. You want to leave the carpet smelling fresh and not with damp smell. The best way to create a deodoriser for carpets are:

  • Mix a weak solution of fabric softener with water and spray it onto the cleaned area.

  • Mix a few drops of your favourite essential oil with water and spray it onto the cleaned area or over the whole carpet.

How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet

When spills occur, you should ideally clean up the spillage as soon as possible. This way you can prevent stains from permanently becoming a fixture on your flooring. In terms of how to clean room carpets by hand, in more high-traffic areas like lounges and dining rooms, you should also spot clean as often as you need to.

For deep cleaning of these carpets, we recommend deep cleaning once a year for best results. If you have pets or young kids, you may want to consider deep cleaning your carpets twice a year.

When to Hire a Pro Carpet Cleaner?

If you’ve followed the steps and tips we’ve given you, and your carpet is still coming out stained or looking like a hodgepodge mess of stains, it is probably time to call in the experts. They are equipped with the right tools and cleaning agents that can get the deepest of stains out of carpets and have your floors looking almost brand new.

For more home care tips and tricks, visit Cleanipedia today.


Can I clean my carpet by myself?

Yes, you can. Follow the steps in the blog above to find out how to clean your carpets by hand.

What is the best homemade carpet cleaning solution?

We love a mixture of white vinegar and water to clean carpets. For very oily or fatty stains, use dishwashing liquid too.

Can I wash the carpet with vinegar?

Always make sure you dilute white vinegar with water in equal parts as a cleaner for carpets.

Does baking soda clean carpets?

Baking soda works as a deodoriser for carpets after they’ve been cleaned.

What is the easiest and fastest way to clean a carpet?

Read our blog above for the easiest and quickest way to clean your carpets by hand.

Originally published