How to clean a carpet or rug

One of the most common questions I have been approached with is what is the best way to clean carpet or area rugs? At first, I would tell them to simply use soap and water. Little did I know, I was actually giving them the worst advice possible and was actually encouraging them to set the stain. I figured it would be best for me to do a little research to see if there was a cheap alternative to the expensive carpet cleaning companies that will charge an arm and a leg in return for their service. These are some of the trade secrets I found in my research.

Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and cleaner. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly by vacuuming crisscross over the carpet, so the fibers move to each side. Sprinkle the baking soda over the carpet. Wait two to three hours then revacuum the carpet.

Club Soda: I feel like this stuff is too good to be true, but for water-soluble stains, club soda is an excellent choice. Spray the club soda on with a spray bottle or wet a clean white cloth, then blot (not rub!) the stain. Repeat, if necessary.


  • Mix 1/4 cup of ammonia and 1 cup of warm water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle or blot on the mixture with a clean white cloth. Blot the stain. Repeat if necessary.


  • This seemed to be the most common of household carpet cleaning remedies. Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of warm water. Apply the vinegar solution as you would the ammonia solution. Blot the stain, and repeat if necessary.

Dish Detergent:

    • Mix 1 tsp. of liquid dish detergent with two cups of warm water. Apply the solution the same as the ammonia and vinegar mixtures.

So there you have it, 5 different ways of cleaning your carpet with materials you have at home. Go ahead and try them out at your own discretion, just please avoid staining your rug for the sole purpose of challenging yourself to get it out.