Carpet Cleaning 101: Everything You Need To Know

Hey Annie, how are you?

I am writing this letter to you today because I’m at the very end of my tether and I simply do not know to do anymore. We moved into our new home a few months ago and everything has been amazing.

However the carpets that were in the house when we bought it are really poor quality and they are already showing lots of stains. I don’t know if it’s possible to clean them or not. I have already tried everything that I can think of so far, but nothing seems to really be working. It gets even worse when the sun shines in through the big window in the sitting room. It just shows up the stains so clearly.

It’s quite embarrassing at this stage to be honest, as it make us look like we never clean!!! I am really hoping that you have a way to solve this problem, preferably quickly and easily. I was thinking of investing in a carpet steam cleaner but i wanted to also get your opinion on whether that would be a good idea, before I took the plunge and spent a lot of money on one.

If you think they can be helpful then can you also give me your recommendation for the best value one?

Thanks Annie. I really appreciate any and all advice you can give me.


Hey Jilly-Ann,

Thank you for getting in touch with me. I am really sorry to hear about your carpets. I know exactly what you are going through right now as I have also suffered through it.

The carpets in your home are what is known as building-quality carpets. They are cheap and thrown in by the builder during construction, to sell the house. They look fine when nobody is walking on them or using the room. But they stain very poorly, catch a lot of dust, are not very comfortable to walk on and wear very poorly.

Of course the idea is that you would get rid of them after moving in and replace them with better carpet or even wooden floors instead. This is in much the same way that builders use poor quality paint during building, with the expectation being that you are probably going to want to personalise each room with your own unique colours anyways.

Ultimately my advice would be that you get rid of them as soon as you can afford to. They have really served their purpose at this stage.

However if you are not in a financial position to do that just yet, then luckily for you I do have a few tricks up my sleeve as always!

Before I dive in, please remember that you should always test your carpet in a hidden area before working on the main areas. Different products and chemical agents will react in different ways with your carpet and not always in good ways either!

You do NOT want to go and make the problem worse.

If your stain is caused by a water soluble liquid then it is always wise to start off by using vinegar instead of other cleaners. For best results you should mix it with gently warmed water too. As always you should blot the mixture and never rub it. Make sure not to add too much solution as that can bring along its own problems.

If the stain was caused by an oily substance you are in for a tougher time however. I like to use some dish washing liquid with warm water and then finish it off with some diluted vinegar again. Keep blotting with dry cloths until its completely dry.

Unfortunately at the end of the day the real truth is that building carpet just really isn’t designed for long term use. However having said all of that, you may still be able to get rid of a lot of your stubborn stains using the techniques that I have outlined for you above.

My last piece of advice in relation to carpets is to always make sure that you keep your carpets very clean. Any dust or dirt that accumulates will act as an abrasive. This means that when someone walks on it, it will cause excessive wear and tear and fraying of your carpet. This will drastically reduce it’s life span.

Let me know how you get on and I’ll be glad to help you with even more info if the above strategies don’t happen to work for you Jilly-Ann.