The Ultimate Way to Clean Your Rental’s Carpets

Not including spending hundreds of dollars on a professional or thousands of dollars on all new carpet.

A spilled coffee.You move into a rental, and you go about your daily life for a while. Maybe a few months, maybe a few years. One day you look down and you realize that something has changed. Perhaps it was that time that Molly spilled an entire 16-shot Hexadeathmal Espresso Heartstopper and no one was home to clean it up for hours. Or it could just be the constant foot traffic straight in from the front door and through the middle of the room. Whatever it is, however it happened, there’s just one question: how are you going to clean your rental’s carpets?

You could try to pin this on your landlord, but depending on your lease, they may be able to just bounce this right back at you. So, let’s look at how you can handle it yourself:

The Best DIY Carpet Cleaning Method EVER

  1. Saturate the stain with water.
  2. Blot it until merely damp, with as many towels as it takes.
  3. Mix 2 cups water and 2 cups white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle.
  4. Saturate the stain with the vinegar mixture.
  5. Get a stiff (but not wire!) brush and rub the mixture into the fibers and padding.
  6. Blot it up until merely damp, with as many towels as it takes.
  7. Sprinkle a heavy layer of baking soda onto the stain.
  8. Use the brush to work the baking soda into the fibers and padding.
  9. Mix 1 teaspoon dish soap into 1 cup peroxide.
  10. Saturate the baking soda and all the carpet underneath with the peroxide mixture.
  11. Use the brush to work the peroxide mixture into the baking soda, fibers, and padding.
  12. Blot up the excess until merely damp, with as many towels as it takes.
  13. Let dry overnight.
  14. Vacuum the area thoroughly.
  15. Saturate the area with the vinegar mixture again.
  16. Use the brush to work the vinegar into the fibers and padding.
  17. Blot it until merely damp, using as many towels as it takes.
  18. Saturate the area with straight water.
  19. Blot it until merely damp, using as many towels as it takes.
  20. Repeat steps 18 and 19 twice more.

Keep In Mind
You have to be meticulous about a couple of things. First, if you don’t get down past the fibers and into the padding every time you take the brush to the carpet, you’re going to end up with a stain that just comes back a few days or weeks later.  Second, if you don’t rinse the carpet thoroughly enough that there’s no trace of peroxide, vinegar, or soap left in it by the time you’re done, those substances will stick to the fibers and they’ll paradoxically attract more dirt, causing a whole new stain in the same place.

This method does take a heck of a lot of time and elbow grease, but it has some significant advantages over any others. Primarily in the fact that it works on very nearly every single kind of stain you could get on your carpet. In fact, if you can find a stain that doesn’t clean up when you conscientiously apply The Best DIY Carpet Cleaning Method EVER, we’d love to hear about it — let us know in the comments, and we’ll try to figure out why it didn’t work (and what might work instead!)

Now you know exactly how to clean your rental’s carpets when it comes time to move out — though you probably shouldn’t wait that long if you can see the stain today.

Posted in: 2. Tenant Blog Posts, Maintenance, Rental Living

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