Caring for your carpet is as easy as one, two three. Follow these simple steps and your carpet will feel great, look wonderful and last for years.

  1. Vacuum Frequently
    1. Vacuuming removes dirt that dulls appearance
    2. Select a vacuum with good suction and strong beater bars, which brush the carpet and loosen dirt.
    3. Change vacuum bags and filters regularly
  2. Clean up spills promptly
    1. Take aim at stains with our comprehensive stain removal guide
  3. Hire professional carpet cleaners every 12 months
    1. Get your carpets professionally cleaned at least every 12 months, even if you clean them yourself in between
    2. Lighter shade carpet may require cleaning more often

Professional cleaning methods include steam cleaning (known as hot water extraction), absorbent pad or bonnet cleaning, rotary shampoo, and dry foam powder.

Carpet Stain Removal Tips

No carpet is stain proof, but since many are stain resistant, you have time to act. Look below to see if the specific spill you're trying to remove is listed. If so, you'll see instructions to help. If not, use the following general guidelines.

  1. Remove as much of food spills as possible by scraping the carpet gently with a spoon or a dull knife.
  2. Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting repeatedly with white paper or white cloth towels. Always blot; never rub or scrub abrasively, as a fuzzy area may result. When blotting, work from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill.
  3. Remove the stain using one of the cleaning items from the checklist below.
  4. Rinse the cleaned carpet area with water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid re-soiling.
  5. Absorb any remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot and weighing them down with a heavy object. This step is necessary even when the carpet doesn't seem particularly damp.

What do you use to clean the spill? Be prepared with the following checklist.

You should use the following items for handling spills on your carpet. It's important to use only the items listed, because many other household cleaners contain chemicals that may permanently damage your carpet.

  1. White cloths or white paper towels
  2. Detergent solution: Mix mild liquid detergent with water (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.
  3. Vinegar solution: Mix 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water.
  4. Ammonia solution: Mix one tablespoon of ammonia to one cup of water. (Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpets.)
  5. Non-oily nail polish remover
  6. Chewing gum remover (freeze or solid type)
  7. Spot Remover: Use spot removers designed specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.

Protect your carpet—step by-step

Get comprehensive carpet cleaning instructions in our full Stain Removal Guide.