To remove dirt from a carpet, vacuum, and spray or rub in a commercial or homemade cleaning solution to remove any dirt that is ground in. To get rid of stubborn dirt covering a large area, steam clean using an extractor.
Vacuuming helps to remove loose dirt from the carpet. To remove dirt that is ground in, spray a commercial cleaning solution on the dirty areas of the carpet. Alternatively, use a white cloth to rub in the solution. Let the solution set on the spots for the time period noted on the cleaner's packaging.
Then, scrub the area with a brush or sponge. Blot the solution using paper towels or soft cloth. Repeat this process until the dirt is removed completely. Spray lukewarm water on the spots to rinse away the cleaning solution, blot the moisture using paper towels overnight, and vacuum to remove any residual cleaner.
Avoid over-wetting when rinsing. For silk carpets, rinse using a small quantity of club soda, instead of water, and blot using a white-colored cloth.
To make homemade carpet cleaning solutions, mix baking soda, white wine vinegar and water in a proportion of 1/4: 1/4: 1/2 in a spray bottle. Alternatively, mix dishwashing liquid soap with water in the spray bottle. Avoid using dishwasher or laundry detergent for making the solution as these may alter or bleach the carpet's color. Use these solutions in the same manner as the commercial solution.
The extractor uses heat to release dirt particles from the carpet. A few extractors inject the cleaner into the carpet's fibers to hasten the cleaning action. Do not use steam cleaning for wool and silk carpets.