How to Disinfect a Carpet?
Did you know that a carpet usually holds 4 times its weight in dirt?
Let that sink in!
Want to know more about disinfecting carpets ?
But where to start?
Through this article, you’ll discover:
Our team strives to bring you the best advice for keeping your home disinfected and safe.
Therefore we have done an extensive research to bring you the most up to date information.
Just keep reading and I’ll explain it all step by step.
How Often Should You Clean a Carpet?
You should clean a carpet with a vacuum at least once a week (daily if you have a crawling baby or toddler) to eliminate loose dirt from carpets.
Deep cleaning should be carried out at least twice a year, preferably seasonally.
More frequent deep cleaning is recommended if someone in the house has been sick with a communicable disease or weakened immune system ¹.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need the following equipment and materials to disinfect a carpet:
Equipment / Tools
- Spray bottle
- Steam cleaner
- Circulating fan (optional)
- Cleaning strength distilled white vinegar
- EPA-approved sanitizer or disinfectant ²
How to Disinfect Washable Carpets?
To disinfect washable carpets, there are 4 quick steps you can follow:
Washable carpets can be disinfected by following these steps:
- Remove Loose Dirt – Take the carpet outside and shake it vigorously or vacuum it well.
- Choose Your Washer’s Settings – A large carpet will fit better in a front-loading washer or a top-load model without a centre agitator than a conventional top-load washer. It would be worthwhile to visit a laundry with larger washers. On the care label, choose the hottest water advised for the carpet.
- Add Detergent & Laundry Sanitizer – A strong laundry detergent has enough enzymes to cut through grime.
- Drying – Tumble dry the carpet on high heat if it’s 100% cotton and doesn’t have rubber backing. Let the carpet air dry if it can’t handle high heat.
Different Ways to Disinfect a Carpet
The different ways to disinfect a carpet are with a steam cleaner, commercial spray, snow, naturally, peroxide, and borax.
Let’s explore each in more detail:
With a Steam Cleaner
Steam cleaners are recommended for many carpets & area rugs.
What you’ll need.
- Attachments for a steam cleaner
- Vacuum cleaner
- Vinegar for cleaning
- Spray bottle
In a few simple steps, it can get underneath and remove the virus and bacteria:
- Remove everything from the floor that’ll be steam cleaned.
- Vacuum the floor with the brush attachment to clean and dust trim and baseboards.
- Fill the spray bottle with a 1:1 vinegar-to-water ratio.
- For 10 to 15 minutes, pre-treat any stains with the vinegar mixture.
- Fill and use your steam cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Take it slowly and complete one section at a time.
- Allow the carpet to dry completely.
With Commercial Spray
Using commercial spray to disinfect a carpet is one of the simplest methods.
These sprays typically contain ingredients that should kill harmful bacteria.
Steps for disinfecting with a commercial spray:
- To remove any loose dirt or debris, vacuum the carpet.
- Spray the carpet with the cleaner.
- Allow the carpet to sit for the recommended time.
- Vacuum the carpet again to remove the dead germs.
Using snow to disinfect a carpet is ideal for carpets that can’t be cleaned with steam or harsh commercial cleaners.
Although it may appear strange, if you can take your carpet or rug outside, you can disinfect it with snow.
Steps for disinfecting with snow:
- Put the carpet down in the snow.
- Using a broom, beat the carpet. (Alternatively, you can walk over it.)
- Repeat on the other side.
- Brush off any snow before bringing it inside.
To disinfect a carpet naturally, you’ll need to follow these 6 steps:
What you’ll need:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dawn dish soap
- Spray bottle
Steps for disinfecting with a natural disinfectant:
- Combine a cup of water, a small squirt of Dawn, and 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
- Test the mixture in a hidden location on the carpet to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the color or fibers.
- Spritz the solution on the carpet.
- With the towel, tap it. (No scrubbing)
- Allow the carpet to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Vacuum once more.
To disinfect a carpet with peroxide is ideal for cleaning white carpets only as hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties.
What you’ll need:
- Spray bottle
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
Steps for disinfecting with peroxide:
- Remove any dirt from the carpet with a vacuum.
- Stains should be treated and cleaned.
- Add Hydrogen peroxide to a spray bottle, then spray it on the white carpet.
- Allow it to dry completely.
- For odor removal, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet.
- Let sit overnight.
- Vacuum again and enjoy.
Instructions for Using Borax to Sanitize Carpets
Sanitizing carpets using borax works best when only one section is completed at a time to ensure the borax is applied evenly to all surfaces.
You already have the borax and baking soda. It’s time to figure out what to do with it.
Steps for disinfecting with borax:
- To remove any loose dirt, vacuum the carpet.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda on a section of the carpet
- Then add 1 cup of borax.
- On top of both, sprinkle 2 cups of cornmeal.
- Work the particles into the carpet fibers with a broom or brush.
- Allow it to sit for at least three hours.
- Vacuum several times until all the loose powder has been removed.
- A 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water should be sprayed on the disinfected carpet.
- Allow 30 minutes for it to sit.
- Vacuum once more.
How to Disinfect a Carpet Depending on the Material?
Many carpet materials get disinfected in different ways:
To disinfect wool carpets, you might wish to use a dry rug shampoo.
It’s crucial not to over-wet them.
- On the carpet or rug, sprinkle the dry shampoo.
- Allow the carpet to sit for a specified amount of time.
- Vacuum it up.
Woven or Braided Rugs
To disinfect woven or braided rugs, always wash them in a laundry bag to prevent the tiny fibers from getting stuck in your washing machine.
Large braided rugs can be difficult to clean, but this isn’t impossible.
Place the rug on vinyl or concrete flooring for easy cleaning and cover it with old blankets to keep it free from dirt while you clean.
Clean by rubbing commercial carpet-cleaning foam into the surface according to product directions, allowing the rug to completely dry before vacuuming.
Hand-Knotted, Antique, & Oriental Rugs
To disinfect hand-knotted, antique and oriental rugs, you have to vacuum them.
When vacuuming over delicate antique and vintage rugs, use nylon mesh on the attachment of the vacuum cleaner to prevent dirt from getting caught in the fibers.
On the other hand
If you’re not using this method, lay books down first before turning on your machine. If these objects have any weight, they won’t fall off fragile surfaces while cleaning!
Coir, Sisal, Rush, & Grass Rugs
To disinfect coir, sisal, rush, and grass rugs follow the guidance below.
These rugs have a loose weave that easily allows dirt to pass through to the floor below.
Flip them every time you vacuum.
Leave a room-size natural-fiber rug in place to clean dirt, stains, or discolourations.
Use a towel and a plastic drop cloth to protect the floor beneath.
Scrub the stain with a soapy water scrubber to remove dirt, then rinse thoroughly with clear water to remove all soap.
Blot the area first before using an electric fan/hairdryer to dry it quickly and thoroughly.
Fur, Sheepskin, & Hair-on Hides
To disinfect fur, sheepskin, and hair-on hides rugs, shake the rug in talcum powder and brush it through until the “fur” is fluffy.
Repeat this process several times, depending on how long the hair is.
But you know what else?
To remove any dirt or spills from the back of these rugs, use an old cloth made from cotton dipped in lukewarm soapy water, wipe off any specks of dust with another dampened rag soaked in water.
After each cleaning session, completely dry them before placing them back where they belong.
3 Home Friendly Ways to Disinfect Your Rugs at Home
The 3 home friendly ways to disinfect your rugs at home are with vinegar and steam, vinegar without steam, and with homemade cleaning detergent.
Let’s explore each in more detail:
Method #1. Vinegar With Steam
Fill a spray bottle halfway with two cups of distilled white vinegar. Fill the bottle with equal parts of water.
Spray the mixture onto the carpet. Not too much, only enough to cover all the carpet fibers. Allow the mixture to dry naturally.
It’s time to break out the steam cleaner. Fill the fluid compartment three-thirds with water and one-third with distilled white vinegar. Switch the steam cleaner on and wait until it heats.
Now push the steamer across your rug and trigger it now and then to shoot out steam.
You will see how well steam and vinegar work together to disinfect your rug. Let the rug air dry.
Method #2. Vinegar Without Steam
First, clear your carpet so there’s no furniture, and vacuum it to remove all debris and dirt.
Scatter baking soda on the carpet and let it sit for about five minutes.
In the meantime
While preparing your disinfecting solution, scrub the carpet with a scrubbing brush dipped in the mixture.
Don’t over-saturate the rug with the disinfectant solution. You should apply enough mixture to the carpet to clean it.
However, suppose you exceed the recommended level, the rug will become soggy, and it will be difficult to remove all the soap and vinegar.
Wait five minutes after you’ve finished.
Then, take a clean rag and soak it in cold, fresh water. Wipe the carpet the same way you did when you scrubbed it.
Let your carpet air dry and vacuum it one last time.
Method #3. Homemade Cleaning Detergent
There are only two ingredients in this mixture: baking soda and dish soap.
You’ll need an old toothbrush, a scrubbing brush, a clean rag, and a bucket.
First, use the vacuum to remove any visible dirt particles and grime. You’ll also need a bucket of fresh, warm water.
Sprinkle baking soda over the rug until it covers every spot. Use one tablespoon of dish soap for every 6 inches of coverage.
Next, combine baking soda and dish soap in warm water. When you see bubbles in the foamy mixture, stop mixing.
Scrub the grit and stains from your carpet with the scrubbing brush and the toothbrush (for spot cleaning). Scrub the stains away with warm water, not harshly; this will damage the rug.
Remove the soapy water with a clean rag and give the rug a final wipe. Let your carpet air dry and vacuum it one last time.
How to Keep Your Carpet Clean Longer?
You can keep your carpet clean longer by:
- Install washable mats in the entryways to leave excess grit and bacteria behind when you come into your house.
- Remove your shoes before walking onto your home’s carpet.
- Vacuum your rug several times per week to remove allergens and bacteria.
- Bathe your pet regularly and keep them outside as much as possible.
Does Baking Soda Disinfect Carpets?
Yes, baking soda disinfects carpets because it’s a strong alkaline solution that produces dioxide gases when combined with an acid.
These oxidized gases are extremely effective at easily removing stains from carpets and other materials.
Should I Disinfect & Re-Use My Rug After COVID-19 Exposure or Discard It?
You should disinfect and re-use your rug after COVID-19 exposure.
Instead of throwing out your rug after COVID-19 exposure, disinfectants, EPA-approved cleaners, or DIY rug disinfecting solutions can help you disinfect and re-use it.
Can I Remove the Virus Particles From the Entire Carpet With a Vacuum Cleaner?
No, you can’t remove virus particles from the entire carpet with a vacuum cleaner.
Let me explain
Because the particles are invisible to the naked eye and don’t dissipate rapidly, it’s possible that droplets remained on your rug after you vacuumed it.
A vacuum cleaner will only remove a small percentage of the virus. It won’t remove particles that are stuck to the rug’s surface.
So, if you want to disinfect your rug, you must employ a different technique.
Wear personal protective equipment before cleaning the infected rug.
What Should I Do While Disinfecting Rugs?
You should open the windows in your home to let the fresh air in.
How Can I Clean an Area Rug?
You can clean an area rug as follows:
Allow a tablespoon of bleach to soak in half a gallon of water for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing the rug with soap to remove any dirt or dust.
Finally, pass the vacuum cleaner over the wet area of the rug several times until no more bubbles appear on top.
You can also use a carpet cleaner.
Can I Use My Rug After Disinfecting It?
Yes, after disinfecting your rug, you can use it.
You need to ensure that every piece of your rug is properly cleaned and washed.
How Do You Disinfect a Carpeted Room?
A carpeted room can be disinfected the same way a normal rug gets disinfected, with or without a steam cleaner. The same chemicals or DIY methods can be used.
How Can I Disinfect My Carpet Without Wetting It?
You can disinfect your carpet without wetting it by filling a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar and half with water.
Spray the solution on your carpet, and you’re done (a light spray is sufficient; do not soak the carpet).
What’s the Best Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution?
The best homemade carpet cleaning solution is a baking soda and vinegar solution.
Germs are everywhere.
Cleaning and sanitizing your carpet is the most effective way to reduce the number of germs in it.
The first step is vacuuming, and the final and most effective step is extraction.
While hardwood and vinyl floors are simple to disinfect and clean, carpeting is more difficult.
Germs can become embedded in the fibers and become difficult to eradicate.
As a result, you must use the proper cleaner to complete the task of disinfecting carpets.