7 Tips to Keep Your Carpets Clean

Clean carpets are a true joy under foot: equally plush and inviting for bare feet, board games, or as a foundation for pillow forts. But keeping your carpets clean, particularly in high-traffic areas, can feel like a perpetual battle!

Today we’re going to explore 7 of our top tips to keep your carpets cleaner, longer. Some of these may seem like common sense – but we promise if you put all of these together your carpets will stay looking great long after you’ve had them professionally cleaned!

Start with a clean slate

If your carpets have never had a thorough deep cleaning, then this is where you should begin. Of course, owners of brand new carpet can gloss right over this, but for anyone whose carpet has celebrated a few birthdays this is a must!

Even with regular cleaning, dirt and debris will make it down to the base of your carpet’s pile. This can serve as a reservoir for allergens, odors, and bacteria, but also can physically damage your carpet fibers over time. Small particles act like abrasives and if left in place will actually reduce the life of your carpet.

Professional carpet cleaning services use delicate steam cleaning combined with powerful suction to pull out deeply set grime that regular vacuums simply lack the oomph to extract. Carpets should be professionally cleaned every 6 to 12 months to stay looking their best and maintain their warranties.

Man vacuuming his living room with bright blue carpet.

Utilize doormats at every entrance

Your home’s welcome mat isn’t just a cute way to greet guests with a reminder of your alma mater or a joking warning about your vicious attack dachshund, but instead serves an important role in keeping your floors clean!

The best way to use doormats is in pairs – one outside and another inside. Materials like coco-coir make for great outdoor mats as they are abrasive enough to remove mud and dirt and durable enough to last through several seasons. Indoors you can use whatever matches your decor since the outdoor mat will take the brunt of the impact.

By using doormats you’ll vastly minimize the amount of dirt that makes it into your home on the bottom of shoes, and correspondingly the amount of dirt that makes it onto your carpets!

Note: Doormats work best when they are clean – but thankfully this is an easy task! Simply shake your doormat out weekly (outdoors of course!) to get the bulk of the dirt off of them. Most outdoor doormats can be hosed off and this is a great cleaning method to use on a warm spring or summer’s day where the mat will be able to quickly sun dry.

Use house shoes (or at least take your outside shoes off!)

Ok, this isn’t mandatory – if you don’t like the feel of slippers or house shoes, feel free to let your toes roam wild! However, what shouldn’t be optional is removing your shoes once you get inside.
Our shoes are exposed to dirt, mud, pesticides, fertilizers, gasoline, oil, and far worse on a daily basis. If you walk around your home in your shoes then all of these contaminants are going to make their way onto and into your carpets!

House shoes are a great way to keep your feet warm and supported inside – although remember that they are only house shoes if you can resist the temptation to check the mail or walk the dog in them!

Please Remove Shoes<br />
Before entering this house. Thank You!

The power of a shoe rack

Getting family members and guests to remember to take their shoes off can be a struggle – particularly if you are changing from a previously shoe-friendly household to a no-shoe policy.
One great way to remind people to take their shoes off at the door is to have a shoe rack conveniently positioned nearby. This also helps cut down on the visual clutter that can result from a disorganized pile of shoes!

Change your air filters regularly

This one may surprise you – but changing your air filters regularly can actually keep your carpets (and all areas of your house!) cleaner! Now, for this hack to work you do need to be using higher quality pleated air filters as fiberglass filters (the sort that looks like an industrial strength cobweb) don’t trap enough dust even when they’re new to make much of a difference.

Pleated air filters often come with an electrostatic charge that captures airborne dust and pollen, keeping those particles from settling onto your carpets. Over time, this electrostatic ‘stickiness’ wears off and these tiny particles will once again be blown freely throughout your home.

Generally, air filters should be replaced every 2 to 3 months, although the exact duration will depend on the brand, the local environmental conditions, and your sensitivity to allergens and dust.

Vacuum often and well

It shouldn’t come as a surprise – but one of the best ways to keep your carpet clean is to vacuum it regularly! However, using the wrong vacuum cleaner or even the right vacuum but the wrong technique will provide lesser results.

The right vacuum

In many ways, the right vacuum is one that you are going to use. A cumbersome vacuum that is a pain to take out of the closet is simply going to be used less frequently! However, in addition to ease of use, you need a vacuum cleaner that makes adequate suction. Cheaper vacuums may be adequate for tile and other hard flooring surfaces, but lack the power necessary to really pull dirt from thick wall-to-wall carpets.

If you have a pet who sheds then you’ll need a vacuum cleaner which is capable of picking up pet hair without bogging down.

 Whether you go bagged or bagless is more of a matter of preference than anything else – although you’ll want to ensure that you empty the canister or replace the bag when it is full. A full vacuum will have less suction and perform less well.

The right technique

Before vacuuming, pick up everything that is on the floor – socks, chew toys, Lego, et cetera! This will save you from having to constantly stop the vacuum and move things around as you go.

Next, start your vacuuming session by using your crevice tool to go around the perimeter of your room, pulling debris from corners and out from around furniture. If you don’t have a crevice tool, this isn’t essential, but it helps you reach areas that your vacuum otherwise couldn’t.

Finally, you should vacuum your carpet twice, once horizontally, and once vertically (imagine that you are essentially creating a grid on your carpet). By going over your carpet twice you will get better results and ensure you haven’t missed anywhere.

When it comes to frequency, in almost all cases weekly is going to be enough. High traffic areas like hallways or rooms where children and pets hang out might need an additional vacuuming from time to time.

Treat stains right away

In general, carpet stains should be treated ASAP. If stains are allowed to soak into your carpet they typically become far more challenging to clean.

Stain removal is a contentious topic in the carpet cleaning world. There are many people who swear by this or that cleaning solution, some who prefer to go with a DIY route of club soda or baking soda and white vinegar… but in our 40 years of experience we’ve found that the best solution is the simplest.

Warm water and plenty of dry color-fast rags for blotting are all it takes to remove nearly any stain. It sounds crazy, but modern carpets are treated with stain repellent coatings and as long as the stain is fresh, very little effort is needed to remove them.

Simply apply a warm, damp cloth to the stain and then blot dry with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat this process until the stain is no longer visible!

Stain remover on beige carpet.

Avoid common carpet cleaning mistakes

Don’t rub stains

Rubbing stains is one of the easiest ways to damage your carpet fibers. You may successfully remove the stain, but the damaged fibers will never match the rest of the room.

Use cleaners with care

There are dozens of stain removal products on the market and all of them work to some degree or another. However, every time you use a stain remover you risk turning a minor stain into a major problem. Always test cleaning products in an inconspicuous area first and try using warm water and clean cloths before turning to chemical alternatives.

Beware of rental carpet cleaning machines

You may be tempted by the small fleet of rental carpet cleaners available at your local hardware store – but we recommend you proceed with caution before using one.

These machines are notorious for being poorly maintained and often leave behind tons of water in your carpet. As the water dries it can wick dirt from your rug pad up into the tips of your carpet – resulting in a carpet that looks dirtier after cleaning than before!

Professional equipment combines steam cleaning with commercial-grade suction and leaves your carpets much dryer so that they actually stay looking great! Keep your carpets clean with these 7 tips from Whitehall Carpet Cleaners.


Keeping your carpet clean doesn’t have to be a battle! In fact, most of the 7 tips listed here don’t actually add to your daily cleaning routine!

Simply by adding doormats and taking off your shoes inside you’ll vastly improve your floor’s cleanliness. Replacing air filters will boost your indoor air quality and ensure that pollen and dust don’t settle into your carpet. And finally, having your carpets regularly cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning service will ensure that your carpets are always looking and feeling their best!

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