How to Clean Heavily Soiled Carpets

Heavily soiled carpets require special care and cleaning to restore their appearance.
Heavily soiled carpets require special care and cleaning to restore their appearance. (Image: Alex Hayden/Valueline/Getty Images)

Heavily soiled carpets are often the result of ground-in dirt and spills. In addition to looking unattractive, heavily soiled carpets are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Dirt can settle deep down in the fibers of the carpet, so once-over vacuuming and cleaning may not be enough to remove it. It can take several attempts to remove deep soils and stains. Develop a routine of frequent vacuuming, and clean spills soon after they occur to prevent future soil and staining.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Carpet pre-treatment
  • Hot-water extraction carpet cleaner
  • Carpet cleaning solution

Vacuum the carpet thoroughly, making multiple passes over each section to remove the maximum amount of dried soil.

Apply pre-treatment to the carpet according to the package instructions. Focus on stains and the most heavily soiled areas.

Fill the carpet cleaner with water and cleaning solution according to the owner's manual.

Clean the carpet slowly, one section at a time. You may need to make several passes with the machine to extract all of the dirt. Empty the dirty solution and refill the machine with water and cleaning solution when needed. Allow the carpet to air dry.

Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove any leftover dirt or carpet fuzz. If stains or soil remain, clean the carpet again.

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