How to Clean a Carpet With Heavily Ground-In Dirt

Dirt gets tracked in on boots and shoes
Dirt gets tracked in on boots and shoes (Image: boots on carpet image by jimcox40 from <a href=''></a>)

As people and pets repeatedly walk and run on carpeting, the floor covering can get quite dirty, especially in traffic-pattern areas. While most dirt can be removed with thorough vacuuming, heavy, ground-in dirt requires extra steps to get down deep.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Carpet-cleaning solution

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Vacuum the area several times to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Empty your vacuum’s filters or bags each time.

Spray a carpet-cleaning solution, available at most grocery, drug or hardware stores, over the area and allow to soak into the carpet for 10 minutes.

Allow the carpet to dry completely and then vacuum the area again. Repeat until the dirt has been removed.

Rent a hot-water extraction machine and buy the suggested cleaning solution from a grocery store or carpet-cleaning service if soil remains. During hot-water extraction, the cleaning product and hot water are sprayed onto the carpet, and then strong suction is used to pull the dirt from the carpet. Alternatively, combine 1 cup vinegar and 2½ gallons of water and pour into the machine, following the machine directions for cleaning. Check with the rental source to make sure it is okay to use vinegar in the machine. Follow with clean, warm water to rinse the carpet.

Let the carpet dry completely before allowing anyone to walk on it. To speed the process, open windows and set an oscillating fan nearby to increase air flow.


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