How to Disinfect Carpet in Simple (but Effective) Ways

Cleaning and disinfecting carpet

Learn how to disinfect carpet using commercial and natural methods. Find out how to sanitize your wool carpets and rugs. Get tips on keeping your carpets germ free.

How to Disinfect Carpet With a Steam Cleaner

When it comes to disinfecting your carpets and area rugs, a steam cleaner becomes your new best friend. For this method of disinfecting your carpet, you need to grab:

  • Steam cleaner with attachments

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Cleaning vinegar

  • Spray bottle

  • Towel

Using a Steam Cleaner to Disinfect Your Carpets

A steam cleaner is recommended for all different types of carpets and area rugs. It can get in there and remove the virus and bacteria germs in a few simple steps.

  1. Remove everything off the floor you are going to steam clean.

  2. Vacuum the floor using the brush attachment to clean and dust trim and baseboards.

  3. Fill the spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water.

  4. Pretreat any stains with the vinegar mixture for 10-15 minutes.

  5. Follow all the instructions on your steam cleaner for filling and using.

  6. Take it slow, doing one section at a time.

  7. Allow the carpet to completely dry.

How to Sanitize Carpet Without a Steam Cleaner

Not every carpet can be steam cleaned, and not everyone has a steam cleaner. In that case, you can disinfect your carpet pretty simply. Most nylon or acrylic carpets can be disinfected pretty effectively with a bit of soap, vinegar, and elbow grease. However, wool carpets take a gentler hand. Before getting into the cleaning process, you need to grab:

  • Dry rug shampoo or wool carpet detergent

  • Carpet disinfecting spray (look for one approved by EPA)

  • Scrub brush

  • Dawn

  • Bucket

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Vacuum

  • Broom

cleaning red carpet

How to Disinfect Carpet With Commerical Spray

One of the easiest ways to disinfect a carpet is to use a commercial spray. These sprays typically have ingredients in them designed to kill nasty bacteria like MRSA and viruses like COVID-19.

  1. Vacuum the carpet to remove any loose dirt and debris.

  2. Spray the cleaner on the carpeting.

  3. Allow it to sit for the recommended time.

  4. Vacuum to remove dead germs.

How to Disinfect a Wool Carpet

When it comes to wool rugs, it's important not to saturate them. Therefore, you might want to opt for a dry rug shampoo when it comes to disinfecting your wool carpets.

  1. Sprinkle the dry shampoo onto the carpet or rug.

  2. Allow it to sit for the recommended time.

  3. Vacuum it up.

Disinfecting Your Carpet With Snow

This might seem strange, but if you can take your carpet or rug outside, you can disinfect it with snow. This method works great for carpets that can't take steam cleaning and harsh commercial cleaners.

  1. Lay the carpet in the snow.

  2. Beat the carpet with a broom. (You can also walk over it.)

  3. Flip it over and repeat.

  4. Brush off any snow before returning it indoors.

How to Disinfect Carpet Naturally

When it comes to disinfecting your carpet naturally, many people tell you to use white vinegar. But vinegar doesn't disinfect as well as you think. Why? White vinegar, or even cleaning vinegar, isn't considered a disinfectant. While the acetic acid will kill a good majority of germs, vinegar isn't as effective as some commercial cleaners.

Homemade Carpet Disinfectant

Just because vinegar isn't as effective at cleaning germs, all hope isn't lost when it comes to a homemade carpet disinfectant. Rather than using white vinegar, you can try rubbing alcohol.

  1. In a spray bottle mix, a cup of water, a small squirt of Dawn, and 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.

  2. Test the mixture on a hidden spot to ensure it doesn't cause any issues with color or fibers.

  3. Spray the solution on your carpet.

  4. Tap it with the towel. (Don't scrub)

  5. Wait 20-30 minutes.

  6. Vacuum again.

Does Baking Soda Disinfect Carpet?

Baking soda is great for removing stains and deodorizing your carpet. However, it's not considered an EPA approved sanitizer. Like white vinegar, baking soda does kill some germs, but it's not as powerful enough to be considered a sanitizing agent. If you want a true sanitizing solution for your carpet, you might try a carpet sanitizing powder.

How to Keep Germs off Carpet

One of the best ways to avoid sanitizing your carpets is to keep germs and bacteria off of them. Try these methods to keep your carpet germ-free.

  • Vacuum your carpets often. Vacuuming can pull dirt and germs out of the fibers before they penetrate.

  • Have people take shoes off at the door.

  • Change clothes before entering a room if you've been around someone sick.

How to Disinfect Carpet

Germs are all around. While it might be easy to disinfect and clean your hardwood or vinyl floors, carpeting is a bit harder. The germs can settle into the fibers and be hard to kill. Therefore, you want to make sure you use the right cleaner to get the job done.

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How to Disinfect Carpet in Simple (but Effective) Ways