How To Disinfect Carpet

Edd H. English

Our carpets take a lot of punishment that can't necessarily be seen with the naked eye. While stains and marks can be easy to spot, bacteria is virtually impossible to see. And carpets can be a ripe breeding ground for bacteria and other germs.

Sneezing and coughing can launch thousands of germs into the air, and they will often settle on our carpets. Muddy paws and drool from pets can also deposit germs onto the carpet. Young children who crawl around on the floor could add to these germs as well as pick them up.

So it is incredibly important to disinfect our carpets on a regular basis. There are a variety of methods regarding how to disinfect carpet, and we'll take a look at each one below.

Hand using Dettol spray

Cleaning Or Disinfecting?

Cleaning a carpet and disinfecting it are not the same thing. Cleaning usually involves soap or detergent, which may remove stains and dirt but will not specifically target and eradicate germs or bacteria.

Disinfecting requires the use of chemical agents or methods designed to kill bacteria directly. Sanitizing is performed by both of these methods, as it simply means reducing the levels of bacteria to a safe amount.

Carpet steamer and sneakers

How To Disinfect Carpets

There are two main methods that can be used to disinfect a carpet. We take a look at each method below. Before performing any of these methods, clear the furniture from the room if possible. Then, give the carpet a thorough vacuum to remove as much dirt and debris as possible.

Steam Cleaning

This is often the go-to option, but it can be difficult without a personal steam cleaner. Machines can be hired or a professional company can be employed, but this can be expensive. Aside from a steam cleaner, a cleaning solution will also be required. Most standard carpet cleaning products will not disinfect carpets completely, so it's important to find an Environmental Protection Agency certified cleaner for the job.

Mix the solution according to the instructions. To prevent bleaching or discoloration of the carpet, it's important to do a spot test first. Find an area of carpet that won't be seen regularly. Apply a small amount of the solution and leave it for a few minutes, then dab dry with a fresh cloth. If the product leaves a visible mark, it's not a good idea to continue using it on the rest of the carpet.

If the cleaning solution doesn't mark the carpet, then it's safe to continue. Use the cleaner and the steaming machine to thoroughly clean the carpet. The carpet will then need to dry naturally for around eight hours.

Carpet and knitted cushion

Vinegar And Baking Soda

But what if someone doesn't want to unleash chemical cleaners on their carpet, or doesn't have a steam cleaner? Some chemical cleaners can be quite harsh, and potentially harmful to the skin. They can also leave an acrid smell.

Thankfully, a homemade carpet disinfectant made from vinegar and baking soda can be used. Here's how to sanitize a carpet without a steam cleaner.

As mentioned earlier, before cleaning the carpet it's a good idea to remove all furniture from the room if possible and give the area a thorough vacuum. This removes as much loose dust and dirt as possible and makes the cleaning process easier.

Next, shake some baking soda onto the carpet and leave it to sit for several minutes. While the soda is working, take a bucket and mix cold water, a small amount of dish detergent, and vinegar in equal quantities. The consistency should end up looking like foam.

When attempting to sanitize carpet with vinegar, find one that has been designed as distilled cleaning vinegar, with around 6% acetic acid. Don't use regular vinegar.

As with the chemical carpet solution mentioned earlier, do a test patch on a hidden area of carpet first to make sure that the mixture won't discolor the fibers. This mixture is likely not suitable on wool or silk rugs or floor coverings.

With a stiff brush, begin to apply the mixture to the carpet and start to scrub. Don't use too much, as we don't want to saturate the carpet completely. Work from corner to corner until the whole area is covered, then leave to soak for about five minutes.

Once the mixture has had time to work, use cold water and an old rag to mop up the remaining mixture. This may require a couple of cloth changes. Then let the carpet dry completely. Once the floor is dry, vacuum again to remove any traces of the cleaning mixture. This is a great method of how to disinfect carpet naturally.

So there are two useful methods of how to disinfect carpet, using both chemical and natural solutions.

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Thanks for reading!