How To Clean White Carpet (And Keep It Fresh!)

Last Update:

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Learn more

clean white carpet

White carpets are especially prone to stains and dirt. Even if you avoid significant spills, your carpeting may change color over time because of regular use. For this reason, it is necessary to know how to clean a white carpet.

The Secret to Cleaning White Carpet

Keeping your white carpet clean involves multiple steps.  You need to vacuum regularly to remove dust and dirt, and you should clean stains with natural products to reduce fading.  Finally, you need to do an occasional deep cleaning on your white carpet. If you have the equipment, you can do this yourself, but you could also hire a professional cleaning service.

What Kind of Maintenance Does a White Carpet Need?

First, you will want to keep dirt and dust out of your carpet.  We recommend not wearing shoes indoors.  You can make a “no shoes” rule for your house and request that guests remove their shoes when they come in as well. Hopefully, this policy can help limit the amount of dirt that gets into your carpet.

Dirt and dust are inevitably still going to get on your carpet. You can’t avoid it. What you can do, however, is vacuum often to remove particles from your white carpet. Why is it important to vacuum a lot? Dirt and dust are not going to change or fade your carpeting unless they get pressed into the material. When you vacuum, you remove these unwanted particles before they do any damage.

Can Pets Make Your White Carpet Dirty?

pets makes white carpet dirty

Pets can cause problems in a couple of ways. Dogs and cats do not wear shoes, so they bring dirt, mud, and other particles when they come in from outside. You can make a habit of cleaning your pets’ feet before letting them into the house after they’ve been out. Hopefully, this will help reduce mud and dirt stains.

 You can also remove pet hair and dander by vacuuming, which gives you another reason to get out the vacuum as often as you can. 

How Can I Deal with Spills?

white carpet deal with spills

Following a regular maintenance schedule and having a “no shoes” rule will help you keep your white carpet looking clean and bright. However, you will inevitably experience spills. It is usually not realistic to ask people, especially guests, to not eat or drink on your carpet. They won’t want to visit if you make them too stressed about spilling on your pristine floor covering.

The first step in your spill response should be to soak up as much of the spill as possible. You do this by getting a cloth and blotting the area.  The most important rule of spill response is not to rub the spilled material into the carpet. Scrubbing will only grind the stain deeper into the floor and spread it out over a larger area.

After blotting, you can rinse the area with clean water and then blot again. You can repeat the blot-and-rinse process several times.

What Cleaning Agents Should I Use for White Carpet Spills?

You can then use a vinegar solution or clothes detergent (without any bleach) mixed with water. You can use between ¼ and ½ tsp of vinegar or soap for one liter of water. Spray the mixture on the stain with a spray bottle, rub it in with a sponge, and then blot it dry.

Another option is to use baking soda. You can spread dry baking soda over the stain. You then get a spray bottle with clean water and spray the dry soda until it becomes moist. Then, you can either rub and rinse the paste after letting it sit for a few hours or wait for it to completely dry and then vacuum it up.

How Do I Clean Difficult Stains?

difficult stain in white carpet

Some stains, such as blood, red wine, pet urine, coffee, and tomato sauce, require a more aggressive cleaning approach. If vinegar, detergent, or baking soda are not going to work, you can opt for ammonia. You mix a tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of water. Using a spray bottle, cover the stain and rub the mixture into the carpet with a sponge. You can use a wet cloth to blot the stained area. Once the stain disappears, you can rinse with clean water if you wish.

 The advantage of white carpets is that you can use whitening substances, such as hydrogen peroxide, in your cleaning. 

Hydrogen peroxide is less caustic and not as strong smelling as bleach. You can use a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, which is available at most drug stores.

For tough stains, you can pour the hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain and rub it with a sponge. Also, you can mix it with equal parts water and a few drops of detergent in a spray bottle. If you want to deodorize, you can first sprinkle baking soda over the stain and spray your hydrogen peroxide mixture over it.

How to Give Your Carpet a Deep Clean?

The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends  having your carpet cleaned by professionals every year to 18 months.  When you do this, you give your carpet a reset. Deep cleaning usually involves using detergent and steam to cleanse the entire carpet.

You have a couple of options when it comes to deep cleaning. You can rent a machine and do it yourself, or you can hire a professional carpet cleaning service to perform the job for you.

What is the Process for Deep Carpet Cleaning?

The process involves spreading a detergent, or “carpet shampoo” on the carpet. A steam cleaner sprays a mist of hot, clean water that allows the cleaning agent to penetrate the rug. The machine also extracts the water and cleaning agent so that it does not remain on the surface.

The carpet cleaning team will usually tell you to remain off the rug for some time (24 hours, typically) while the carpet dries. If you rent a steam cleaner and do the job yourself, the instructions will offer similar advice. Some pros may suggest cleaning in the summertime so that you can open windows to speed the drying process. You can also use fans to aid drying.

Is It Realistic to Expect That My White Carpet Will Remain White?

Spills and stains can be more pronounced on white carpets. However, this color can also hide dust, pet hair, and some common indoor materials better than darker carpets. As long as you know how to clean, it is realistic to expect to keep your white carpet in pristine condition.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

Leave a Comment

1 + 18 =