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Disinfecting the carpet: The Ultimate How-to Guide

Disinfecting the Carpet: The Ultimate How-To Guide

| Steamy Concepts |

A dirty house rug can be a potential health hazard. Carpets are more than suitable hiding places for bacteria and germs. In many cases, especially rugs that have a long fiber, vacuuming thoroughly is almost impossible, making disinfection much needed. 

In this article, you will learn how to disinfect a carpet in a number of different ways. We will cover disinfecting both washable and non-washable carpets and include some natural remedies that can help those on a tighter budget ensure their carpets remain germ-free. 

What to Do Before You Disinfect?

Before you move on to disinfecting, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. First, it is essential that you know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put forward definitions for each according to the level of microbial contamination left on the surface after performing the given procedure. According to their claims, after a surface has been successfully disinfected, it remains as such only until it is touched, thereby contaminated again. 

Carpets can be difficult to clean because of their uneven surface and construction. So knowing how to prepare for a thorough cleaning can ease your job along the line.

Rearrange the Furniture 

Before you start disinfecting, you must be careful not to damage the surrounding furniture. This is why it’s best to remove all furniture from the carpet. Being extra cautious is advised – if you are using a steam cleaner, protect your wooden floors by placing a plastic cover over them. 

Plug in the Vacuum 

To make the job easier, before rolling your sleeves up, you should also take time to get rid of the dust and dirt by doing a routine vacuuming. If you keep pets in your household, this step is even more so advised. 

Pick a Disinfectant 

The cleaning solution you choose when disinfecting can have an enormous impact. That is why when looking for the best disinfectant to sanitize your carpet, you must choose one approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Each disinfectant has a designated registration number which can be found in the product ingredients section on the label. 

How to Disinfect Carpet: The Best Way to Go About It

There are a variety of products and devices you can use when disinfecting carpets. Some like to make their own combo of ingredients, while others prefer commercial products. Two of the most efficient and simple ways to disinfect a carpet include using a steamer or simply tossing your carpet in the washer. 

Disinfecting a Washable Carpet 

This only works for the smaller carpets in your house. Once you make sure they are machine washable, these are the next steps:  

  1. To get the job done properly, you should first get rid of any accumulated debris and dirt. 
  2. Take the small carpet outside and give it a shake before you vacuum it. 
  3. Put it in the machine and choose the hottest water recommended.  
  4. For your disinfectant of choice, you can use a heavy-duty laundry detergent in combination with a laundry disinfectant and add in either bleach or pine oil. 
  5. Dry out the carpet and place it back in your room.

Disinfecting a Carpet With a Steam Cleaner 

When looking for advice on how to disinfect carpets, you will find that using a steam cleaner is frequently advised. Here is how you can use it: 

  1. First, you will need to vacuum to get rid of any allergens, dust, or loose soil. 
  2. Take your disinfectant of choice, and before spraying it across the carpet, do a small test on the fibers to see if it causes any discoloration. 
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a white cloth to see if there is any color transfer. 
  4. Get the steam cleaner manual in your hand and inspect the given directions. 
  5. Find the mixing instructions for the solution you are using, then move on to steaming the carpet. 
  6. Once finished, leave the carpet to air dry overnight or for at least eight hours.

How to Disinfect Carpet Without a Steam Cleaner?

There are many other methods on how to disinfect carpet without steam cleaner that you can use if you don’t have the funds to invest in one. Below is how to disinfect carpet surfaces when a steam heater is out of reach.

Use a Disinfectant Spray for Carpets 

You will find that there are plenty of spray cleaning products available on the market. They are made for removing germs, molds, and spores and are incredibly potent. Following are a few steps on how to use these sprays:

  1. After getting rid of any loose soil and debris, set the vacuum aside and grab the spraying bottle. 
  2. Make sure that your windows are open and the area is well-ventilated before starting. 
  3. Spray the commercial disinfectant over the whole carpet and let it sit for at least two hours. 
  4. Use a white cloth and remove the disinfectant from the carpet. 
  5. Finish off by vacuuming the carpet again to remove any leftover dead germs. 

How to Disinfect Carpet Naturally?

Keeping your house tidy and clean is also possible, even if you are on a budget. Below we’ll mention some pretty cheap and easily accessible ingredients that you can use to disinfect your carpet naturally.  

The Alcoholic Method 

You might have heard of using alcohol as a disinfectant for wounds. As it happens, it is also quite useful for disinfecting carpets. All you need for this procedure is one spray bottle, vodka, and some paper towels or a cloth. 

Here is how you use the combination:

  1. You first need to vacuum the carpet and remove all the furniture. 
  2. Then use the bottle and spray the vodka on top of the carpet and let it stay for about half an hour. 
  3. Finally, get rid of any remaining moisture by pat drying the carpet using paper towels or a cloth. 

Baking Soda Methods 

Baking soda can be used in a variety of ways to create a disinfectant for your carpets and naturally get rid of bacteria and germs. 

Using a Baking Soda Water Solution

To create the solution, you will need a spray bottle and the following ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of hot water 
  • 200 grams of baking soda
  • 15 drops of lavender oil 
  • A few drops of dish soap 

The disinfection procedure is simple to follow: 

  1. First, put all the ingredients in the bottle and shake thoroughly. 
  2. Then clear the carpet surface and start spraying the solution. 
  3. Let it sit for about 4 hours and leave the carpet to air dry. 
  4. Once done, use the vacuum to get rid of any residue. 

Using a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution 

For this, equip yourself with a pair of latex gloves, a spray bottle, and a funnel for the ingredients. To create the solution, you will need:


  • 2 cups of warm water 
  • ¼ cup of dishwashing soap
  • 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide 
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus oil 
  • ½ cup of baking soda 

Then all you need to do is stick to the following disinfection guidelines: 

  1. Spread the baking soda across the carpet and let it sit for about 2 hours. 
  2. Vacuum it off the carpet and put on your latex gloves before moving on to the solution creation.
  3. Use the funnel to transfer all of the remaining ingredients into the spraying bottle. 
  4. Shake the bottle well and use it to spray the carpet. 
  5. Leave it for around half an hour, then dry it out with paper towels. 

Tips & Tricks for Carpet Disinfection

  • Find the disinfection solution that works for your carpet;
  • Always do a disinfection solution test before starting;
  • Pay extra attention to stains;
  • Plan your cleaning route ahead;
  • Leave doors and windows open to speed up the drying process;
  • Disinfect regularly.

How to Disinfect Carpet: The Best Strategy for a Gleaming Carpet

There is more than just one right way when speaking of how to disinfect carpet surfaces. Plenty of options are at hand; however, cleaning a carpet isn’t always as easy as it sounds. It can take a lot of work, and you may even have to leave the house, so the chemicals don’t influence your health. 

This is where booking a carpet cleaning service as Steamy Concepts can help! From mold removal and remediation to asbestos removal and more – let professionals help clean your carpet while you rest. 

Contact us today for any questions you may have!

FAQs About Disinfecting Carpet

How can I disinfect my carpet without washing it?

The best way is to use a steam machine. If you don’t have a streamer at your disposal, you can use a commercial disinfectant solution or opt for a solution made of natural remedies. 

Does vacuuming disinfect the carpet?

Vacuuming does not disinfect the carpet. However, it does help with getting rid of loose dirt and allergens. 

Does baking soda disinfect the carpet?

Yes, baking soda can disinfect your carpet but it needs to be combined with other ingredients. For example, creating a water solution with soda and spraying it over the carpet is the most common natural cleanup.

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