Carpets can trap dirt, dust and stains over time. Although you can hire a professional carpet cleaner to spruce up your carpets for you, you will be facing a considerable expense. Even renting machines and cleaning solutions to use yourself can be costly. If you want to clean your carpets using a little old-fashioned effort and some gentle cleaning products, you can save yourself quite a bit of money. You also will have the peace of mind of knowing that your carpets aren't full of harsh cleaning chemicals.
Remove all objects such as toys and furniture off the carpet.
Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove any loose dirt or debris.
Spot treat any particularly dirty areas first. You can pour some club soda on carpet stains as a spot treatment, or you can mix water, vinegar and baking soda. If you opt for the mix, combine equal parts vinegar and baking soda and dilute with enough water so that you have a very thin paste. Scrub the club soda or spot solution into the stain with an old toothbrush and allow it to set for about 20 minutes.
Pour one gallon of water into a bucket and add one cup each of mild dish soap and ammonia. Stir well.
Dip a large scrub brush with stiff nylon bristles into the shampoo solution and brush it onto a small section of carpet (perhaps two feet square). Use circular brushing motions to saturate the carpet and loosen dirt and grime.
Rinse the brush in a bucket of plain water.
Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until the section appears clean or the brush is no longer pulling up obvious dirt. Repeat the same process on another section of carpet until you have cleaned the entire area.
Allow the carpets to air dry thoroughly. Try to prohibit or reduce foot traffic during the drying process. Vacuum back over the dry carpets for a smooth look.
Check with the manufacturer of your carpet if you have a non-nylon fibre carpet. Some carpets (such as wool rugs) need special cleaning processes in order to prevent damage to the carpet.