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For just-spilled stains, blot dry with a paper or cloth towel. Avoid rubbing the carpet, as the stain can mix with the fibers, making it more difficult to remove. For water-soluble stains such as soda, milk, food dye and wet paint, use a solution made of a 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar and 32 ounces of water. For dark stains like blood, wine and chocolate, mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of water. Be careful with wool carpet and wool blends, because this might bleach the fibers. Check with the carpet's manufacturer before applying.
Get the deep-down dirt thorough vacuum cleanings. Go over the carpet in several different directions to pick up the most dirt. Dust that gathers on light-colored carpet can make the carpet look gray, so move furniture around and suck up dirt in hard-to-reach areas with a hose and a nozzle. Get a high-quality vacuum to get the most suction, and empty the vacuum bag regularly.
Rent a steam cleaner or shampoo machine, or purchase one from a home supply store. A cleaning solution combined with warm water can lift hard-to-remove stains and attack soil embedded into carpet fibers. Follow instructions for wet machines exactly; over-soaking a carpet can produce mold and mildew. To dry the carpet faster, use a fan or dehumidifier over the cleaned area.
Hire a professional to regularly maintain carpets. Investing in an occasional professional cleaning will help make the daily upkeep easier. Get informed about cost and cleaning procedures before the cleaning begins. Find out what cleaning solutions they use, and make sure it is compatible with your carpet. Once a year should do it unless your carpet gets unusually heavy wear.