Here’s How To Disinfect Carpet In 7 Easy Ways

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Let's face it, cleaning the carpet is a very tedious job. It requires time and effort to do so, and you might not have enough of both. Carpets endure a lot in many households, ranging from mud from kids, pet dander, and spills, among other things. All these cause bacteria and germs to build up in the carpet. Washing alone is not enough to disinfect it because you will only be removing surface dirt.

You want your carpets disinfected, but you don't want to spend too much money on professional services or overdo it by doing things yourself. We're here to guide you on how to disinfect carpet with household items like white vinegar, dish soap, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide. 

The best part is that these upholstery cleaning solutions are all-natural ingredients that won't cause any allergic reactions. Keep reading this article to learn how to clean upholsterydeep cleaning carpet and disinfect your carpets and ensure a safe atmosphere for you and your family.

1. Disinfect Carpet with Vinegar and Steam

One of the best known and effective ways to disinfect a carpet is with vinegar and steam. White vinegar has an acetic acid concentration that kills bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms on contact. Steam cleaner is a wonderful machine used to deep clean carpet fibers.

Disinfect Carpet With Vinegar And Steam
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Here's how to use vinegar and steam cleaning to disinfect the carpet.

  • Pour two cups of white vinegar into a spray bottle and sprinkle on the carpet.
  • Plugin the machine and switch it on. You have to fill up the steam cleaner with water from a bucket as this isn't automated. 
  • Fill three parts of the steam cleaner with water and one part white vinegar. The steam cleaner will heat the vinegar solution and create a mist of steam that cleanses the carpet.
  • Let the carpet air dry. The heat will also kill any bacteria, mold, and fungus trapped inside the carpet's fibers.

2. Disinfect Carpet Using Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Dish Soap

If you don't have a steam cleaner, you can still use vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap to disinfect your carpet. You don't necessarily need deep steam cleaning to kill germs from your carpets. Here are steps to follow:

  • Mix one part vinegar, two parts water, and three parts dish detergent. Mix well with a spoon until it's foamy.
  • Prepare the solution in an empty spray bottle (to avoid spilling). Spray the mixture on the carpet surface and let sit for five minutes. 
  • Wipe off the excess liquid from the carpet surface using clean paper towels or a clean cloth. 
  • Vacuum up the remaining solution from the carpet using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a scrubbing brush (not a beater bar). 
  • Your carpet is now disinfected!

Since this method doesn't use any heat, you can use it on different carpets. It's also perfect for areas like stairs and upholstery where you wouldn't use your steam cleaner. However, this method only removes the visible dirt and bacteria from carpets. It doesn't disinfect the deeper layers of the carpet fibers.

You can read our article on Bissell proheat 2x revolution pet pro carpet cleaner reviews too for the best product out there!

baking soda solution
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

3. Disinfect Using Homemade Detergent

Another safe and easy way to disinfect carpets is to use homemade detergent. This method is particularly effective against tough stains and germs in high-traffic areas, like stairs or heavy traffic areas of your home. Here's how it works: 

How To Disinfect Carpet
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  • Get rid of dirt and dust from your carpet using a vacuum
  • Fill a bucket with hot water and add one cup of white vinegar along with three cups of baking soda (Brillo can also be used). 
  • Next, put your carpet cleaning machine on its highest setting and attach a suction wand to the end of the hose. 
  • Place the vacuum head over the stain or area you want to disinfect and suck up the detergent water solution through your carpet. This will remove all stains from your carpets as well as disinfect them.
  • Let the carpet dry naturally. 

4. Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Disinfect your Carpets 

Another effective method is using a hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution to disinfect your carpet. This is how it works:

  • Get rid of all the stains from your carpets using hot water, a clean sponge, and a cup of hydrogen peroxide 
  • Mix hydrogen peroxide with enough hot water to make a foamy mixture.
  • This will remove any dirt and kill germs from your carpet and disinfect them, making your house safe and healthy to live in.
  • Once the carpets are completely dry, get rid of any odors by sprinkling baking soda onto the carpet and letting it sit overnight before you vacuum. 

5. Disinfect Carpet with Baking Soda, Borax, and Cornmeal

Borax, baking soda, and cornmeal are a perfect combination for disinfecting carpets. Borax is a natural deodorizer and disinfectant which will get rid of any mold or mildew from your precious carpet. This soda is excellent for absorbing bad smells like baby poop and eliminating any dirt on carpeting. Follow the following steps to use this combination.

  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup baking soda onto the affected area and sprinkle borax over it. 
  • Add one cup of cornmeal and sprinkle it over the soda and borax. 
  • Using a broom, brush the mixture into the carpeting to ensure that they’re well mixed in. 
  • Let it sit for 2-3 hours, then vacuum away. If you have the time, you can let the mixture sit overnight for better results.
  •  Steam clean with vinegar mixture
  • Vacuum again to restore the carpet fibers.

6. Disinfect Carpet with Commercial Spray 

Commercial sprays are pretty effective in disinfecting carpets. The spray cleaning products are made with special ingredients that remove germs, disease-causing agents, molds, and spores in a very short time. Here's how this method works.

  • Start by vacuuming the carpet to remove any loose soil and debris. 
  • Find a well-ventilated area. Spray the commercial Disinfectant in the whole carpet, focusing on stains and places where you think there might be more bacteria lurking. 
  • Let the spray sit for at least two hours before cleaning it with a clean cloth. Preferably use a white or colorless cloth to avoid leaving any colored residues behind. 
  • Vacuum again to remove the dead germs

7. How to Disinfect Carpet with Snow

This might be surprising to many but snow works well for disinfecting carpets. The reason for such an effect is that the snow has a shallow melting point. Therefore, it can easily kill germs, viruses, and mildew, which is considered one of the primary reasons behind bad smells in the house. Here's how to use snow to disinfect your carpet: 

  • Vacuum the carpet or shake it to remove loose dirt. 
  • Spread a good amount of freshly fallen snow on the carpet, ensuring you distribute it evenly. 
  • Let it stay for at least 2-3 hours. 
  •  After that, remove the snow using a vacuum cleaner or a broom 
  • Hoover again to remove dead skin cells, germs, and other foul smell-causing elements from the carpet.

If you want to use snow as an alternative method to clean rag, do it at least weekly. You can also use snow as a preventive measure to remove bacteria, viruses, and mildew in your carpeting. This will help prevent an unpleasant smell from developing. However, the effectiveness of this process depends upon the amount and quality of snow you are using. 

How to Disinfect a Carpet FAQ

How can you disinfect carpet naturally? 

As mentioned earlier, the first step to disinfecting a carpet and making it smell nice is by vacuuming it thoroughly. Naturally, you can also use snow for cleaning your carpets. Once vacuumed, sprinkle some snow on your carpet to dry the moisture in it. Remove any dust particles or grime using either a vacuum cleaner or a broom.

What Disinfectant is good for carpet?

Several disinfectants are available in the market. You can buy any that suits your purpose and does not contain potentially dangerous ingredients like bleach or ammonia. If you don't trust the disinfectants, you can go the natural way to disinfect your carpet.

What's the difference between disinfecting and cleaning your carpet?  

Disinfection and cleaning your carpet are two different processes. During disinfection, all the possible sources of germ growth or fungal colony development must be eradicated. Disinfectants kill bacteria, fungi, and germs without harming the fabric of your carpet. Cleaning maintains the look and feels of your carpet by removing dust particles from it.

Final Thoughts on How to Disinfect a Carpet

Disinfecting your carpet is essential, especially now that germs, viruses, and diseases are easily transmitted from one person or place to another. You wouldn't want your family members to get sick just because you've failed to keep their surroundings clean and bacteria-free. 

Cleaning your carpet is a must too. The cleaning process aims at removing dust particles embedded in your carpet while maintaining its looks. After cleaning, ensure you kill all the germs by disinfecting them. You can try one of the above steps to disinfect your carpet. You can try even two or three of them until you find one method that works for you.



Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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