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A need often for cleaning. It is not uncommon for a glass of red wine to be spilled on your beloved carpet or your morning coffee to be dropped. In order to get your carpet clean again, you first need to find out whether it is suitable for washing in the washing machine.

Simple home remedies or chemical carpet cleaners, such as a special carpet foam, can help get your carpet clean again.

Do you now want to know how you should pre-clean your carpet before washing? Or what is the best way to dry the carpet gently? Then you’ve come to the right place with our guide. We provide you with answers to all the questions you ask yourself about “washing carpets”.

 Essentials in brief

  • The most important thing is if you spill a drink on your carpet, for example, that you clean it as quickly as possible. Don’t wait a day or a few hours because the liquid will have dried up and will be difficult to remove.
  • The simplest and quickest first aid home remedy is mineral water. Immediately after the mishap, pour mineral water over the dirty area, let it take effect briefly and wipe it away with a cloth.
  • Depending on the material your carpet is made of, you can wash it in the washing machine on an easy-care program. If this is not allowed, you will have to have your carpet professionally cleaned or clean it carefully by hand.

What is a carpet?

A carpet is a textile fabric of limited dimensions that can be knotted, woven, knitted or tufted. A carpet usually also has a pattern.

Carpets need to be cleaned more often. Either it has been soiled with drinks or other things, or you simply want to give your carpet a little freshness again. 

There are basically two types of carpets:

  • European carpets
  • Oriental carpets

In Europe, a carpet is exclusively understood as textile floor coverings. In the Orient/Middle East, the term carpet includes all types of flat textiles that are used to cover walls, tables and floors.

In addition to the carpet, carpet and carpet tiles were created in the 20th century.

Background: What you should know about washing a carpet

Depending on how big the carpet is and what material it is made of, cleaning such a carpet costs different amounts.

The material also tells you how you should or may clean your carpet and whether it is suitable for the washing machine or not. For example, you can wash cotton carpets in the washing machine. A delicate silk carpet must be carefully cleaned by hand or professionally cleaned.

How much does it cost to have a carpet cleaned?

How much it costs to have a carpet cleaned always depends on the length, width and number of dirt on your carpet.

Basically, depending on the type of carpet, you can expect the following prices:

Carpet type Cleaning costs
Fleckerl carpet 8-10 $
Shaggy carpet, Flokati 9-12$
Sisal carpet, coconut carpet 9-12$
Woven carpet (machine woven) 9-12 $
Wool carpet 10-15 $
Oriental carpet, Persian carpet 15-25 $
Gabbeh, China carpet, Berber carpet, Nepal carpet 15-20 $
Silk carpet 20-30 $
Antique carpet 20-30 $

Which carpet material should you wash and how?

The best way to clean your carpet depends on the material. If you want to wash your carpet, you should first check whether it is even suitable for washing.
Not every carpet can be washed in the washing machine. The best way to do this is to read the label on the back of the carpet. 

Certain carpets are not designed to come into contact with large amounts of water. You can then only clean them with the home remedies mentioned below.

You will usually find a label on the back of the carpet that gives you information about the ideal cleaning method. You will find out whether you can wash your carpet and, if so, at what temperature.

If dry or professional cleaning of a carpet is recommended, then you should not do it yourself just because you want to save money. The damage that can be caused will then cost far more as the carpet can become out of shape, shrink, warp or discolor and then become unusable.

Carpets made of cotton/polyester, viscose, polyacrylic

Carpets made of cotton/polyester, viscose or polyacrylic can usually be cleaned in the washing machine. A low washing temperature of 30°C is recommended. Using a low-maintenance program can also be beneficial.

Choose detergents for delicate laundry or wool and not heavy-duty detergents with bleach and brighteners.

Under no circumstances should you spin the laundry and only use the lowest number of revolutions. If possible, you should wash the carpet separately and make sure there is only a small amount of friction on the drum.

Only use fabric softener if your carpet’s label allows it.

If the carpet is too big, you can wash it by hand in a large tub or the bathtub. You use a mild soap bar that you make from detergent and water.

Alternatively, you can clean these carpets with a powder, carpet foam or an electric carpet cleaning device.

Carpets made of wool/new wool/felt

Careful cleaning is required for carpets made of wool, corded wool or felt. You should avoid using chemical agents and powders as much as possible, as these could damage the carpet.

The best solution for cleaning at this point is a solution of wool detergent and lukewarm water. Cleaning should only be done using dabbing movements and no scrubbing or rubbing.

If these are high-quality oriental carpets, you should rely on a professional and not wash the carpet by hand yourself.

Leather carpets and real fur carpets

You should never wash fur and leather carpets in the washing machine. The animal materials are particularly susceptible to rot when exposed to moisture, which is why you should never completely wet them.

The leather can also break during the washing process as it becomes hard. Furthermore, you should not clean these carpets back and forth.

If you want to clean such a carpet, only use moisturizing neutral silk and water. You should not wet the carpet and always clean it with a damp cloth and a soft brush (a baby hair brush is best).

How do I clean the carpet before carpet washing?

Before damp and wet cleaning, you should always remove most of the coarse dirt and dust. You can do this normally with a vacuum cleaner. Which suction nozzle you use depends on the surface structure and pile height of the carpet.

You should not use the vacuum cleaner brush on carpets whose surface is particularly sensitive. This could put strain on the carpet. These carpets include: high and long pile carpets, wool, leather and real fur carpets.

However, you can also beat the carpet before washing the carpet. You literally knock the dirt and dust out of the carpet. However, make sure that you do this from the underside of the carpet, otherwise the dirt will be brought further inside.

This is suitable for the following carpets:

    • Shaggy rugs
    • wool carpets
    • leather carpets
    • Real fur carpets

For carpets that are not quite as sensitive, a powerful vacuum cleaner suction power is suitable for pre-cleaning. This allows you to clean the carpet down to the fibers so that no crumbs or dust are left behind.

For high-quality oriental carpets and carpets made of sensitive materials, we recommend that you reduce the suction power to a minimum so that the fibers are neither sucked in nor damaged.

You also have the option of shaking out the carpet. You can also brush the carpet – if it is particularly sensitive – with a soft brush.

In summary, you can pre-clean the carpet before washing using the following methods:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Carpet beating
  • Shake out the carpet
  • Brush out with a soft brush

What to do about a dirty carpet: 3 effective cleaning methods

Depending on the size and material, different cleaning methods are available. Some carpet models can be washed in the washing machine, others, for example, cannot because they are too delicate.

In the washing machine

The following video shows you how, for example, you can wash a bathroom carpet in the washing machine:

Cotton carpets are generally always suitable for washing in the washing machine at around 30°C. It is recommended to use an easy-care program.

In the bathtub with your hand

If rugs are too large, you should hand wash them in a larger tub or bathtub. Even if your carpet was and is particularly sensitive or expensive, you should not put it in a washing machine.

You can find out whether your carpet is suitable for washing in the washing machine by looking at the label, which is usually on the back of your carpet. You will also find out how many degrees you should wash your carpet to the maximum.

With home remedies

The carpet doesn’t always have to end up in the dry cleaners. If you have the right information and home remedies, you can save on cleaning costs and use simple remedies that are just as effective.

Mineral water

Mineral water is a particularly effective first aid remedy for a dirty carpet. It makes no difference whether it is red wine drops or coffee splashes.

However, if the carpet is quite dirty and some of the stains have already dried, mineral water will not help with cleaning. You should use one of the other home remedies.

baking powder

Baking soda works wonders when cleaning carpets because of the baking soda it contains.

Sprinkle enough powder on the stain or dirty area of ​​the carpet and carefully pour hot water on it. This opens the fiber pores and the dirt can be removed in this way.

Don’t use boiling water. This could destroy the structure of the carpet.

You now let the baking powder work for a few hours. You can then dab it again and the stain should be gone.

We have selected the following video to show you how to clean with baking soda:


It is important to treat or remove the stains as quickly as possible after the mishap. This way you are more likely to get the entire carpet completely clean than if the stains have already dried.

Sprinkle some salt on the area immediately after it gets dirty. Do this from the outside inwards so that the contamination cannot spread further.

The salt grains serve to absorb the dirt. Finally, you can remove the grains with the vacuum cleaner and the stain should be gone.

The salt is best suited to combat annoying red wine stains.

shaving cream

Shaving cream can be used in place of carpet foam. Apply the foam to the area to be cleaned and massage it in slowly with a brush. Suction the product away as usual.

Make sure that the shaving foam you use does not contain methanol or color. These components destroy the texture of the carpet and discolor it.


Believe it or not, even snow can clean and/or refresh your carpet. To do this, place the carpet outside on the clean blanket of snow on cold winter days.

Once the carpet has been cleaned, you can hang it up indoors in a warm room and let it dry.

This trick usually only works on smaller carpets with coarser fibers.

Vinegar water/lemon juice

Vinegar is a home remedy that you will soon have at home and is therefore a great option to consider for cleaning carpets.

  1. Mix the vinegar 1:1 with water.
  2. Dab the vinegar and water mixture onto the carpet and allow the solution to take effect.
  3. Alternatively, you can use another acid in the form of lemon juice to clean the carpet.

Only use vinegar water on light-colored carpets and avoid this method on dark or colorful carpets. There is a risk of bleaching. Vinegar water has a bleaching effect. Before you use this home remedy, we advise you to first try the trick on an inconspicuous area of ​​the carpet.

Baking soda

In contrast to vinegar water, the carpet smells particularly fresh again after the baking soda treatment. To do this, sprinkle the powder evenly over the stain and then spray the powder on the carpet using a spray bottle filled with water.

Now wait until the powder has dried and vacuum up the powder residue with the vacuum cleaner.


The best way to clean with soda is to dip a damp cloth into a soda solution. Then carefully dab the dirty areas of the carpet with this and let the whole thing take effect for a while. Finally, wash the product out with a little water.

What else you should know about washing a carpet

How do I gently dry the carpet after washing?

On the one hand, it is important to pre-clean a carpet before washing, but on the other hand, it is also important to dry it gently after washing.

One rule always applies: never put the carpet in the dryer after washing, even if it is suitable for the washing machine. Wait until it dries on its own.

Squeeze out excess water when washing the carpet by hand. But be careful not to destroy the structure of the carpet and do not press it too hard.

After washing, it is best to spread the carpet out over a larger, clean area and use a soft brush to straighten the pile again.

You should then let the carpet air dry. To do this, either hang it on a rack or let it dry lying down. It is particularly important to avoid direct sunlight.

A shady spot with a little wind outside is the optimal place to dry a carpet.

Only put the carpet back on the floor when it is 100% dry. Otherwise there is a risk that it will start to mold from underneath because no more air can get in.

At what temperature should you wash a carpet?

Basically, there is no single temperature at which you can wash all your carpets. Some carpets cannot be washed at all, others at 30°C, for example. Whether washing is allowed depends largely on the material of your carpet.

Information about whether you can wash the carpet or not can be found on the label on the bottom of your carpet.

Whether you can clean your carpet in the washing machine or not is stated on a label that is usually on the back of the carpet. You will find out at how many degrees you can wash it. (Image source: / Andriy Popov)

You can usually wash carpets made of cotton, wool or polyester without any problems. For example, you should not wash carpets made of leather or fur and only clean them with a damp cloth, as they can become moldy if they get heavily wet.


If you cannot wash carpets in the washing machine at around 30°C, you can clean them if necessary with simple household remedies such as baking powder, baking soda, salt or an acidic agent such as acetic or citric acid.

You can easily wash carpets made of cotton or polyester in the washing machine or by hand at a low temperature and using an easy-care program.

Basically, when cleaning a carpet, you should make sure that you do not rub or rub the dirty area with your hand. This would only push the dirt further into the interior of the carpet. Just dab the area you want to clean with a wet cloth.