How to Keep Your Carpet Clean (Even With Kids and Pets!)

by Mother Huddle Staff
Keeping Carpet Clean With Kids and Pets

Keeping a clean house is hard. Keeping a clean house with kids and pets seems impossible.

Maintaining a clean house is a major source of stress for everyone. In a recent survey by Huffington Post, about 80% of men and almost 90% of women polled said home upkeep was a major stress factor.

Are your dishes piling up? Have you done four loads of laundry today? When was the last time you deep-cleaned the bathrooms? 

How do you keep the carpet clean in the midst of all this chaos? Between football season, toddler dinner times, and sick puppies, carpets take a beating. Here we show you how you can do more to keep them clean. These tips will save you money and time maintaining your plush flooring.

The Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Carpet Clean Even with Kids and Pets

Before you go looking for carpet cleaning services near me try some of these tips and tricks. Cleaning services are expensive. With some planning and follow-through, you can make rug cleaning an easy task.

Keep reading for the five ways you can have cleaner carpets all the time.

Immediate Stain Treatment

Carpet cleaning snow and mud-soaked rugs is not an easy task. Add in babies and animals and it’s a disaster. The first step in keeping clean carpets may seem simple but it’s effective.

Make sure you are treating any stain or mess you see right away. If you notice your partner come in with snowy, muddy boots make sure they remove them at the door. Then go to work.

For muddy carpets:

  • Blot up any excess moisture and mud with a towel.
  • Let the remaining mess dry.
  • Vacuum up the dried mud.
  • Mix together a detergent solution of one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent to one cup of warm water.
  • Soak a white cloth in the solution and blot until the stain is gone.

If you see your toddler drop their cup of juice on the carpet, clean it up right away. Use the same blotting method for the mud. Don’t rub stains on the carpet. That will only make it worse.

If you treat a stain right away there is a better chance of getting it all up. It’s harder to clean stains once they’ve set in. Speaking of stains, there is a different way to clean different messes.

Different Messes Need Different Cleaning Solutions

We have already covered mud but what are some other common stains you’d face in a normal household?

Let’s cover the biggies. Food, drink, pet stains, and baby stains.

How to Remove Red Wine from Carpet

How to Remove Red Wine from Carpet

Believe it or not, the best way to remove red wine stains is by using more wine. Blot up as much liquid as you can. Then, grab a bottle of white wine. Pour the white wine over the leftover red stain. The chemical composition of each will cancel the other out.

Blot up the liquid and voila! Bye, bye red wine stain.

How to Remove Food Stains from Carpet

Remove Food Stains from Carpet

Have a good spray carpet cleaner on hand for everyday messes. For things like spaghetti sauce or chili, these should do the trick. Remember to always blot and not rub carpet stains. Doing a carpet shampoo once every couple of months will get rid of any residual food stains. 

For things like peanut butter, or even chewing gum, the solution might surprise you. Don’t start scrubbing away at it. This will set the gunk even more. The right way to remove these thicker substances is by making your way to the freezer first.

Grab some ice and rub the offender until it’s good and frozen. Once the gunk freezes you can pull it up off the carpet in one big hunk and it won’t smear around.

Removing Pet Stains from Carpets

Pet Stains from Carpet

We all know that when we say removing pet stains we mean pee and poop. These tips also apply for baby stains and puke.

Removing Poop Stains

  • Scrape up as much of the yuck as you can.
  • Make a cleaning solution with one teaspoon of dish soap, two tablespoons of OxiClean (or other powdered laundry treatment), and 2 cups of warm water.
  • Soak a clean cloth with the solution and dab it in.
  • Then grab your scrub brush, this one needs scrubbing, and go to town.
  • Work the solution into the fibers then dab up the solution with a clean cloth.
  • Repeat these steps as many times as necessary until the spot is gone.
  • Remove any remaining scent by spraying the spot with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
  • Let dry for 24 hours and then vacuum the spot. If the stain returns, shampoo the carpet with a rug cleaner so the suction can do a deep dive and get rid of the stain in the padding as well.

Removing Pee Stains

Removing Pee Stains

  • The first step is the most important, get as much urine dried and up out of the carpet as possible. The easiest way to get this done is by vacuuming the spot with a shop vac until it’s dry. Paper shopping bags also do a good job of soaking up urine.
  • This should remove most of the stain. If there is still color there use the OxiClean solution we mentioned earlier.
  • Spray the area down with the 50/50 vinegar and water spray. Make sure you soak it so it reaches the carpet padding
  • Use your shop vac to vacuum up the solution until it’s dry.
  • Vacuum well and make sure no stain or smell remains.

Removing Vomit

  • Scrape up any remaining vomit.
  • Use the cleaning solution and blot at the stain until it lifts.
  • For older stains, you can take an additional step — iron them.
  • Mix two tablespoons of ammonia and 1 cup of hot water and spray the stain.
  • Lay a towel on top of the stain and iron the towel until the stain starts to lift.
  • Keep moving the towel to a clean place and ironing the stain again until it’s gone.
  • Let the carpet dry, sprinkle it with baking soda, and vacuum well to remove any scent.

Again, the faster you attend to a carpet stain the better. You’ll have to work harder the longer a stain sits.

Institute Carpet Friendly Household Rules

The best carpet cleaning tip is to not get it dirty in the first place. Make a new set of carpet-friendly household rules to avoid messes.

A good list to start with is:

  • Remove shoes at the door.
  • Utilize boot trays and mats during the spring and winter.
  • Eating only in one designated area.
  • Only cups with lids in carpeted rooms.
  • Use rugs in high-traffic areas.
  • If you make a mess you have to clean it up right away.

Starting with these rules will avoid the majority of carpet messes. Taking care of the mess before it dries is essential to avoid a permanent stain.

Designate an Official Play Area for Pets and Kids

Designate an Official Play Area for Pets and Kids

Make a special spot in your house for play. You don’t need to have an entire room dedicated to play if you’re short on space. Using baby gates, play mats or other measures keep the playroom contained as much as possible. This way you can give this area special attention every day to get to stains quickly.

For dogs, put down puppy pads in the area to avoid any accidental slip-ups, especially for puppies and senior dogs. Avoid accidents by keeping your dogs on a schedule. Make sure to walk them or let them out after every feeding and every couple of hours to make sure they don’t go inside.

For cats, make sure you are emptying their litter pans often. Not just scooping them, but actually changing out their litter and cleaning the box itself on a regular basis. Cats do not like to go in dirty litter boxes. Cleaning them daily helps tremendously. Use a clumping litter and a sifting spoon to remove solids daily and change the litter once or twice a week.

If your pets are still eliminating inside the house or outside their litter box, there’s likely another issue at hand that warrants a vet visit.

Be Proactive & Stain Proof Your Carpet

If your carpet isn’t stain-resistant, you’re in luck, you can make it stain-resistant! There are products you can get at your local home improvement store that can be sprayed on your carpet to resist messes and block stains.

Keep in mind that no product or carpet is invincible to stains or messes. You’ll still need to clean the mess quickly, but these products make it easier to clean up and less likely to leave a permanent stain.

Adhere to a Cleaning Schedule

Adhere to a Cleaning Schedule

The best thing you can do to keep your carpets clean is adhere to a regular cleaning schedule that all the adults in the house are aware of and can lend a hand in completing. Here’s a breakdown of a daily/weekly/monthly schedule for floors. Feel free to switch up this cleaning schedule to fit the needs of your household.


  • Spot sweep/vacuum any messes, crumbs, or debris
  • Treat any stains that you see
  • Pick up dirty shoes and other messes


  • Full-house vacuum and mop
  • Treatment of any stains that are more set in or that you missed throughout the week


  • Shampoo your carpets with a rug cleaner
  • Do a full house scent treatment and vacuum


  • Vacuum and shampoo couches, chairs and ottomans

Carpet Isn’t Cheap, Learn to Take Care of It the Right Way

Keeping your carpet clean doesn’t have to be a stressor. It does take a bit of upkeep to maintain carpets but it is well worth it.

That soft cushion under your feet is the little reward for all your hard work. Keep your carpets in great shape by knowing how to treat life’s messes. Treat stains immediately. Make sure you are following a good daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routine.

By giving your flooring the care it deserves it will continue to hold up for years and years. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and avoiding replacing carpets is a huge financial bonus. Refer to your manufacturer for how to maintain special carpets made of specific fibers.

Have you ever faced a stubborn stain? What was your solution? Please share your experience in the comments below.

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