Carpeting is an area of the home that quickly collects and harbors dirt and bacteria. From regular foot traffic, to food spills, to pet stains, carpets endure a lot of wear and tear on a regular basis. While vacuuming will collect much of the loose dirt and debris, many times, the bacteria deep in the fibers of the carpet are not removed. This makes it important to incorporate an occasional steam cleaning every few months. By combining a steam cleaner with a simple vinegar solution, you can thoroughly clean the carpets with little work.
Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into a steam cleaner for every gallon of hot water you are using. The vinegar will disinfect and deodorize the carpeting, without leaving the film residue that many carpet shampoos leave behind.
Fill the steam cleaner canister to its 'maximum fill' line, then plug the steam cleaner into an electrical outlet.
Vacuum the carpets as you normally would. Move across the floor slowly, making sure to give the solution time to do its job, collecting and killing bacteria.
Move furniture, and make sure to clean under all furniture areas as well, which can quickly accumulate crumbs and other items that do not get collected with a regular vacuum cleaning.
Repeat as needed until all of the carpet has been cleaned. Focus especially on stained and heavy traffic areas. If this is your first time steam cleaning with vinegar, you may need to go over the carpets two to three times to collect all of the residue that has built up over the years.
Let the carpet air dry, and repeat every few months, or as needed to keep the carpets cleaned to your satisfaction.