Photography by Brittany Ambridge

We all know cell phones are one of the dirtiest items we come in contact with every day, but it turns out, there are even germier things we encounter on a daily basis—and a big one is a permanent staple in many of our homes: carpeting. According to a new report from Home Advisor, carpeting is 16 times dirtier than the average phone and six times grimier than a toilet seat (human hair makes up 36 percent of the contents; plant matter, skin cells, and fungal spores make up another 5 percent). 

While wall-to-wall carpeting can sometimes get a bad rap for looking drab or dated, we’ve been loving the feature lately. French creative Julia Rouzaud convinced us to go bold earlier this year with dark forest green and Yves Klein Blue, while Kansas-based designer A.B. Lafitte showed us that a tangerine treatment makes for a moody movie-watching room. Then there’s just the added benefit of having a soft place to walk on. All that to say, we aren’t ready to give way to solid hardwood and tile floors just yet.

If you learn how to deep-clean your carpeting on your own, your space can be a happy and more hygienic one. So we went to expert Becky Rapinchuk, also known as Clean Mama, for her top tips on how to DIY

The Supplies

The How-To

Clear your space of furniture (or really anything on the floor) and vacuum thoroughly. Fill the reservoir tank of your machine with hot water and the cleaning solution of your choice. Work in small sections and from the back of the room out to the door, left to right. Let the surface dry and then vacuum again. Got stains? Soak up the spots as quickly as you can, blot the area with cool water, pretreat, and use your carpet cleaner. If you have pets and kids, the pro suggests tackling the job every six months or at least annually. And given you’ll be heading to Amazon to buy your carpet cleaner, snag a UV phone sanitizer box while you’re at it.