How to Clean Dirt from a Carpet

As you probably already know, it’s super easy to get dirt on a carpet. Shoes, animals, and tons of other stuff can track dirt inside your home.

    But do you know how to clean dirt from a carpet? And that there are actually a few key steps involved to ensure that you don’t make the stain worse?

    Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Because in this article, we are going to look at all the ways to deal with different types of dirt on the carpet.

    Whether you are dealing with wet or dry stains, we have the perfect cleaning solution for you.

    Plus, we will give special advice to those dealing with dirt on a white carpet. This way you will never have to wonder how to get muddy footprints out of a carpet ever again.

    What this article covers:

    How To Get Wet Dirt Out of a Carpet

    how to get dirt out of carpet

    Step 1: Act Fast

    If you are dealing with a fresh dirt stain, you are in luck, because you have already cut your workload in half.

    This is because the stain hasn’t had time to set and penetrate the carpet fibers yet, making it easier to salvage the situation.

    But this means you have to act fast. As soon as you spot the stain, take action.

    Start by grabbing a dull knife, credit card, or carpet-scraping tool (such as a Gum Getter) and get ready for the next step.

    Step 2: Scrape

    Now that you have your scraping tool ready, it is time to scrape off as much of the residual dirt as you can.

    Take your time and be careful during this step. 

    Vigorous scraping will lead to dirt penetrating the carpet fibers.

    Step 3: Choose A Cleaning Solution

    The next step is to choose a cleaning solution to apply to your stain. We highly recommend using professional carpet cleaning chemicals.

    how to get ground in dirt out of carpet

    There are many targeted cleaners that are specifically designed to deal with tough, dark stains. We recommend something like X-Brown, a specialized cleaner for darker, brown stains.

    how to get dirt stains out of carpet

    If you don’t have chemicals on hand, you can mix a quarter teaspoon of dish detergent with a cup of warm water.

    Step 4: Blot

    The next step is to gently blot the stain. It is important to exercise care and not rub the stain too vigorously.

    Use a white cloth for this step as you want to see how the dirt transfers from the carpet onto the cloth.

    Dip your cloth in the cleaning solution of your choice and gently apply pressure to the stain. Continue the blotting process until no more of the dirt is transferred from the carpet to the cloth. 

    You want to go slow and steady here, but you also need to ensure that your cleaning solution has completely saturated the stain.

    After a few rounds of blotting, you should see that most of the stain has been removed. 

    If you used a detergent solution and a large portion of the stain remains, you can follow this process by blotting white vinegar directly onto the stain.

    Step 5: Blot Dry

    Now you are going to blot the stained area dry. You can use paper towels for this although cotton towels will work better. But remember, they will get a bit of dirt on them.

    Blot the area dry until more of the dirt residue is removed.

    Step 6: Wet the Stain

    This may seem counterintuitive, but after drying up the stain and removing the dirt residue, you want to wet the stained area. 

    This is to remove any leftover cleaning solution that may remain.

    Use a spray bottle or damp sponge and wet the affected area. Ensure that all cleaning residue is removed and then blot dry again.

    How To Get Dry Dirt Out of a Carpet

    how to clean dirt out of carpet

    Step 1: Scrape

    If you are dealing with a dried dirt or mud stain, it is a bit harder to remove the dirt and other debris than when the stain is fresh.

    Dried stains have had some time to set and penetrate into the carpet, making it harder to remove the dirt particles.

    Think about cleaning paint from a carpet. Dealing with a wet stain means removing paint in its liquid form, but when removing dried paint from a carpet, you have to deal with dried-up clumps of paint clinging to the carpet.

    Despite this, you still need to try your best to remove as much of the debris from the carpet fibers as you can. Use a dull knife and gently scrape out as much of the dirt as you can.

    You want to focus on separating the dried dirt from the carpet fibers here. If you have suitably loosened enough of the dried dirt, you can also vacuum some of the dried debris up.

    Put the vacuum on a slow setting and go gently to prevent the dirt from spreading to other parts of the carpet or penetrating deeper.

    Step 2: Wet & Blot

    Because the dried-up debris is so stubborn, it is helpful to wet the stain before commencing the cleaning process. This will help some of the dirt loosen from the carpet.

    For this step, you can add some water to a spray bottle or wet a sponge. Gently squeeze or spray water over the affected area until the stained area is saturated and softened.

    Then, use a white towel or rag (one that won’t mind dirtying up) and blot the water up. You should see the stain starting to transfer from the carpet onto the rag.

    Step 3: Prepare Cleaning Solution

    The next step is to prepare your cleaning solution.

    We highly recommend using a trusted carpet chemical, such as a Fiber Rinse, to deal with dried dirt. Dilute the chemicals according to the package instructions.

    how to remove ground in dirt from carpet

    Alternatively, you can mix some dish detergent into a cup of warm water.

    Dip a clean white cloth into the cleaning solution of your choice and start to blot the stain again.

    Ensure that you gently work the cleaning solution into the stain and avoid rubbing it in.

    You may need to repeat this step a couple of times until you achieve the desired result. 

    Step 4: Blot Dry

    After saturating the stain, you want to blot it dry with a towel, rag, or paper towel. Then, use a spray bottle full of water and spray the affected area.

    Your aim is to get water into the stained area to get rid of any residual cleaning solution. Blot the stain dry again until the water and residual cleaning solution is absorbed.

    Step 5: Let It Sit

    When done, place a towel over the stained area and place a weighted object, such as a heavy ornament on it to weigh the towel down.

    Leave it overnight.

    This will take care of dirt that has penetrated deep into the carpet, which is why this method is also useful for other dried stains such as removing dried play dough from a carpet.

    In the morning, you can lift up the weight and the towels, fluff the affected area, and allow it to air dry.

    How To Get Dirt Stains Out of a Carpet

    how to get deep dirt out of carpet

    Step 1: Mix Your Solution

    Sometimes, there is no residual dirt visible on the carpet but a dirt stain is present on your carpet. In this case, a more thorough cleaning treatment is needed.

    This procedure can also be used if you follow the processes for cleaning wet and dry dirt, but a stain remains.

    The first thing to do is grab two spray bottles.

    Fill one bottle with cold water and the other with a detergent mixture of a quarter teaspoon of detergent and a cup of warm water.

    Step 2: Wet First Cloth

    You will also need two cloths for this method.

    Spray your detergent solution onto one of your cloths.

    Ensure you are using an absorbent cloth such as a microfiber cloth. Dab the affected area with your cloth, taking care not to rub.

    The stain should start dissolving at which point you can blot it with a clean section of your cloth. 

    Repeat this process by applying detergent to the stain and blotting it with a clean section of the cloth until the stain has disappeared.

    If the stain has not remained, you may want to use a targeted stain removal product instead your detergent mixture.

    We recommend Supergel for this purpose, as it is a versatile and powerful stain remover that can ensure that the stain completely disappears.

     how to get dirt out of rug

    Step 3: Wet Second Cloth

    Take your second cloth and spray it with your bottle of cold water.

    Dab the area with the cold-water cloth to rinse out the soapy or chemical solution that remains in the carpet.

    Then, use a dry section of the cloth to blot the area dry.

    For best results, place a towel over the stain and weigh it down with a heavy object so that it can sit overnight.

    How to Get Ground-In Dirt Out Of A Carpet

    Step 1: Mix Cleaning Solution

    The first step for getting rid of ground-in dirt is to mix your cleaning solution beforehand.

    We highly recommend using a diluted version of a carpet pre-spray or carpet shampoo for the best results.

    how to get dirt out of white rug

    If you don’t have this on hand, you can opt for ¼ cup of warm water, vinegar, and baking soda if you have all of these ingredients on hand.

    Alternatively, you mix some dish detergent with warm water.

    Place your cleaning solution of choice in a spray bottle.

    Step 2: Spray the Affected Area

    Once you have your cleaning solution ready, spray it onto the area where the ground-up dirt is.

    You want to ensure the stain is completely saturated but you don’t want your carpet to be soggy.

    Allow the cleaning solution to sit and work its magic for a bit before moving on to the next step.

    Step 3: Scrub

    Now, you are ready to clean. Take a scrub brush with soft bristles (or a cloth) and gently scrub.

    The dirt should start lifting from the carpet at this point.

    Focus your attention on the areas where the dirt is most concentrated.

    Step 4: Rinse

    Rinse the affected area with warm water. Using a spray bottle will make your job a little easier but you can also use a wet cloth or sponge.

    Saturate the area where the dirt was and ensure that the soapy remnants of your cleaning solution are thoroughly removed.

    Alternatively, you can use a damp towel that was soaked in warm water and rinse out the affected area with this.

    If you choose to do this, rinse out excess water from the towel and gently place it onto the affected area with a little pressure to ensure the warm water saturates the stain.

    Then, use a clean towel or cloth to soak up excess water.

    How to Get Dirt Out Of A White Rug

    how to get dirt out of a rug

    Step 1: Shake

    If you have dirt on a white rug, you need to go the extra mile because it will be more visible to the naked eye.

    The first thing you will do is give your rug a good shake. This will ensure that any remnants of debris or dirt fall out of the carpet (also useful if you want to know how to get ash out of a carpet).

    If you are dealing with a big rug, hang it over a wall and fence and give it a whack with a broomstick until the dirt and debris fall out.

    Step 2: Vacuum

    The next step is to vacuum your rug. This will loosen the dirt from the rug and prepare it for cleaning.

    A professional carpet cleaning machine, such as the Orbot carpet cleaner, may come in handy if you have a white rug because it will provide the best results.

    clean dirt out of carpet

    These machines are powerful enough to remove magic marker stains from a carpet and makes removing crayon from a carpet look like a breeze.

    But if you don’t have one, your household vacuum will do just fine.

    Step 3: Prepare for Clean

    If your rug stains are fresh or if you notice dirt clumps, you should scrape off the excess dirt with a blunt knife or the edge of a spoon.

    Then, mix some liquid detergent and warm water and apply it to the affected area with a sponge or cloth. Use a gentle dabbing motion to apply it.

    You can also add some vinegar for a more powerful cleaning solution.

    Step 4: Clean the Rug

    Use a clean cloth and blot up the cleaning liquid from the stained area until you see the stain starting to disappear. Repeat as often as is necessary to remove the stain.

    Then, blot the stained area with cold water to remove any remnants of the cleaning solution.

    If you want to clean the entire rug, you will use the same process. But instead of focusing on one area, you will gently scrub the entire rug.

    Then, go over the entire rug with a sponge dipped in cold water to remove any residual cleaning solution.

    If you treated the entire rug, hang it out to dry.


    After reading this, you should be well-versed in all the ways to deal with dirt on a carpet.

    Not only are these stains easy to manage, but they can easily be handled through the application of a detergent solution or professional chemicals.

    At the very least, you now have some peace of mind the next time someone enters the house and leaves a trail of dirt behind them.

    Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking other guides:

    Featured collection

    View all
    Groutmaster Tile and Grout Cleaner Prespray
    Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
    654 Reviews
    $ 63.00
    Black Label Sweet Breeze™ Prespray
    Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
    317 Reviews
    Regular price $ 55.00 Sale pricefrom $ 53.00 Save $ 2.00
    USOR UNCHAINED (Urine Stain & Odor Remover) With EcoCide
    Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
    557 Reviews
    Regular price $ 39.59 Sale pricefrom $ 36.50 Save $ 3.09
    Ultimate All Fiber Rinse
    Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
    91 Reviews
    Regular price $ 38.97 Sale price$ 34.00 Save $ 4.97