Hot Spots for Dirty Carpets

Hot Spots for Dirty Carpets

If you have carpets in your home then you know there are certain areas that get dirtier than others. These frequently trafficked areas are often the sites of big stains and just an overall dirty look. You can prevent stains in these areas through various methods. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Entrances – Your doorways are often the site of many stains. Mud, snow, leaves and so on are easy to drag in on dirty shoes. You can prevent these stains in various ways. One way is to insist on the removal of shoes when entering the home. Another way is to add welcome mats to cut down on some of the stains. You can also have a tiled or wooden entryway to prevent carpet stains in that area. Yet another way to prevent stains is to lay down carpet protection or a rug in those high traffic areas. All these ways can help cut down on the dirt that is brought into your home.
  2. Hallways – Hallways are often a high traffic area, especially in the center. Fight the wear and staining by laying down a long, thin rug or carpet protector.
  3. Stairs – Stairs are another high traffic area. You can cut down on stains on the stairs by avoiding carpet altogether or getting a carpet protector for that area. Often times there are also many spills on the stairs. Prevent food or drinks from being transported up stairs to avoid these stains. Vacuum carpets on stairs frequently to cit down on wear.
  4. Dining – The last place that gets a lot of stains is the dining area. Having your table on top of carpet is a recipe for spilled foods and drinks. However you can counter this by placing a large rug under the table. Oriental rugs look great and prevent the carpet from acquiring stains, however, you will then need to get the rug cleaned. Luckily, there are people like the Sunny Isles Beach Oriental Rug Pros at hand offering their services to get Oriental rugs looking as good as new. Tablecloths also help to prevent drips off of the corners of tables onto carpets.

As you can see, although there are many areas that can get stained there are also many ways to prevent these stains and wear from occurring. Use wisdom on how to best protect and clean your carpets and they should last you a long time.

Author Bio:
This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @


Home Cleaning Services

Home Cleaning Services Referrals

Although we do not provide in home cleaning services at the moment, we are staring this blog and will add to it in the coming weeks. We also can help you with a few referrals and suggest some reading on deciding how to chose this service.

Call our front desk for our current home cleaning services referral list. 707-442-3229

For Home Cleaning Service Rates please read this.

Myths About Carpet Steam Cleaning Revealed

Myths about your carpet cleaning and the facts of steam cleaning.

carpet steam cleaning

Most misconceptions about steam cleaning for carpets and upholstery originate from inexperienced cleaners failing to extract all the water and therefore leaving the carpets soaking wet. If you need Carpet Cleaning in rancho santa margarita then rest assured, the professionals know that extracting the excess moisture from the carpets is one of the most important steps to cleaning them.

Myth: ” Well the carpet doesn’t look dirty, so it doesn’t really need to be cleaned.”
Fact: Many carpets can hide dirt, so even if your carpet looks clean, there may be abrasive soil particles wearing at your carpets. This can cause loss of fiber protection or color and other permanent damage.

Myth: “I’m so worried that water from steam cleaning will ruin my carpets, and cause mildew”
Fact: Carpet manufacturers actually recommend hot water extraction, or ‘steam cleaning’, as their preferred method of carpet cleaning. When steam cleaning is done right, the water left from the steam is not enough to actually do harm. Another issue is that many cleaning companies use high-residual detergents that remains in carpets long after the cleaning is done. This actually attracts soil, which makes your carpets dirty faster.

Myth: “Carpet cleaning is really cheap”
Fact: You shouldn’t select a cleaning company solely based on price. Lots of companies will advertise a low price to hook a customer and then sell them ineffective goods at high prices or give them low quality service. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Myth: “I was told to wait as long as possible before cleaning my carpets, because they will never look the same again or I will have to clean them very often.”
Fact: Manufacturers recommend getting your carpets cleaned every 12 to 18 months. If you wait too long, it may result in permanent damage that no cleaner will be able to fix. Finding that happy medium between your wallet and your carpets is important, so maybe throw a rug down in high traffic areas to take the brunt of it.

Myth: “Using water to clean my carpets can cause it to mold, split seams, or shrink.”
Fact: This can only happen if the cleaner leaves the carpets extremely wet. Modern steam cleaning equipment is specifically designed to remove all excess moisture and leave only what the carpet fiber itself will absorb. A professional carpet steam cleaning company will properly use this equipment so the water doesn’t even touch the carpet backing, padding, or the floor underneath.

Myth: “My carpet/upholstery is white, so it has to be dry cleaned.”
Fact: A lot of people think that anything white has to be dry cleaned. This is, for the most part, untrue. A professional in any field will test the fabric and know what he or she is doing, use the proper method of cleaning to remove the maximum amount of soil and residue and will do so without harming the upholstery fabric or carpeting.

I hope this article was helpful. For more useful information about carpets check out some of our other articles, like Worst Carpet Messes for Parents or the Hot Spots on your Carpet

Carpet cleaning white carpets, and how to keeep them white.

Carpet Cleaning White Carpets and how to keep them White.

 This month has been a month filled with white carpets. So I thought I would suggest some tips that can help you keep them that way.

 1. Making sure your family and guest takes off there shoes before entering the room or house will help keep the carpeting white, however you may want to keep your socks on. Going barefoot on a plush carpet may feel nice, but after time, the oils from your feet will soil your carpet. But this only works if you change your socks once in a while, that could be counterproductive,  and quite offence to family, and pets.  You also could get what Frank Zappa called “Stink Foot” Of course I believe my dog Toby would like me to have a stinky sock laying around. I degrees.

2.  Keeping floor mats runners on your white carpeting will prolong cleanings and shadowing of your high traffic lanes. But you may ask yourself, If I have carpeting why do I need to by more rugs to protect it? I ask my self that same question, but if gives you chance to interior decorate and display oriental rugs. But stay away from plastic matts, their gaudy. I remember my parents did this in the 70’s to protect their awful multicolored shag.

3. Spills happen, so when they do, keep some good spot remover around. I suggest Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover. I have been using it for years, and you can find it in most drug stores.

4. Call us, and have your carpets serviced regularly.

So owners and landlords don’t need  to worry, because with A-1 Cleaning’s carpet steam cleaner, dirt doesn’t stand a chance, even on white carpets!


Appointment Etiquette

Appointment Etiquette
In our busy lives, making appointments is essential to staying organized. I’m sure most people have some sort of calendar where they keep important events; birthdays, doctor’s appointments, dinner with your parents, etc… you get the point. Keeping these appointments is also important, as time is a precious commodity that cannot be replaced once it has been wasted, some companies use software similar to mobile service management software to keep appointments with customers.

People who are always skipping appointments or showing up late lose the respect of others. And it isn’t always about keeping the appointments, either, but just being mature and letting whomever it is know that you won’t be able to make it. Today, communication is fast and reliable, and all it takes if a phone call to the other party to enable you both to utilize your time better. Even if the appointment may not seem important to you, that time may be precious to someone else, and so you should cancel properly if you are not able to make it. Don’t think it so unimportant that it does not merit a notice or apology.

If you do have to cancel an appointment, you should do so in a sincere and apologetic manner. When dealing with office appointments, you should try to cancel twenty-four hours in advance if at all possible. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but when other appointments could be scheduled in your place, it is polite to give as much warning as possible.

Appointments are an important part of anyone’s life. Whether you are swamped with work or just use your calendar to remember your dentist appointments, keeping track of what you have to do is a must. No one can keep every appointment they make in life, but it’s polite and respectful to let the person know if you won’t be there.

This is a courtesy announcement from A-1 Cleaning Service. When making an appointment, please make sure that the water and electricity are on, and cancel 24 hours in advance if you know you won’t be able to make it. Thank you for your business, and we hope to hear from you!

Problems With Grass Stains

Grass Stain problems

For your tuff summer grass stains, here are some tips…

– For washables: Use a cleaner made from an enzyme detergent and water, and leave it to soak in a warm place for half an hour. Use an eyedropper to apply a solution of one part ammonia/white vinegar and two parts water to the bleach any remaining stain. Rinse with cold water, and then finish with a normal wash cycle.

– Linoleum/Tile: This shouldn’t be too hard. Just wipe with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water, rinse, and dry with a clean cloth.

– Carpets: Sponge the area with a dry-cleaning solvent (use light strokes and work outward). Apply the dry spotter to stain then cover with an absorbent rag made damp with the dry spotter. Let it stand, changing the pad as the stain is lifted. Keep both the stain & the pad moist with the dry spotter. Flush with a dry cleaning solvent and allow to dry. Be sure to blot up the excess liquid during the procedure and before drying.

– Leather/Suede: Mix a mild solution consisting of soap and lukewarm water. Swish to create suds. Apply only the foam with a sponge. Wipe with a clean cloth. If there is still an oily stain, powder the area with an absorbent, like cornmeal. Give plenty of time for it to absorb, then brush off the powder. Repeat as needed.

I hope these tips helped! Good luck! 🙂

Why are grass stains so hard to remove?
Essentially, grass stains are dye stains. They are a combination of protein and other organic matter that has been mixed with the grasses’ juices (which includes chlorophyll, xanothophylls, and cartenoids; if you ever paid attention in science class, you know that these are relatively stable pigmented compounds). What makes these so difficult to remove is that these pigments are so similar to natural fibers like cotton, that the stain actually penetrates and bonds to the fabric fibers. These materials don’t bond as easily to scotch-guarded fabric, as the material is incompatible with the binding process, but all the same grass makes for an annoying stain to remove.

Worst Carpet Messes for Parents

Guest Blog Post: Carpet Castle – Worst Messes That Parents Have to Deal With

Let’s not sugar coat it, children are messy! If you have kid, you’re probably going to need to hire a carpet cleaner at some point. What’s worse is they don’t get any less messy as they get older. Every parent can remember a time where their child has made such a huge mess of their carpets, walls, windows, doors, stairs, bed… actually it’s probably easier to list what they haven’t dirtied!

Here are some of the worst messes that will have you reaching for the phone to find a professional carpet cleaner or possibly even a new carpet!

Bodily fluids

From toddlers to teenagers, it’s inevitable you’ll have to deal with pee, poo, blood, sick and more. Almost every parent will have had to pick up and rush their child to the toilet with them peeing every step of the way. Some toddlers have poo-playing phases – most grow out of this quickly but boy, is it messy! As your children grow into teenagers they may start experimenting with alcohol which, as we all know, can lead to puking. There will often be times growing up when they are ill and vomit – but this will not prepare you for the trails of spew across your carpet, up the stairs or on the walls in the general direction of a toilet.

Food stuffs

Children are very creative, which unfortunately also means messy. Talk to any parent and they will tell you about the time their beloved little one found the flour or sugar and decided to make it ‘snow.’ Or when rotten eggs exploded after their kid decided to hatch a chicken, or pouring olive oil over the kitchen floor to make a slip-and-slide. The list goes on, but worst of all is when your sprog manages to get their hands on hamburger meat before promptly grinding it into the carpet.

Sticky stuff

More of a broad category, but it will often leave you on the phone to a carpet supplier to get a replacement carpet. If you thought the food stuffs listed above were bad, just see what happens if they get their hands on honey, syrup, ice-cream or chewing gum! Some things should come with child-lock tops to save parents the hassle of dealing with ridiculous amounts of mess. The worst sticky situations you will be in is if your kids get hold of glue (bad but not terrible), Vaseline (terrible) or adhesive glitter (worse than terrible). The latter of these may even defeat even the most professional and experienced carpet cleaning company!

Organic materials

Typically people think of mud when you refer to organic mess, and for the most part that’s true. However children will bring everything with them! Alongside mud you’re likely to have to deal with sticks, leaves, small animals and even handfuls of gravel or sand. These tend to be annoying and can be tricky to clean up, but thankfully nowhere near as disastrous as some of the above messes!

About the Author – Carpet Castle is a uniquely styled carpet warehouse with thousands of different styles, patterns and colours at unbeatable prices. As one of Wales’ biggest discount warehouses, Carpet Castle offers great prices on carpets, vinyl and carpet remnants.

Caring for Wood Floors

Caring for those Wood Floors

Taking care of your floors can be a tough. There are so many different factors that can keep your floors from looking nice. Whether you’ve just bought some brand new flooring from somewhere like Prodan Flooring in Gresham, OR, or your floors are vintage and came with the house, looking after your flooring is important if you want it to last. Of course, if you’re noticing an odd lean in your wooden floors or that they’re no longer level, it may be worth checking to see if the issue is with the floorboards or if there’s an issue with the foundation of your house. For the latter, make sure you go to a Quality Foundation Repair firm to keep your property safe. With that in mind, here are a few cleaning tips to make your floors shine.

General Tips for keeping your wood floors looking nice…
– Vacuum your floors weekly. The fine grit in the dust acts just like sandpaper and will wear through your floor’s finish. Use an attachment with a brush or a felt surface that runs along the floor. Rotating brushes can scratch the finish. And if you don’t feel like hauling the vacuum out, a dust mop or microfiber sweeper will work just as well. If you’re needing to clean specifically without damaging your floors, look at this site on how to clean urine on wood floors.

– Be careful with your hairspray and furniture polish, it can cloud up your floors finish. Wipe it up immediately with a damp cloth. For a more thorough cleaning, use a non-ammonia window cleaner.

– Water can ruin your finish as well as stain your wood. Close windows when it’s going to rain, put trays under potted plants, and wipe up water if you see it.

– Use a door mat. They really do their job and beyond. Even though vacuuming and spot cleaning are good tips for keeping your floors from becoming dull, keeping the dirt out of your house is better. Making sure to stop and wipe your shoes before going inside keeps dirt and moisture from entering your home and staining your floors.

– Protect high-traffic zones with area rugs. Walking across an area several times a day eventually wears down a wood floor’s finish. Nice-looking throw rugs are the easiest way to reduce the wear. But make sure they don’t have a backing. Vinyl or rubber backing traps humidity, which can ruin your floor’s finish and stain or damage the wood.

– The rules about using waxes and restorers are an important thing to keep in mind. Yes, you can rejuvenate a wax finish with more wax. But don’t use wax on a surface finish such as shellac, varnish, or polyurethane. It will make the floor far too slippery and interfere with subsequent finishes. Use a polish made for the finish you have on your floor. You can also get a general-purpose floor restorer for some finishes, but make sure to first test the restorer on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t peel.

Cleaning Tips For Your Wax Finished Floors:
If you can’t get your floors to shine just using a dust mop, try buffing the floors instead of just adding on another coat of wax. Buffing should always be the first option, as it can provide a nice shine without adding another layer of wax to your floors. If this still doesn’t work, then you’ll need to apply a wood floor cleaner and liquid wax made specifically for wood floors. After you apply it, let the wood dry and then buff. This should be done once or twice a year, depending on how much traffic you have. You can get help with Floor Refinishing in Chesterfield Va if you’re looking for services in that area to keep your hardwood flooring looking as good as new.

Common Stains: Here’s how to remove some common stains from wax finished floors.
– Most food stains are easy to clean by gently rubbing the area with a damp cloth. Start on the outside, and work your way in. Make sure you dry the surface when you’re done.
– Water spots and ink spots (white and dark), can be removed with steel wool. Start with #000 to remove the spot from your floor. If the stain is persistent, then try a very fine sandpaper, then #00 steel wool and a wood floor cleaner. Make sure to wax and buff when complete.
– Surface scratches can be cured by applying a little wax on the area, then buffing.
– If the substance is sticky or soft, harden it with a cold pack or ice cubes. It should then just peel off.

Cleaning your Surface Finished Floors (Urethane):
If you can’t get your floors to shine with just your dust mop, try cleaning with a wood floor cleaner recommended for cleaning wood floors with a urethane finish. If this still doesn’t work, the floor should receive a new coat of surface finish. Keep in mind you should never wax a surface finished floor.

Common Stains: Here’s how to remove some common stains from surface finished floors.
– Food, water, and ink stains can be cleaned using a wood flood cleaner specifically made for urethane finished floors.
– Nicks and scratches can be repaired with a urethane repair kit.
– If the substance is sticky or soft, harden it with a cold pack or ice cubes. It should then just peel off.

Guest Blog from Tiffany Olson – So Many Carpets!

Guest Blog from Tiffany Olson – So Many Carpets!

You walk on carpet all the time. Between your office and home, you might even spend 100% of your non-travel hours on top of carpet in one form or another, office carpets especially under your desk and living room carpets in front of your sofa or favourite chair, these are both places where your feet spend a majority of the time when you’re in those rooms. Carpets are a standard indoor floor-covering, primarily due to their low cost, functionality and how easy it is to get carpet repairs should they get damaged. But have you ever evaluated the various types of carpets available? If you’ve ever built a home or installed new carpet, then of course, the answer is yes… unless you went with hardwood. But not everyone can be that awesome, so many people haven’t the slightest of clues when it comes to carpet variety – varieties of carpets as diverse as the techniques used to clean them. But don’t worry! We’re here to give you the 411 on carpet varieties. If any of the types of carpet in this article catches your eye, talk to your local carpet installation company Austin to see if they have it in stock.

1) Plush Carpet
In the cut-pile category, Plush carpet is the most versatile. It can be used for many different decorative purposes. Its textured surface does wonders for hiding foot and vacuum imprints. The texture holds well between cleanings and the casual look can easily enhance the look of almost any room. It’s a popular choice and fantastic all-purpose carpet.

2) Saxony Carpet
The Saxony carpet has a more refined, luxurious look and feel to it. It is the carpet of choice for more traditional interior designs, adding a certain elegance to the decor of any room. Saxony carpet is very commonly used for both living and dining rooms.

3) Berber Loop Pile Carpet
The Berber Loop Pile carpet uses a rugged loop surface to offer a thick wooly feel. The uneven surface gives the carpet an almost handmade feel, creating a pleasantly warm atmosphere in the room. Berber carpet is highly durable so it is perfect for families with pets or young children as well as office or business spaces. The subtlety of the patterns makes it a versatile choice, and the texture conveniently obscures foot and vacuum imprints.

4) Loop Carpet
Another versatile carpet, Loop carpet blends extremely well with a wide variety of interior designs. This carpet tops the list in durability and is engineered specifically to accommodate high-traffic areas. The textured surface allows for subtle highlights, and a wide range of color options can allow Loop carpet to be used for a wide variety of purposes.

5) Cut Loop Carpet
This unique carpet style blends loop pile with cut pile, creating a very unique look that holds well between vacuumings. The style results in an almost multi-colored look, hiding stains well and enhancing your floor surface. Cut Loop carpet looks great in both soft and bold color tones.

6) Frieze Carpet
Frieze carpet combines the look of Cut Berber with the feel of Plush. A variety of colors can be used to elegantly enhance a room, and the subtle changes in color inherent in the carpet style do wonders for hiding stray dirt in between cleanings.

Surprised that there are so many carpet styles? There are actually many more! And the carpet cleaning techniques change for every single one. These are just six basic carpet varieties to get you started, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of carpets than you did before reading this article.

Author Bio
Tiffany Olson is a blogger from Redding, CA. She writes for small, local businesses in order for them to increase their online presence. This article was written on behalf of Heidemann Cleaning, who specialize in carpet cleaning in Redding.

Twice as Nice Carpets | Heidmann Cleaning

Carpet Stain Removal Tips

Different Carpet Stain Removal Methods For Different Stains.Tips on carpet stains

Carpet Stain Removal
There’s lots of things to remember when removing stains from your carpet. The number one rule for carpet spills is to clean them immediately. This way, you have a good chance of removing it totally. If you aren’t quick enough, or if they are damaged beyond repair then you’ll find yourself looking up the number for a company similar to this Flooring Cardiff company in your area, so you can replace your carpet. With so many different items that can stain your carpet, there are just as many remedies available that can help get rid of them. Many common stains can be taken care of with natural ingredients. Here in this guide, I have given you natural and commercial carpet cleaning solutions for all your every-day messes.

1. Crayons and Glue Carpet Stain Removal:
If you have kids, then you might find mysterious crayon stains or globs of glue on your carpets. Both of these can be removed with undiluted vinegar. For carpet stain removal of crayon stains, dip an old toothbrush in vinegar and scrub the stained area. White glue on your carpet can be removed with a vinegar and water solution, just blot it with a sponge soaked in the solution. It that does nothing, you can warm up the vinegar and dab it on the stain, undiluted. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrape it away.

2. Grease Carpet Stain Removal:
An easy to pick up grease from your carpet; just sprinkle a little cornmeal down and leave it for 5 minutes. Then sponge the area with vinegar and water.

3. Brown Foods/Drinks Carpet Stain Removal:
Things like Cola, Chocolate, and Coffee can be removed with a vinegar and water solution. First, you mix 1 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water.

For chocolate, liberally sponge in the solution, but make sure to blot, not rub, to keep the stain from spreading. Continue to blot, rinse, and wring out your sponge until the water runs clear.

A coffee, tea, or cola spill on the rug should come up easily if you catch it right away, but if the stain is set, then you can use the vinegar and water solution to pick it up. Just sponge it in, then rinse and wring until the water runs clear.

4. Red Wine Carpet Stain Removal:
For any fresh red wine spills, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 15 minutes. The sale will absorb the spill and turn pink. Brush or vacuum the salt away, then finish it off by cleaning the spot with a 1/3 cup vinegar to 2/3 cup water solution.

5. Commercial Cleaner Tips
When natural products aren’t working, you can always try a commercial carpet cleaner. Remember these tips before tackling any carpet cleaning jobs. Before you start, test the cleaner in an inconspicuous place to make sure there won’t be any damage or discoloration. Remove as much of the spill as possible from the carpet before applying cleaner; make sure not to rub or you may spread the stain to a larger area. For spot cleaners, make sure to work from the outside of the stain in to keep it from spreading.

6. Potty Training “Accidents”
Sponge at the stain with a mixture of 1tbsp dish soap, 1tbsp white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water. Blot at the stain until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat if necessary until the stain disappears or is no longer absorbed into the sponge. If the stain is persistant, then carefully apply hydrogen peroxide with an eyedropper, and then apply a drop or two of ammonia. Then sponge with cold water and blot dry.

7. Blood Carpet Stain Removal:
Absorb as much of the blood as you can, then apply a solution of 1tbsp dish soap and 2 cups warm water. Sponge the stain with the detergent solution, blotting until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the stain disappears. If the stain remains, mix 1tbsp of ammonia with ½ cup of warm water and sponge the stain. Blot until absorbed, then go over the stain again with cold water and blot dry.

8. Gum or Wax Carpet Stain Removal:
To remove chewing gum or candle wax from your carpet, rub with an ice cube until the blob hardens, then just pull off the carpet.

9. Mud Carpet Stain Removal:
When mud is tracked into your house, just wait for it to dry and vacuum. For carpet stain removal of lighter carpets, if there are brown stains, then blot, do not rub, some club soda onto the stain repeatedly until the stain is gone, then vacuum once it is dry.

10. Mildew Carpet Stain Removal:
Mildew forms in your carpet is damp. This can be done a number of ways; your bathtub overflows, your roof has a leak, you spill something on the floor. It’s easy for a rug or carpet to have mildew, as they are very good at retaining dampness. You can kill mildew with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water. But you have to make sure the rug is dried thoroughly or all the effort will be in vain. If you can’t set it out in the sun, try using a hair dryer or pointing some electric fans at the spot until it dries.

Suggestions for some common items to remove rug stains.

Special Carpet Problems
When your carpet is burned, stained, or discolored, you could simply move a big chair over the spot and forget about it. Or you can use one of the following simple methods to restore your carpet to its original good looks.

1. Discoloration
Try touching up discolored spots on your carpet with acrylic paint. If that doesn’t work you can use a felt tip marker or permanent-ink marker of the correct color. Slowly blend the color into the fibers.

2. Depressions
To raise depressions left in a carpet by heavy furniture, try steaming it. Hold a steam iron close enough for steam to reach the carpet, but don’t let the iron touch the fibers, especially if they are synthetic, because they could melt. Left the fibers by scraping the with a spoon.

3. Burns
For larger burns, cut out the damaged area and replace it with a patch that is the same size and shape. Secure it with double-sided carpet tape or a latex adhesive. For fibers that are a little charred, just snip the burnt part off. No one will notice that the fibers are a little shorter in one area.

Other Carpet Tips
1. Vacuuming
Vacuuming your carpet regularly prolongs it’s life. It is suggested to vacuum your carpets once a week, and sometimes more in higher traffic areas. Go over a spot more than once, especially with plush carpet where it is easy for dirt to hide. Add baking soda to the bag to prevent odors.

2. Prevention
One of the easiest things you can do to prevent your carpets from getting dirty is taking off your shoes at the door. This will keep you from tracking in anything from outside. You do still want to wear socks, though, as the natural oils in your feet attract dirt.

3. Removing Odors
An easy way to remove odors from your carpet is to sprinkle baking soda on your carpet. Leave it for 30 minutes to an hour before vacuuming. Baking soda absorbs odors and moisture. Try adding some lavender oil to further improve indoor odor.

Other resources:

What are the Most Effective Natural Cleaning Products?