Guide: Carpet Underlay Cleaning

Unlike a magic carpet that flies in the air, stationary carpets stay on the ground, making them prone to messes and spills. These seep deep into the carpet’s surface and down to its underlay. 

The underlay also called the cushion or the padding serves as a comforter and protection from premature wear of the carpet. While cleaning the carpet surface can be relatively easy, the underlay can be a challenge. Accumulated dirt is tough to remove if you don’t use the right tools or techniques. 

Clean underlays make a big difference in the longevity and overall quality of your carpets at home. And because they’re so important, you should do your best to clean and maintain them over the years.

Read on for four simple steps to clean carpet underlays:

  1. Carpets Off

When cleaning carpet underlays, it is best to remove the carpet altogether to have full access to all the nooks and crannies. Damaged, frayed, or too-thin carpets should be replaced right away to avoid accidents or to remove an eyesore. 

Most people assume that when they clean the surface of the carpet, it cleans the underlays automatically, too. It is a common misconception that keeps the underlay dirty and causes further water damage. Dirt that has seeped in can accumulate into a stage where it’s difficult or even impossible to remove.

  1. Vacuum Loose Dirt 

Once the carpet is removed, focus on cleaning the underlay itself. Get loose dirt and debris off using a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum areas are often left out as dirt and debris may have accumulated around them. These are the areas under furniture and other unreachable spots.

Removing loose dirt and debris will make the rest of the cleaning process much less messy.

Remove and replace damaged underlay immediately. Remember that the underlay defines how the carpet will remain flat, so any odd spots must be immediately removed and replaced. Common types of damage include underlays with mold, mildew, or any sign of water damage.

  1. The Underlay Cleaning Process

Removal of loose dirt and debris makes this step a lot easier. Here, the main concern is lingering stains and everything else that vacuuming missed. It’s best to wear rubber gloves when doing this. Use a clean cloth to apply an oxygen bleach and water solution to all the remaining stains on the underlay. This should clean off all remaining dirt thoroughly. Make sure that the cloth is soaked well and wring it until it is just damp.

  1. Dry the Underlay

After the direct cleaning, you must take the time to dry it off. It’s best to use an industrial fan or even a humidifier if you have one, just to be sure that the surface thoroughly dries out. The underlay and carpet must be dry before putting everything back in place. This prevents further damage to both.


Cleaning carpet underlay requires a lot of effort. With its nature as a cushion, dirt that has thoroughly penetrated the fabric might be tough or even impossible to remove. There’s no shame in admitting that some things may be beyond your cleaning ability.

If you need professional cleaning services for your carpet and other furnishings, Queen Bee Cleaning Service is Seattle’s best home cleaning service. With our expertise, we would be more than happy to do the cleaning for you. Contact us today!

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