Cleaning Apartment Carpet: All You Need To Know

When it comes to living in an apartment, depending on the size of the apartment. It can be quite a task to keep everything clean, especially if your apartment has carpet. We wanted to highlight some of the key aspects when it comes to cleaning apartment carpet so that you know everything that is involved before you decide to rent out an apartment. If you already rent an apartment with carpet, then the information contained in this article will come in very handy because we will go into detail on everything regarding this topic.

You may have a few questions regarding who is responsible for cleaning the apartment’s carpets and the correct way of going about it and so on. Let’s dive straight into the first commonly asked question and that is, who is responsible for cleaning the apartment’s carpets? While we know according to state rental law that a landlord is required to provide a rental unit that is in safe and livable condition, such as having running water and heat in the winter time as well as no apparent dangers to the tenants life while they live in the unit of property.

Now when it comes to a red wine or ice cream stain on the carpet in the apartment, it won’t necessarily be the direct responsibility of the landlord to make sure that the carpet is cleaned. Let’s just be honest, a dirty carpet is not unsafe and it does not make the apartment unlivable, it is merely dirty and may cause some distress to continuously have to look at a dirty carpet. The real question that comes into play here is, who made the carpet dirty in the first place? Once that is established it then becomes easier to point fingers and put responsibility for cleaning the carpet onto that person.

If you as the tenant decided to eat your favorite homemade pasta on the couch in front of the television and then accidentally drop the plate of food on the carpet, causing a substantial stain then you would be held liable for getting the carpet cleaned since you made the stain. However, if you as the tenant come across a stain on the carpet and it was there prior to you moving in, then in that situation the landlord cannot make you pay for the carpet to be cleaned since it was not made by you in the first place. 

As a tenant, you always want to make sure that you do a thorough walk through of the apartment and make note of any stains or damages to the unit and then bring those things to the attention of the landlord as soon as possible so that the necessary actions can be put in place to get everything in order for you to live comfortably. However with all that being said, a landlord does not need to make any repairs or clean any carpets unless it poses some sort of danger to the tenant or health risk. But a friendly conversation with your landlord can help to ensure that the cleaning apartment carpet gets done for you in any case.

The whole argument revolving around cleaning apartment carpet can be a difficult one to point responsibility at, so now let’s have a look at the actual laws regarding the cleaning of apartment carpets so that there is no confusion and you have all the necessary information regarding the laws. Like we mentioned earlier in this article, a stain on the carpet does not make the apartment inhabitable and we made it clear that a landlord is only required to take action if the problem makes the apartment inhabitable or unsafe so the responsibility in this situation seems very unclear. So let’s shed some light on who actually is responsible for cleaning the carpets.

To help you in your search in determining if your landlord is legally required to clean the carpet stain you can search for what it states in the following:

  • County building codes
  • State tenant-landlord laws
  • Written or oral promises that your landlord has made
  • Terms of your lease

Understanding exactly what it states in the above laws will help you and give you your answers regarding whether your landlord is legally required to clean the unsightly stain on your apartment carpet. You may discover while doing your research on the above laws that your landlord is required to do a full deep clean of the carpets every couple of years. So if you are renting and living in the apartment when it comes time to clean the carpet by law, then you have to make sure that you bring this to the attention of your landlord and get them to actually do it. Some landlords may conveniently forget about this so it is always in your best interest to give them a friendly reminder about cleaning the apartment carpet properly and thoroughly.

When Tenants Do Not Have To Pay For Dirty Carpets

Generally speaking, landlords will not charge tenants for cleaning the apartment carpet as the cost for this falls under the normal costs of maintaining the rental unit. However, like we mentioned previously, if the carpet has significant damage and this damage has been caused by the tenant then the tenant will be required to pay for the carpet cleaning. But typically the landlord will cover all the costs of cleaning the dirty carpet as routine maintenance costs every couple of months or when the tenant moves out of the rental unit.

Landlords should not withhold any money from the tenant’s security deposit to pay for the costs of cleaning the carpets. Carpet cleaning falls under general wear and tear of the apartment and usually is the responsibility of the landlord unless the tenant is directly at fault for the stain or damage to the carpet. If the damage to the carpet is causing any health and safety hazards then the landlord is required by law to get it fixed, ASAP.

So you have determined as a tenant that the carpet in your apartment that you are renting out does in fact need to be cleaned. We want to give you some ideas and actionable steps that you can take to make sure that the carpet gets cleaned so that you can live in an apartment that is clean and free from mess and carpet stains.

Write A Formal Repair Request To The Landlord 

You may have briefly spoken to your landlord about the unsightly stain on your carpet but we always advise to get as many things in writing as possible when it comes to important tasks that need to get done in the apartment. A verbal conversation is the first step and should absolutely be done to make your voice heard. But the next step up would be to write a formal repair request regarding the cleaning of the apartment carpet. 

A repair request in writing does a number of things. First, it lets you describe everything that is wrong with the carpet in detail and you can even include pictures as well if the landlord has not seen the stain on the carpet yet. Second, it allows the landlord to thoroughly think over the matter and gives them ample time to take action and clean the carpet if necessary.

Have a Conversation With Your Landlord

Every single landlord will be different and every landlord will deal with issues in their apartments differently. So before you go ahead and state all the problems with the apartment in a formal letter, it is always advised to have a casual conversation with your landlord. A face-to-face conversation would be ideal, but if that is not possible for any reason, maybe your landlord is out of town. A phone conversation will do the job just fine. 

Things to take into consideration when talking to your landlord about issues like stains on the carpet or any other issue for that matter is to always be polite and respectful of your landlord’s time. You want to establish a good tone and politely bring the stain on the carpet to your landlord’s attention. In most situations, if you have a polite conversation with your landlord regarding the issues, they will be more than happy and willing to comply and get the stain on the carpet cleaned. If you don’t seem to get anywhere with the phone call or face-to-face conversation then the next step would be to write a formal request to your landlord stating everything in detail and if this is done correctly your landlord will usually comply and get the carpet cleaned as soon as possible for you.

Take On The Cleaning Apartment Carpet Task Yourself

You may have made a small mess on the carpet with your favorite red wine and while it may not be the biggest stain in the world, you still want to get rid of it to maintain a nice clean living environment without bringing it to the attention of your landlord. In this situation you can choose to clean the carpet yourself if it is a manageable stain. Here are some actionable steps you can take to clean pretty much any general carpet stain in the apartment.

  1. Soak the carpet stain with vinegar.
  2. Sprinkle a little baking soda over the vinegar.
  3. Pour vinegar on the pile of baking soda (expect a carpet volcano).
  4. Wait until it absorbs the stain (approximately 5 minutes).
  5. Wipe up the mixture, and vacuum.

Keep in mind that please do this at your own discretion and if for any reason in the DIY cleaning process you make the stain on the carpet worse, then we are not held liable for that. This article, while it has some actionable steps, is for educational purposes and any actions taken as a result of this information is done entirely at your own risk.

With that being said this above method should remove most carpet stains and is definitely worth a try if you have a small manageable stain on the carpet that you want to get rid of before your landlord finds out. This method can be very beneficial and effective, especially if there is the chance that your security deposit might be withheld due to this stain on the carpet.


We covered all the most important and relevant aspects of cleaning an apartment carpet in this article and you can see that there are quite a few things to talk about regarding this matter. While we may not have covered every single detail, we made sure that you got all the required information regarding cleaning apartment carpets so that you are equipped with the knowledge and will know exactly how to proceed if you find yourself in the situation where you need to take action on a carpet stain in your rental apartment.

We hope that we were able to answer all of your questions within this article. Remember it will always be in your best interest to get as much knowledge as possible on cleaning apartment carpets before you decide to go ahead and rent an apartment to avoid any future headaches and frustrations caused as a direct result of lack of knowledge.

We are also in no way giving your financial or investing advice in this article and on the rest of our website. If you have any further questions or concerns then feel free to get in touch with us and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. Also feel free to browse the rest of our website. With many years of experience in the rental space we have years of knowledge that you could potentially benefit from.

We aim to provide the best and most up to date information and if you found this article helpful to you then sharing it with someone that will get value out of it will be greatly appreciated.

Cleaning Apartment Carpet
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Cleaning Apartment Carpet
Here what you want to know regarding the Cleaning Apartment Carpet if you are a landlord or rentee
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