How to clean a carpet or rug with baking soda? We walk you through the process.

Though hardwood floors have become one of the most desirable must-haves in home décor, there are few, if any, homes with no carpeting at all.

Carpeting certain areas of a home makes sense. The bedroom, for example, as who wants to wake up to a chilly floor? Carpet is more comfortable to walk on; it’s less noisy than hardwood; it’s safer if you’ve got a toddler teetering around the house or an older person who might fall; and, of course, there’s something cozy about a lush carpet or rug that can’t be replicated.

But one unavoidable truth about carpets is that they get dirty. Not only that, but they also hold the dirt. So, to get your carpet properly clean, you need more than just a vacuum cleaner.

Watch the video above to learn how to properly clean your carpet with baking soda.

How dirty is your carpet?

A study by Home Advisor produced some pretty alarming and gross findings for carpet owners. It revealed that the average carpet has over 30-times more germs than a refrigerator door handle. More than 16 times the number of germs found on a cellphone, and almost six-times as many germs as you get on the average toilet seat.

What’s hiding in your carpet?

A carpet that isn’t regularly cleaned may contain all kinds of nasties. The study found that uncleaned carpets may harbor substantial amounts of human hair, dead skin cells, plant matter and fungal spores. The germ count in an average carpet was measured at 91,000 CFUs (colony-forming units). And without going deep into the science of that number, suffice to say it isn’t good!

What are the benefits of carpet cleaning?

Apart from the obvious benefit of getting rid of the gunk, there are numerous pluses to cleaning your carpet regularly. Having a clean carpet can improve the air quality in your home, as carpets are a notorious haven for allergens. The dense nature of carpets inevitably traps smells, but carpet cleaning helps eliminate odors, for example, from pets or cooking, And, of course, clean carpets improve the aesthetics of your home. And there’s nothing quite like being seen to be clean.

More problems, solved

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to clean carpets, rugs with baking soda: A step-by-step guide