By Managing Editor Kara Apel

We don't give the carpets in our living spaces a whole lot of thought.

To be honest, I rarely think about the carpet in my apartment unless I spill something (annoying), my dog has an accident (gross) or I need to do some serious vacuuming (ugh).

If you stop and think about it for a minute, carpets are kind of really gross. Take a second and think about all of the bacteria, allergens and other gross things that could be living inside that carpet of yours. It's enough to make a girl sick!

Unfortunately, not all of us have the budget to buy a great vacuum or pay for carpet cleaners to come in. Luckily, we got some affordable advice from Oisin Hanrahan, CEO and co-founder of Handybook!

1. Easy Fix: Baking Soda + Vacuum

What’s a simple way to prolong the life of your carpet? Vacuum your carpet! Vacuuming on a regular basis will prevent the germs, dust and mold from accumulating and will help keep your space clean and healthy.

Baking soda will take away undesired odors. If you sprinkle on the baking soda, wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum, your carpet will be deodorized and clean all at once!

2. Stains: Catch them quickly!

You’ve got the best chance of removing a stain if you catch it while it’s fresh.

If you apply spot cleaner, work from the outside of the stain toward the inside to avoid spreading the stain. After applying a cleaning solution, blot away all the moisture.

3. Spot Clean with Vinegar

Mix a half cup vinegar with a half cup water in a spray container. Spray it on and let it sit for a few minutes before cleaning it off. Sponge the area with soap and warm water to remove any remaining stain.

4. Clean Coffee Spills Like a Pro

Club soda works extremely well on fresh coffee stains. Just apply club soda to the stain, wait a couple minutes and then blot with a clean cloth.

Another trick is to whip up a solution of 1 quart warm water, a half teaspoon liquid laundry or dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Then, blot and rinse the stain until it’s gone!

5. Wine Stains

Red wine on carpet can be pesky to clean. Here’s something to try: dilute with white wine, clean the spot with cold water and cover it with table salt. Wait 10 minutes, then vacuum up the salt and watch the stain vanish.

6. Get some help!

Consider hiring a cleaner through Handybook to help you with those looming deep clean projects. If there is a task you simply hate to do or something you need help with, you can use Handybook.com or the Handybook mobile app to search for and book a same-day appointment with a household service provider in 90 seconds or less. Think: in less than two minutes, you can be done cleaning your carpet!

Image courtesy of akeeris / FreeDigitalPhotos.net