Ah, the carpet. Many experts say that carpeting is the worst type of flooring in your home because it contains all kinds of germs and bacteria that do not have hardwood floors or ceramic tiles. But I must admit that on a winter’s morning when the bathroom trip at 3 am pulls me out from under the cover, there’s nothing like stepping on a warm, dull carpet instead of a cold, hard floor.
Good luck with our carpet lovers, there is research showing that carpets can be good for your health, but only if they are maintained with an “aggressive vacuuming schedule”.
Suffice it to say that it is important to clean your carpet regularly, but how can you clean your carpet without using harsh chemicals?
First of all, you must track as little dirt as possible in the carpeted areas of your home. If people usually wear shoes in your home, try to take them off before entering the carpeted bedrooms and hallways. Or better yet, ask all members of your household to check their shoes at the door – this will prevent a whole host of bacteria from running out in your home.
Once you have established this routine, it is important to vacuum all parts of your carpet with a good quality HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting) vacuum cleaner at least once a week. A “HEPA” filter removes 99.97% of particles 0.3 micrometers or larger.
Then, once a year, steam your carpets. Make sure you use only hot water (no chemicals) for what you call a professional. If you want to do it yourself, you can rent a steam cleaner from a home improvement store. When this is done, you will need to leave your carpet for at least a few hours to dry completely. (Also, if you are doing this yourself, check a small area first as wetting the carpet too much will delay drying and promote mold growth.) Maintenance will go a long way in keeping your carpet bright and clean.
But what about the toughest stains?
I have a personal experience with it – my daughter took off her diaper and went through the (smell) phase of the pope (or) … on the floor. If we didn’t catch it on time, we would be stuck with a huge stain on the floor. There seem to be no amount of baby wipes, so we need a natural way to get rid of stains. With little kids running around, we didn’t want to use store-bought cleaners loaded with toxic chemicals.
Instead, we sprinkled a little baking soda on the stain, let it sit for a few hours, and then rinsed it off with very hot water. Voila! The stain is all gone! Remember to dip, not rub, as you can break the carpet fibers and apply even more stains, making them harder to remove. You can also try spraying some vinegar and water solution on the stain. As for the baking soda trick, this is the method that counts with it, so be sure to do your research first. Happy cleaning!
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How to Clean Carpets Naturally Old Stained
It doesn’t matter how clean you keep your home, old carpets get stained and look dirty. Regular cleaning brightens the carpet and removes stains. While many carpet cleaning solutions and stain removers contain harsh chemicals and emit strong odors, a few basic household products can effectively clean your carpet. If you are sensitive to strong fragrances or you can add some natural fragrances for an extra clean smell then you can make a household cleaner without odor. As an added benefit, you can save money by making your own carpet cleaners.
Vacuum your carpet to lift the fibers and remove loose dirt. Vacuum the carpet. (see references 2)
Mix one part borax with two parts cornmeal to make a carpeting powder that removes stains, prevents mold growth, and eliminates odors. Alternately, for carpets with heavy odors, use baking soda. (see references 1 and 2)
Spray the mixture all over the carpet. Wait about an hour and then vacuum the carpet. This should remove odors, light stains, and dirt that regular vacuuming misses. (see references 1 and 2)
Pre-treat any remaining stains with a mixture of equal amounts of vinegar and water. To remove tough stains on light-colored carpets, try a mixture of lemon juice and salt. First test any stain removal mixture, especially on darker carpets, in a hidden location, such as a closet. (see references 1)
Rub the stain with the stain removal mixture and let it sit for 15 minutes. Use an old towel to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Rent a carpet cleaning machine if you don’t have one. Use very hot water to remove dirt and stains more effectively.
Fill a soap tank with a natural carpet cleaning solution. If you are using your carpet cleaner and it does not void the warranty, you can use a normal laundry detergent in place of the carpet cleaner. If you don’t want to use any cleaner, hot water alone will remove a lot of the accumulated dirt.
Clean the entire carpet at once with the detergent, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Run the carpet cleaner over the carpet again with hot water just to rinse away any remaining cleaner. Make a third pass without spraying any water or detergent to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Step away from the carpet until it is completely dry. Once dry, vacuum the carpet again to stir the snooze and remove the last of the soap residue.
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How to Naturally Deep Clean Your Carpet
It’s that time of year again: Time to scour the internet for spring cleaning tips as we want our homes to be—and in my case, my carpets look a bit dull. (Okay, pretty boring.) Keeping carpets clean and spot-free is a challenge, especially in high-traffic areas that become a breeding ground for the winter mix of slag and sand.
Before you know it, your carpet is much darker than it was just one season ago. Here are my favorite tips for a natural spring cleaning to liven up your carpet:
1. Always vacuum first
It’s important to vacuum regularly – try once a week if you can – which keeps dirt, sand, and lint settling to a minimum. Use the change of seasons to thoroughly and detailed vacuum nooks and crannies: under furniture, around furniture legs, and across baseboards.
2. Get rid of stains
While we do our best to deal with carpet stains as they occur, there are always those pesky stains that we haven’t had time to tackle or that require multiple treatments.
One of the coolest spring cleaning tips I came across last year helped me get rid of stains I thought I stuck with forever—and all you need is an iron.
- Put a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle and spray the stain.
- Place a damp cloth over the stain.
With the iron on the steam setting, iron the fabric for about 30 seconds.
Depending on how long the stain has been on, you may have to repeat these steps, but it’s an impressive transformation
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3. Bust out the steam cleaner
Mix equal parts water and vinegar and add it to your steam cleaner just as you would any cleaning solution. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you’re concerned that your carpet smells like salad dressing. For high traffic areas that need more power, use a higher ratio of vinegar to water.
4. Keep your carpets fresh
In between deep cleanings, you can extend the freshness of your carpet by making your own carpet freshener. Mix the following ingredients and keep in a shaker:
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil
- If you have pets, add ½ cup of borax to keep fleas at bay
Before subsequent vacuuming sessions, gently spray the mixture onto your carpet, how clean carpets naturally leave it for 10-15 minutes and then vacuum as usual. (Just be sure to do this on a dry day so the baking soda doesn’t pick up any moisture.)
Who do you know? After following these spring cleaning tips, you may enjoy cleaning your carpets! (Okay, maybe that’s a stretch.)
What is the best homemade carpet cleaning solution?
As you’ve noticed in the above methods, you don’t have to invest in heavy-duty carpet cleaners to give the fibers a good exfoliation. They often come with harsh chemicals that can be irritating to sensitive skin. Using gentle options like dish soap, baking soda, salt, and plain water all work great.
Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid, shares some other carpet cleaning solutions you might already have around your home:
- Vinegar: Stir 1 tablespoon of dish soap into a quart of warm water, then add 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar. This is an overall good cleanser. Be sure to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous spot on your carpet before applying it to the stain.
- Pulsed soda: Club soda acts as a cleaner when sprayed onto the carpet. It is great for removing blood and wine stains. Put a small amount of soda on the stain, than using a dry cloth or paper towel, wipe the surface until the stain is gone. Scrub the rug fibers instead of rubbing them.
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Steps to Prepare the Carpet for Cleaning
Steam cleaning your carpet is the perfect way to finish a deep cleaning or spring cleaning of your home. It doesn’t require some preparation, so plan to dedicate about an hour to each room.
1. Empty the floor. Pick up toys, pillows, and everything else off the floor. Move small furnishings to another room. To protect sofa or table legs that you can’t move, slide a square of aluminum foil underneath.
2. Dust. The more dust you shed from other surfaces in the room, the cleaner the entire room will be once you’ve finished steam cleaning the carpet. If you have the time, start by dusting the ceiling and walls, then dust the furniture and clean the baseboards.
3. Vacuum. The nozzles of carpet steamers can become clogged easily if there is a lot of debris on the floor. This is why it is necessary to thoroughly clean the floors first. Use the slits attached around the base of the walls and any furniture that you can’t move out of the room. Then vacuum from wall to wall slowly in one direction and then again at a 90-degree angle. Although this sounds like an exaggeration, the carpet fibers are twisted, so vacuuming from different directions cleans every “side” of the twist.
4. Spot treatment. Steam cleaning can make it difficult to remove some stains. They will look like they are completely gone after you are done, but will reappear after a few days. Why do carpet stains return after shampooing? Because the steam cleaner pushed the dirt deeper into the rug pad, but when the rug dries, its fibers return the stain to the surface. Here’s how to remove carpet stains to prevent them from coming back. It’s the same method I used to remove dry paint, pet stains, nail polish, and even fuzzy stains from carpets in my house.
5. Spot test. Once you’ve followed the steps for preparing your rug, it’s a good idea to do a spot test in the closet or anywhere else out of reach. To spot test the cleaning product, apply a small amount to the surface, wait 5 minutes, and then wipe it with a damp, unstained cloth. Wipe again with a fresh cloth to dry the area. Do not use this product if you notice any fading or other damage.
6. Fill the tank. Add very hot (but not boiling) water to the machine’s cleaning tank, stopping at a very short distance from the tank’s capacity fill line. Then add 1 tablespoon of castile soap for every liter of water (1/4 cup per gallon) used. If your device is under warranty, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on what to use instead. (Here are more ways to clean with castile soap, so you get your money’s worth out of it.)