It's amazing how filthy carpets can get no matter how many rules you make about no shoes in the house. I don’t have carpet down in our house for that very reason. Instead we have floor rugs in the living room and bedrooms that are rolled up and put away during the warmer months. Cleaning said rugs is a job I tend to avoid (apart from vacuuming) not least because I worry about the chemicals involved and their effect on my kids if I miss a patch while I’m vacuuming.
But then a friend suggested I look at the natural alternatives and there are some quite good ones out there.
Always vacuum first
It’s important to vacuum regularly (at least once a week if possible). This prevents dirt and grit from building up on the surface and, most importantly, working their way down to the base of the carpet where it will be harder to get them out again. Make the start of each season a reminder to do a thorough, detailed vacuum of the nooks and crannies. Move the furniture so you can reach those hard-to-reach spots. Put the soft brush attachment on and clean the skirting boards too.
[caption id="attachment_2616" align="alignleft" width="690"] Image courtesy of Stainmaster
You can make a natural carpet freshener using your favourite essential oil and baking soda. Add 15 drops of oil to a cup of bicarb soda and give it a good stir with a fork. Place it in a clean jar with a lid that’s had lots of holes punched in it, then sprinkle the mixture over the carpet. Let the powder sit on the carpet for an hour or so, then vacuum.
Stinky stain remover
Kids and carpet are a dangerous mix that can end up in stains. If those stains include wee or poo you’ll need a combination of bicarb soda and vinegar to remove the stain. Mix one cup of vinegar, one cup of water and half a cup of bicarb soda and place the mixture in a spray bottle. Blot the ‘‘accident’’ with dry using paper towel, spray the mixture on the stain, blot the excess and allow the patch to dry. Repeat the process if necessary until the stain and odour is removed.
Non-stinky stain remover
Non stinky stains can be treated with a paste made from half a cup of salt, half a cup of borax and half a cup of vinegar. Rub the mixture into the stain using a clean white towel, leave it to dry for a few hours then vacuum of the power. Always test your mixture on small, hidden areas of your carpet to make sure they won’t damage or discolour it.
Mix one part vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle and apply it to the stain. Place a damp rag on top of the spot and heat your iron on the steam setting. Iron the rag for about 30 seconds and you’ve done a spot steam clean without the expense of hiring any equipment. Repeat the process for stubborn stains.
Grease spots can be removed but you have to catch them early. Sprinkle corn starch on the spot while it’s still fresh. Wait half an hour then vacuum.