Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011: Carpet Cleaning and Care Tips

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One thing that continues to amaze me about the house we bought here in the mountains is that whoever owned it before us decided it would be a good idea to replace the carpet before putting it on the market. That’s all good – except that the color they chose is a very light tan, almost off-white.

The problem? Well, for one thing we live on a dirt road. When the wind isn’t blowing dirt throughout the house, the rain turns it into mud, which is tracked in by us and our dogs. For another, the dirt around here is a reddish color which shows up really nicely against the light carpet. And then there’s our pellet stove. Even though I put down newspaper to catch the excess ash accumulation when I clean it, I always manage to get ashes and soot ground into the carpet.

So… needless to say I detest the carpet in my house! Eventually, when it gets really, really bad and we can afford it, the carpet will be replaced but for now I have to live with it – and do what I can to keep it somewhat clean.

As you go about your spring cleaning chores, keep these carpet tips in mind:

• To remove an indentation in the carpet from furniture that’s set in one place too long, drop an ice cube into the indentation. Remove the ice cube before it melts completely; wait for the carpet to dry before vacuuming.

• Before you vacuum, sprinkle the carpet with baking soda. Do this first as you begin to clean a room and by the time you are ready to vacuum, the baking soda will have absorbed all odors.

• For pet stains, sprinkle with baking soda immediately. The baking soda will absorb moisture and deodorize the fibers. When it has dried, vacuum away.

• Various recipes for cleaning carpet stains and spots:
    o Mix a bowl of warm water with 1/cup ammonia and a squirt of dishwashing soap.
    o Squirt the stain with dishwashing soap then scrub with a mixture of 2/3 cup vinegar plus 1/3 cup water.
    o Grate a bit of Fels Naptha bar soap, add borax and hot water to make a paste (you may have to heat this slightly to get the right texture OR shake very vigorously).
    o Use the homemade laundry soap recipe I shared with you earlier this month.

These recipes and tips aren’t going to make your carpet look brand new again (especially if it’s as dirty as mine is!) but they are a good alternative to buying expensive spray cleaners – and they’re always handy since the ingredients are so simple.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, your carpet must be acquiring a lot of dirt all year round, quickly filled with dust during the dry weather and mud during the rains. Good thing you are keen in looking for alternatives in cleaning the carpet. Although, if we find it difficult cleaning the carpets ourselves, we can always ask for a professional service to help us out.

    Tyler Perkins

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