Carpets are great for giving your home that ultrachic look. Once installed, it becomes one of the most important aspects of your home decor. However, you’ll need to take good care of it to maintain its original pristine condition and protect your investment.
Regularly cleaning your carpet prolongs its life by keeping dust and stain from building up in between its fibres. It’s important to clean it every few weeks and more often for those in areas of heavy traffic. Having them cleaned by an expert, however, can be quite costly — but it doesn’t have to be.
You can actually rid your carpet of dirt and stains yourself without having to spend a fortune or use harmful chemicals that are not safe for your pets and children. Just follow the four easy steps below to thoroughly clean your carpets or rugs while promoting a more sustainable environment.
1. Prep the Area
Prepare the area beforehand by picking up any bigger objects, like toys or papers, that can get in the way of your cleaning. You can also take the opportunity to dust nearby areas of the house, like the furniture, windowsills, baseboards, and even your blinds, so falling dust can be cleared up in the next step.
2. Collect Dry Dirt
If it’s pet hair or dry dirt that you wish to remove from your carpet, you can simply use an eco-friendly vacuum to get it out. You should do this as part of your regular home cleaning routine.
Alternatively, you can use a lint roller for small areas with crud and crumbs, or a Squeegee for pet hair that is difficult to remove with just a vacuum cleaner. Just water the Squeegee a bit and carefully wipe the carpet like you would a window to effectively remove loose fibres, especially on short-haired carpets.
3. Scrub it Out
There may be times when the dirt or minor stain burrows deeper into the carpet and becomes a little bit harder to remove without some deep cleaning. You can resort to using a few organic cleaning ingredients at a time and scrub the area well to clear up minor stains.
For oil stains, baking soda works like magic. Apply a liberal amount of it on the stain and let it absorb the oil. Once they’ve formed a pretty dry crust, scrub the baking soda loose and vacuum the area until there’s no powder left. You’ll be left with a much lighter stain or none at all. Just don’t scrub too hard to keep the carpet from fraying.
Bodily fluids, like blood stains, can be removed with diluted hydrogen peroxide, while smelly pet pee can be treated with a dry vapour steamer that saves water, gets rid of the smell, and sanitizes your rug in the process.
In case you have peskier stains that still won’t disappear, continue on to the next few steps.
4. Use a Homemade Cleaning Solution
There may still be an unsettling stain on your carpet, but this also means the fun is about to start. The goal now is to clean your carpet or rug using only natural remedies.
Fortunately, there are highly effective carpet cleaning solutions that you can concoct using ingredients that you can find in your very own home.
Not only are they much cheaper alternatives compared to store-bought cleaners, they also allow you to take good care of your rug without harming the environment.
Here are two kinds of cleaning solutions that you can try for spot cleaning stains or for shampooing the entire carpet:
Basic Carpet Cleaning Solution
- 1 ½ cups of water
- ¾ cup baking soda
- Glass container with lid
- Clean white towel
Mix and moderately heat up the two ingredients in a pan until it foams up. Turn off the heat and let it cool for approximately 4 hours until it shrinks.
Pour out the excess water and whisk the mixture again in a bowl until you reach a consistency similar to shaving cream. Once you’re ready to clean, lightly rub the mixture onto the stain with the towel and let it sit.
Despite having very few ingredients, it’s more than enough for certain carpets that don’t need any added ingredients or fragrances.
You should be able to get visible skid marks and regular stains out—and add fluff to your carpet at the same time. Store the cream in a tight lid and use up the remaining mixture within 2 weeks for best results.
Ultimate Carpet Cleaning Solution
- 1 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon fabric softener (optional)
- 5 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)
- Clean white towel
- Small spray bottle
For a more powerful solution, you can add vinegar into the mix and create carbon dioxide bubbles that will effectively make stains disappear. The clear dishwashing liquid doubles the cleaning and clarifying power while adding some fragrance to your carpet.
Add the clear dishwashing liquid into the empty spray bottle, then the vinegar, and top with warm water. Lastly, add the baking soda and quickly screw on the top of the spray bottle before the mixture fizzes and spills.
Generously spray the stained area, and then dab it with a towel. Repeat the process and incorporate some rubbing (while being careful not to spread the stain) until it is completely removed.
You should be able to see — and feel — the results following the process. Thanks to the essential oil, vinegar, and fabric softener, your living room carpet or rug should look as good as new to your guests.
However you decide to clean your carpet, it’s also important that you check its material and do a test with your chosen mixture on a discreet area beforehand.
Although these are commonly used methods and ingredients for general carpet cleaning, some of them don’t work too well for some carpet fibres and dyes. If the colour fades, try another solution.
Check with your dealer or do some careful research to find out what you shouldn’t be using for your particular rug type, colour, and quality.