Tips & Hacks for Clean Carpets
Dirt is like thousands of little blades that cut carpet fibers. When you walk across a dirty carpet, you grind sharp dirt particles against the yarn, making tiny nicks in the fibers. All that fuzz mixed in with the dirt in your vacuum cleaner bags is your beautiful carpet headed out the door one bag at a time. When dirt scratches the fibers, it dulls the sheen, which is why high-traffic areas appear duller than the rest of the carpet. Over time, grinding dirt wears away the fibers too, which mats them down and makes them stain more easily. Prevention is the key to all successful green household cleaning. Follow these tips for clean, healthy carpets.
1. Shoes off!
Make your home a shoe-free zone. Place good quality welcome mats at the entrance to your home. Ask guests to wipe their shoes and leave them at the door.
2. Vacuum regularly so that dirt and dust don’t accumulate.
Vacuum at least once a week and consider using a carpet sweeper in between times to gather any fluff and dirt.
3. Mop up!
Deal with spills as they happen. Remember to blot, not rub stains, otherwise you push them further into the carpet.As soon as a spill touches the carpet, pour soda water over it to fizz up the stain.Then immediately put some old, clean towels over the area and stamp on them to draw out as much liquid as possible. Keep going until the carpet is just damp.
4. Steam clean your carpets at least once a year to keep them clean and the fibers in good condition.
5. Use rugs or mats over your carpets.
Rugs can be taken outside and aired, and some can be washed in a washing machine.These help to protect your carpets and keep them clean.
6. If your carpet has seen better days, why not switch to hard floors and rugs?
Hard floors should be swept once a day.
7. Homemade carpet deodorizers
One of the simplest and safest carpet deodorizers is baking soda. Add dried, crushed lavender flowers if you wish, or a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Baking soda-scented deodorizer
In a lidded, wide-topped jar, mix together one tablespoon of dried, crushed herbs of your choice with 1¼ cups (9 oz) of baking soda. Sprinkle liberally around a freshly-vacuumed or brushed carpet and leave to work overnight. The following day, brush up any excess baking soda mix with a clean dustpan and brush. Vacuum thoroughly to remove any last traces of the mix.
To personalize your scent, select the herbs to match your mood. Dried peppermint will give an invigorating, fresh smell. Lemon balm is relaxing. Rose petals are warming and floral. If you don’t have any dried herbs, baking soda alone will work wonders. It won’t add a fresh smell, but it will effectively remove and neutralize offensive odors.
Homemade carpet shampoos
One of the best ways to really clean your carpets is with a steam cleaner. You don’t need to use a shampoo if you steam clean as the heat will lift dirt and kill dust mites, bacteria, and fleas in the process.
Shampoo recipe used with carpet cleaning machines
If you want to shampoo a grubby carpet, then it is easy to make your own. The following mix can be put into the cleaning reservoir of a carpet cleaner. Mix 4-5 teaspoons of liquid castile soap or non-toxic dish washing liquid in 38 cups (2 gallons) of hot water. For really dirty carpets, add ½ teaspoon of borax or soda crystals per 4 cups of water.
Shampoo recipe for hand cleaning carpets
This recipe can be made in a large bowl or bucket if you want to clean your carpet by hand. Combine one part of liquid castile soap or non-toxic dishwashing liquid with one part of hot water. Work the suds into the carpet with a brush and blot dry with old towels. The carpet should be damp, not wet. Allow to dry thoroughly before vacuuming. If you saturate the carpet, you risk getting damp in the backing, which could potentially lead to mildew and carpet shrinkage, so go lightly!