Everyone wants clean carpet, but some homeowners may hesitate to use chemical cleaners where pets and children play. Whether you're worried about the ingredients in commercial cleaners, or you've simply run out of carpet cleaner and need something to sop up a spill in a pinch, these simple household products can help you remove stains, eliminate odors and keep your carpet looking fresh.
Trying to soak up a big spill using rags or towels can actually force the liquid deeper into the rug. Instead, sprinkle large spills liberally with corn meal, then allow it to sit and soak up the liquid for 15 minutes before simply vacuuming it up.
If the odors from past pet accidents or old spills linger in your carpet, sprinkle the rug with baking soda to neutralize the smell. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum up both the baking soda and the odor-causing residues.
Club soda is more than just a delicious drink mixer -- it's also an effective and natural way to tackle acidic stains like orange juice or coffee. Apply the club soda to a rag and blot the stain as soon as possible after the spill.
Vinegar can be used to clean many different things in the home, including carpet. To clean carpets made from synthetic fibers, mix one cup white vinegar to two cups water and apply to stains and spills using a clean rag. For natural fibers, like wool, use a one-to-one ratio of vinegar to water and apply the solution directly to the rug with a spray bottle.
Mild dish detergent makes an excellent carpet cleaner when mixed with warm water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of clear dish soap to one cup of warm water and apply to the rug using a cloth or spray bottle. This solution is ideal both for stain removal and overall cleaning.
Nail Polish Remover
Use nail polish remover to tackle solvent stains, such as glue or oil on the carpet. Simply apply a small amount to a rag and blot the stain to remove the solvent and clear your rug.
What Not to Use
While many everyday household items work great to clean carpets, there are some that will do more harm than good. Despite what you hear from well-meaning friends, never use bleach, white wine, laundry detergent or abrasive cleaners on your rug.
Even with all these options for household cleaners, there are times when you simply need to call in a professional carpet cleaner for help. These professionals have equipment powerful enough to penetrate all layers of your carpet to eliminate deep-set stains and lingering odors. The carpet cleaners and steam cleaners available to homeowners just simply don't have this power, and are no substitute for a skilled carpet cleaner. Best of all, carpet cleaning companies may be able to do the job without using safe and effective cleaning solutions that pose no harm to kids or pets. For more information, call a professional like Conscientious Carpet Care.