March 19, 2014
Spring Cleaning : Carpet Cleaning (2 Ways to DIY)
If you could only do one Spring Cleaning task, what would it be? Having the carpets cleaned (whether it’s done by me or by a pro) is my top priority for spring cleaning. With children, pets and those random spills and drips, our carpets can take quite a beating. It doesn’t have to be difficult to remove stubborn spots and giving our carpets a little refresh.
How about mixing up our own carpet cleaners – one for the SPOTS and one for general, ALL OVER carpet cleaning.
I like to start by tackling the individual spots and stains first, followed by a general carpet cleaning. The first step is to mark just what needs attention and take care of a little spot treatment. Be sure to do this in the daylight hours so you don’t miss anything. I like to walk around with little Post-It notes to mark the spots.
After you have marked what needs some individual attention and spot treatment, it’s time to get out the cleaners. Really, the ingredient list doesn’t get much easier and is two things you probably already have on hand: white vinegar and baking soda.
The key to this cleaner is to apply the two in the correct order: vinegar followed by baking soda. Pour a small amount of vinegar on the stain, followed by a sprinkle of baking soda. The vinegar works to saturate and soften up the offending mark while the baking soda does the lifting and deodorizing. Together, they bubble a little and work as a team to lift the stain to the surface. If you have a minor stain you can just leave the mixture until it dries and vacuum it up, or you can let it sit for 30 minutes or so and rub or blot up the stain with a damp cloth if if’s a little more of a stubborn stain. Let it dry thoroughly and then vacuum. That’s it! I have found this concoction to work wonders on all sorts of stains, from pet to food and goodness-knows-what.
After spot-treating and vacuuming up the residue, it’s time to freshen up your carpets with an all-over cleaner. Again, this is simple: vinegar is the only (yes, only!) ingredient besides water. You may want to check out your local big box store for an economy size jug of vinegar since you will be using a fair amount of it. Our local Costco carries a 1.32 gallon jug of white vinegar for under four dollars. Can’t beat the price!
I have the BISSELL Pro-Cleaner steam cleaner and love it. It works perfectly for area rugs, the stairs, and hallways, as well as tackling a room or even the whole house. If you need to get your whole home done in one day, professional carpet cleaning is always an option, but I love this cleaner and method to fluff up and deodorize our carpets. The beauty of vinegar is that it leaves no residue behind and brightens and removes light staining or discoloration like a champ. Unfortunately, a lot of commercial cleaners leave a tacky or sticky residue on carpet fibers that attract more dirt and dust and make all your hard work pointless.
Mix equal parts hot water and vinegar and pour in your carpet cleaner’s reservoir tank. Clean your carpets as per your cleaner’s instructions. Yes, vinegar might leave a temporary pickle smell in your home but it dissipates and disappears as your carpets dry. I can’t take credit for this concoction – it was my professional carpet cleaner that let me in on this little-known secret concoction.
It doesn’t get much easier to clean your carpets than that! Two household ingredients are all it takes to freshen, brighten and clean your carpets.
To get a version of this recipe and many more amazing cleaning recipes, tips, and tricks, check out my book, The Organically Clean Home.
This post is part of a spring cleaning series – go here to see all the posts.