Spring Cleaning: The Carpet

Months if not years of scrubbed in dirt line my front hallway entrance area. spilled food residue, laundry soap and other spills line bits and spots on my floor. While I am good on going after them right away, they still appear. Granted, Im good at cleaning things up and vacuuming, but after a few years, you do have to get your carpets cleaned here and there. Here are my tips and tricks for cleaning the carpet…

1. Preventive care… dont wear your shoes inside. Mr Rodgers was half right when he would slip off his shoes and throw on his inside shoes. Shoes in general can put a lot of extra wear and tear on your carpeting. Instead, just take the shoes off in the front hall or entryway area… you prevent treading dirt and germs into your house. Lifehack even recently made a post on this
http://www.lifehack.org/317735/scientists-discover-why-you-should-take-off-your-shoes-before-entering-your-home

2. If you are just concerned about smells, rather then reaching for store bought powders, go with baking soda… its just as cheap, if not cheaper, and is all natural. If you want some extra smell to it, add some of your favorite essential oils. Directions can be found here http://www.mrshappyhomemaker.com/homemade-carpet-powder/

3. If its just a spot, try spot cleaning it. There is no perfect solution out there for carpets when it comes to an all natural based cleaner, however, the Huffington Post did a write-up on there best spot cleaners based on what the stain was. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/we-tried-8-diy-carpet-cleaning-tricks-heres-what-worked_us_55a67bcce4b04740a3de8f2d

4. If you own a carpet cleaner, try to only use only hot water… Using too much soap was the mistake I recently made about 2 years ago. Carpet cleaning companies have us suckered in that there shampoo will make the carpet cleaner and last longer between cleanings. Truth is, it highlighted and “made” stains by clinging dirt more then it did keeping it away. If you do opt for the detergent… take a few passes of just hot water to get up as much of the residual cleaner as you can. It still may not get all the soap up, like what happened to me, however, it wont be as bad as if you left it on.

5. if you opt for a shampoo, try one that’s all natural. They do make a few brands out there that work well for carpet cleaners

6. Renting can be cheaper, for one time cleanups… if you are up to doing it yourself, renting the machine can save a few bucks. The Rug Doctors at your local store will have more power then many consumer grade carpet cleaners. That said, if you are cleaning your carpet every year (which I think might be a bit excessive, and you’ll want to read above to prevent this) investing in a carpet cleaner might be the smarter choice

7. Every once in a while, have someone else do it for you. If you rent, talk to your landlord about who they go through. They might have a company account and might be able to get you a deal on the service. If not, shop around. Look for services that offer natural, steam or organic cleaning practices. While your machine you rent or own works well, the machines professionals use can cost into the thousands of dollars and will easily outperform a cheap carpet cleaner.

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