If you’ve got carpets, you’re going to want to read this article.
In it, we’ve compiled all the best information about keeping your carpets clean, fresh and looking their best. We’ve got advice for hair, for stains, and for long-term maintenance, just waiting here for you to take advantage of it.
So without further ado, let SAHM present our 13 Carpet Cleaning Hacks!
Hair & Crud
1. Lint Roller Rocks
There are some instance where it doesn’t seem to matter how hard or how regularly you have run the vacuum over your carpets, some things just won’t move. This might be hair, pet hair or even crumbs that your vacuum just isn’t picking up. You have to remember that vacuums don’t really clean the fibres effectively, particularly when those carpets are long-haired ones. The solution? A lint roller, along with some attention to detail, should sort that out.
2. Squeegee For Pets
Pets and carpets are far from the best of friends, and anyone with a pet will know just how difficult it can be to remove pet hair with a vacuum cleaner. Well, there is another solution. Get yourself a squeegee, of the variety you’d use to clean your windows, instead. This hack is most effective on short-haired carpets, and the rubber blade allows you to dislodge and pull up every single hair on your floors.
3. For Dirt
When your home is laid with lighter carpets, like yellow, white, beige or light pastels, you’ll notice that dirt does tend to accumulate. This is usually just from foot traffic, but it can be from muddy accidents as well. Well what you might not know is that shaving cream is a great solution for these dirt stains. Any brand or variety will do, just rub it gently into the stain, let it sit and clean away. Along with removing dirt, shaving cream can fluff your carpets, making them look much newer.
4. For Oil
Oil stains can be difficult to get out of carpet because they tend to spread and stick. However, there is a way to extract oil out of carpet fibre, and it’s cheap and available everywhere. Yes, we’re talking about baking soda. Spread it liberally across the area where the oil stain is present, and leave it until the side forms a kind of dry crust, which can then be vacuumed. The stain may still be there, but it will be much lighter. Repeat if required, then work on dabbing the stain away with a stain remover.
5. For Nail Polish
Spilling nail polish on your carpet is a horrible thing, and enough to make any homeowner shiver. But there is a solution: rubbing alcohol. Not everyone wants to risk putting rubbing alcohol on their carpets because it can damage the dye and cause bleaching. However, in most cases, rubbing alcohol is not strong enough to bleach a carpet. To use this hack, chip off as much of the polish as you can with a butter knife, then dab with rubbing alcohol until the stain is absorbed.
6. For Pet Accidents
If Fido has done the unthinkable on your carpets, then baking soda will take care of the smell and the liquid to allow you to in turn take care of the stain. As with oil stains, a liberal amount of baking soda over the accident site, left to try and then vacuumed away will do the trick. From there, if the stain remains visible you can blot it away with stain remover of your choice.
7. For Gum
You don’t ever want gum to get on your carpets, but if you’ve got kids, it’s probably likely to happen at some point. Luckily, gum doesn’t smell the end of your lovely carpets. But you won’t be able to get it off if it’s soft. So, to harden it up, grab an ice cube and rub it gently over the gum to freeze it and make it easier to remove. Once it’s cold, you’ll be able to scrape it off with a spoon.
8. Iron It Out
If you have a general stain, something we haven’t covered in our specifics section, then there are still solutions. One of our favourites is a simple three-step method, that we’ve had quite good results with. First, vacuum around the stained area to get rid of any hard sections of the stain. Then, treat the area with a 3:1 mixture of water and vinegar, allowing it to soak into the fibres. Last, pop a towel on top of the stain and apply a nice hot iron to the area. The pressure, and the heat, can transfer the stain off your carpet, and onto the towel. Clever!
9. Blot Only
While we tend to be fond of the act of rubbing to get rid of stains, this is probably the worst thing you can do with carpet. When we rub on a stain, we not only risk spreading the stain to the surrounding carpet, we might also be unintentionally working it further into the fibres. Instead, try blotting at the stain. Blotting applies pressure to the spot and allows the stain to be drawn up into the cloth you’re blotting with. Also remember to always blot from the outside to the inside, again to prevent spreading.
To Fluff & Freshen
Carpets can get smelly over time, and they should be treated regularly to deodorise them. This is particularly true when you have children or pets. You can just use baking soda if you want to freshen them, but to really give them a new lease on life, try this instead: mix 1-2 tablespoons of borax with 10 drops of essential oil (pick one that won’t annoy your pets) and 2 cups of baking soda. Spread on the carpet, wait until it dries, and then vacuum away.
11. High Traffic
Carpets in high traffic areas tend to get a little sad and worn out as time goes by. You’ve probably noticed that in the high traffic areas around your home, the carpet is just flat and generally unimpressive. Well, you can fix this with just a bit of vinegar. Dilute the vinegar in a spray bottle with equal parts water and spray on the high traffic areas. Once the liquid has been absorbed, take a spoon and run it sideways along the carpet to loosen up the fibres and get it back to normal.
12. Furniture Dents
If you have carpets and you’ve recently rearranged your furniture, you’ve probably noticed that there are annoying and unsightly marks on the floor where the legs of your furniture has been sitting. Well, these dents certainly aren’t permanent! To get rid of them, just take an ice cube inside the dent and leave it to melt. Once it’s melted, blot away the excess water and iron the area with a towel on top. Once the fibres are dry, you’ll be able to easily fluff them by hand.
13. Area Rugs and Runners
Carpets are wonderful, and they can really complete your house’s look. The only problem is that they don’t last forever, and due to foot traffic not all carpets will wear out at the same time. See, in areas of high foot traffic, like close to the door, on the stairs or in the living room, the carpets are guaranteed to wear faster. That’s why it’s worth investing in area rugs and carpet runners, which when placed in areas of high foot traffic can protect your carpet from wear. Along with that, these rugs and runners also save you time on vacuuming. Bonus!
Reprinted with permission from Stay at Home Mum.