I am sure that many of you have your favorite way of cleaning the carpet in your house, but just in case you don’t — Here are a few tips designed to keep it in tip-top shape and always looking great.
Brighten your carpet
If it is looking a little dingy, sprinkle and rub in corn meal. It will soak up any kind of greasy dust. (This happens without you even knowing it.) Then vacuum thoroughly to remove the corn meal.
To help get rid of odors in it, sprinkle and rub in baking soda. Be sure to vacuum thoroughly.
Shampoo your carpet
This is not a literal statement! Never shampoo your carpet! What I am saying is never get your carpet wet with the rug shampoo machines that you can rent at the grocery. They use a soap that once it is dry will attract more dirt. Here is a recipe for a homemade shampoo and the method to use it.
Homemade Rug Shampoo
- 1/2 c. powdered detergent (or 1/8 c. liquid)
- 1 tsp. ammonia
- 1 qt. warm water
Mix thoroughly and stir constantly to get a froth (lots of bubbles). Using a cloth or a sponge, dip into the froth only and rub into the carpet. Never get deep enough into the container to get in the water. Keep stirring and mixing to make sure you have plenty of froth. Once the carpet is completely rubbed with the froth, then let dry and vacuum thoroughly.
Protect your furniture
During the time you are cleaning the carpet, you do not want to harm your furniture, nor do you want to take the chance the furniture polish will get onto you carpet. Slip plastic bags over the feet of your sofa, chairs, tables, etc. Secure with a twist tie or a rubber band.
Remove carpet stains
If the stain is still wet, pour a bit of club soda onto the stain and blot until removed. Do not rub the carpet. You will only manage to make matters worse and spread the stain.
If you didn’t catch the stain right away, use a mixture of white vinegar, soap and water, very diluted with water. Dampen a cloth with the solution and press against the stain for a couple of minutes, then blot dry with a different cloth. This can be repeated until the stain is gone.
Shaving cream is a great instant stain remover. Just spray it on lightly and then blot with a clean cloth. With another clean cloth and plain water, make sure you remove the soapy residue of the shaving cream.
Cleaning mud stains
It is a rainy day and the children have come in and tracked up the carpet. Don’t despair, and do not try to clean it up with any liquid! Take out the box of salt and sprinkle liberally on the mud. Let it dry and vacuum thoroughly. This should remove everything.
Removing candle wax
Use several layers of paper towels and a warm (not hot) iron. Simply set the iron on top of the towels, do not move around or you will spread the wax. Lift the iron after about 30 seconds and see how much the towels have absorbed. You may have to repeat this method several time before all the wax is removed.
If your pet has an accident on the carpet, use the homemade shampoo first and then spray lightly with white vinegar. The vinegar will help remove the odor and should deter the animal from going back to the same spot.
Removing chewing gum
Press an ice cubes against the gum to freeze it, then you can just chip the gum away
In some areas of the country rugs and carpets can harbor static and actually shock you. To help prevent that from happening or at least control it, use 1 part liquid fabric softener to 5 parts of water in a spray bottle. Spritz the carpet or rug with the solution, but do not soak it; could cause damage to the backing. Let it dry and that should do the trick for a few weeks.
Raising the pile
You have moved your furniture around or you are moving to a new house and the carpet on the floor is flattened from the furniture sitting on it. There are a couple of methods to cure this problem.
Using your steam iron, hold it over the flattened spot; be very careful not to touch the carpet with the iron. It would ruin not only the carpet, but your iron as well. After steaming, brush or vacuum the area.
The second method is using an ice cube. Place about a half an ice cube into each divot and let melt, then brush or vacuum and the pile should stand up.
Someone has accidentally dropped a cigarette on the carpeting and it has left a nasty looking hole. Clip the burned pile away and from an unnoticeable part of the carpet clip some of the pile. Using diluted white glue, place the new pile into the hole and cover with a fairly heavy object. Let dry thoroughly for several days.