Sensible Carpet Care

Now is a good time to clean your carpets.

By FamilyTime


The cold weather was hard on your carpets. Snow, ice, salt and sand were tracked into the house on boots and dog paws. Early dark evenings made it harder to notice how grimy the carpets were getting but now that the sun shines brightly and the days are long, it's easy to see that your carpets need some tender loving care. 

Spring and summer are good times to clean the carpets. Remember that soil and dust can actually destroy carpet fibers so keeping them clean makes good economical sense. These days the family spends a lot of time outdoors, perhaps on the deck or porch, and so you can close off the rooms that are being cleaned and get the job done right.

Weekly vacuuming helps enormously, but beyond that, there are some simple things you can do to extend the life and beauty of your carpets.

Stain Removal

Remove stains as soon as they happen with ordinary household products, most of which you probably already have.

Vinegar and water: Mix one-part white distilled vinegar with one-part water. Using firm strokes and a clean white cloth, rub carefully over the carpet stain.

Club soda: Pour just-opened club soda directly on a spot. Let it soak in for a few moments before dabbing with a clean white cloth. Club soda works best on food and drink stains.

Cornstarch: Sprinkle the stain with cornstarch before vacuuming to help lift out spots. Go lightly -- too much cornstarch can clog the vacuum cleaner.

After months of closed windows and doors, pets and children, your carpets need some refreshing. Here are some home remedies.

Cornstarch and baking soda: For dry carpet cleaning and deodorizing, mix baking soda and cornstarch in a 3:1 ratio and sprinkle this over the carpet. Let it sit for a few minutes and the vacuum. Don't pile this powder on the carpet; it can clog the vacuum cleaner.

Baking soda: Dust the carpet lightly with a box of baking soda and let it sit for a few hours to neutralize any sour smells. Vacuum.

Crushed cloves and baking soda: Make a mixture of about two tablespoons of crushed cloves and five or six crushed bay leaves. Mix this with baking soda and dust it over the carpet. Let it sit for a few minutes and then vacuum.

When you move heavy furniture, you will notice indentations in the carpet.

To remove dents made by furniture, put an ice cube directly in the dent and allow it to melt completely. Blot up the moisture with a clean cloth and fluff up the indentation with a small brush.

Once dry, put a furniture coaster under the leg of the furniture to prevent future indentations.

Commercial Products and Professional Cleaning
Wonderful commercial products are available to remove stains, clean carpets, and refresh them. Look for them at the hardware, house supply, or local grocery store. Before using, always test them on a small section of carpet in an inconspicuous place.

And, as mentioned above, this is a great time to get in a professional cleaning service to give the carpets a deep, thorough cleaning. Or, you might prefer to do it yourself and rent carpet cleaning machines.

When fall rolls around, your carpets will be fresh and clean, ready to warm cold toes!