Getting your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year is a great way to get rid of dirt, germs and dust build up from your home. But, if you can’t find money in the budget to clean the carpets or you need a quick (natural) clean between professional jobs, there are a few tricks you can try on your own.You can also use some of these natural in a pinch (like when your toddler dumps tropical punch all over the new rug or your new furry pal unleashes his un-housebroken bladder on the carpet…).
1. Make a homemade carpet cleaner
Combine 1 cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of salt and 15 drops of lavender oil (or your favorite clear oil) in a large bottle. Shake well to combine. Spray directly onto stains (don’t hold back). Allow the carpet to dry before running a vacuum over the soiled area.
2. Wet stains
For wet stains (particularly urine), skip the vinegar and go straight for the baking soda and borax. Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part baking soda. Spread over the wet area. If the mixture soaks up all the moisture, add another layer. Let set for a few minutes and vacuum.
3. Iron it out
Combine 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water into a spray bottle. Soak the stained area with the mixture. Place a damp cloth over the wet area and use a hot iron (set to steam) to run the rag over the stain for about 30 seconds. (You may need to repeat.)
4. Vacuum regularly
It’s not a fun solution, but you should aim to vacuum all of your carpets at least once per week. This helps pull out dirt, mites, and dust before it can really settle into the carpet fibers.
5. Toothbrush and beer
Pour a little of your favorite brew over a stain in the carpet and use a toothbrush to scrub the stain away.
6. Ink remover
Bust a pen on your favorite carpet? Blot the still wet area with salt (you can try this on other wet stains like colored fruit drink as well.)
7. Ammonia and water
Combine 1 cup of clear ammonia with 1/2 gallon of warm water. Sponge onto the affected area in the carpet (it’s safe for your couches too!) and let it dry.
8. All-over cleaner
If you’re itching for a more thorough job, just add 1 cup of vinegar to your steaming vacuum (you can rent one if you don’t have one at home) and a few drops of essential oils. Run as usual.