Many common household cleaners are full of harmful chemicals, and carpet-cleaning products are no exception. It is probably easier than you think to keep carpets clean and fresh without resorting to unhealthy cleaning products that can harm you and the environment.
Carpets should be vacuumed at least once a week. Even if your home is very clean, dust will settle on carpeting and should be removed. The longer dust or dirt is allowed to sit on the carpet, the more it settles into the fibers and the harder it is to remove. Choose the best vacuum cleaner you can find. It should have great suction and attachments for getting to hard to reach places.
2. Oily Spills
Oily spills, such as from oily foods or any kind of grease, should be cleaned quickly as they will attract dirt and can become odoriferous. Your first step in treating these kinds of stains is to remove as much of the oil as you can. Cornstarch is excellent for absorbing oil and moisture, which is why it is an ingredient in some powder-based makeup and other skin powders. You can also clean it with lemon. Lemon is a natural disinfectant and stain remover. Sprinkle this liberally over the oily area, lightly brush it in, and leave it overnight or for about eight hours. Next, vacuum it up and then use a green cleaner on a clean cloth to remove any remaining stain.
3. Food Dyes and Similar Stains
Even natural pigments in food such as beets or tomatoes can leave bad stains on the carpet. Clean these as soon as you spot them and use a mild solution of one part vinegar or lemon juice to nine parts water, but make sure to test a small section of carpet first to make sure the dye doesn’t fade or run. The mild acids in vinegar and lemon help to lift these kinds of stains.
As a pet owner, I know that odor can be an issue even if no visible messes, stains are a problem. To deodorize your carpet without using chemicals, I often use baking soda. For the best effect, sprinkle it liberally on your carpet and gently brush it in with a broom. Leave it on at least overnight before vacuuming – however, it is even better if you can leave it on for a few days. Avoid putting it on damp areas as it will cake and you will need to scrape it up.
5. Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning helps remove dirt that is ground into the carpet fibers. You can use any green cleaner mixed with the water, as long as you tested it first to make sure it will not make the carpet’s dye bleed or fade. The first step is to vacuum carpeting thoroughly to remove loose soil and debris. Next, spot treat any stains so that you do not inadvertently bake the stain into the carpet with the steam. Then, use your steam cleaner with the eco-friendly cleaner. This is not a job you should rush through. Allow yourself ample time to slowly push then pull the steam cleaning attachment over the carpet to cleanse the fibers and then pull out the moisture. Depending on the solution you use, you may need to go over the carpet using plain water in the steamer. When you are done, turn on a fan and open windows to help carpet dry out faster and keep everyone, including pets, off it until it is completely dry.
Since carpet odors and stains tend to worsen with time, carpet cleaning is a task that has to be kept up. As long as you stay vigilant and don’t let things get out of hand, green cleaning methods should be all your carpet ever requires.