If your carpets take a beating from children, pets or clumsy adults – we’ve all been there! – you’re probably tired of scrubbing stains and paying for expensive cleaning products. Fortunately, there are plenty of carpet cleaning hacks that can save time and money. Here are five inexpensive carpet cleaning tips.
Get Rid of Odors with Baking Soda
Spilled drinks, food and other accidents can cause a lasting odor from your carpet. However, you do not need pricey odor removers to make your carpet smell fresh again. Instead, add approximately 15 drops of your favorite essential oil to a regular baking soda box, then mix it together.
Whenever you notice a patch of carpet that could do with some freshening, sprinkle the mix and let it settle for around five minutes. Vacuum up the powder – and the odor should come away with it. On a side note, you can also use baking soda (without the essential oil) to absorb oil stains. These are notoriously difficult to remove, which is why baking soda is such a useful cleaning product to have around the house.
Stains Can Be Removed With an Iron
One of my favorite hacks is to use the heat of your iron to remove stubborn stains. It is important to use the right method, however, as you don’t want to singe your carpet.
Start by vacuuming the stain and surrounding area to get rid of any loose debris. You only want the stain remaining, as dirt or other particles can get in the way. Next, spray a mixture of white vinegar and water in a 1:3 ratio on the stain. After a few minutes, lay a towel over the stain to protect your carpet, and iron it on the highest steam setting. The combination of heat and downward pressure does a great job of removing stains without endless scrubbing.
Note: Test this method on a small patch of carpet first. While it shouldn’t damage the carpet, certain fibers are more delicate than others.
Attach a Toilet Roll Tube to Your Vacuum Cleaner Hose
It can be difficult to vacuum every tight spot in your home – especially if your vac doesn’t have a thin crevice tool. This can lead to dirt, dust and even mold building up in hidden areas, which can sometimes stain the carpet. One way to make your vacuum more versatile is to slip an empty toilet roll tube over the hose. You can then shape the end of the tube to whatever you wish, allowing you to get into tight spots that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.
It is also important to buy a vacuum cleaner with enough suction and brush bar power to remove debris that is deep in carpet fibers. While the average vacuum does a good job of surface cleaning, the best models can stir up carpet fibers to remove more dirt, dust and hair. In the past, this meant buying a powerful corded cylinder or upright vac, but the best cordless vacuums are now capable of deep cleaning.
Remove Hair and Other Debris with a Lint Roller
If your vacuum struggles to remove hair and other debris from your carpet, a lint roller is a manual alternative – particularly for pet hair. This is one of the simplest tips on this list, as you just need to push the lint roller over the patch of carpet you want to clean. It is often surprising how much dirt and hair this can remove, even if you have recently vacuumed. You might also want to use a lint roller for cleaning upholstery if your vacuum doesn’t have a sofa tool.
The downside of this method is that it is time-consuming and tiring. It can be useful for small patches or stairs, but if you need to clean large areas of carpet it’s probably worth upgrading to a vacuum with a pet hair attachment.
Note: If you don’t have a lint roller in the house, running rubber gloves over carpet or sofas is another way to remove pet hair. The electric charge of the rubber gloves attracts hair that would otherwise be difficult to remove.
Fluff Up Tired Carpets with Ice
Years of walking and heavy furniture can make areas of carpet look flat and lifeless. This is especially noticeable when you move an item of furniture, such as a sofa or TV bench, as a dent is usually left behind. If you want your carpets to look brand new again, simply place an ice cube over the affected area and let it melt. Once the ice is completely melted into the carpet, use a towel to gently remove any excess moisture. This is often enough to remove a dent, as the slow absorption of water gives the carpet a natural lift. But if you can still see a slight indentation, use a fork to fluff up the revitalized fibers. It’s the gradual release of water that makes this tip effective though. You can’t just pour water over the dent!
Keeping your carpets clean and looking great takes a lot of effort – especially if you have kids or pets. If you are struggling to find the time, the tips in this article can help you maintain carpets faster and without paying for expensive products. Keep in mind that there are many different types of carpet though. If you’re not sure whether a tip is suitable for your carpet, test it on a small and hidden patch first.
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