Clean your Carpets the Green Way Clean your Carpets the Green Way

Taking care of the carpets in your home can be frustrating. When they’re fresh and clean, they’re a joy, but it sometimes it seems you just turn around and your carpet is looking dirty and not smelling so fresh either. So, how can you keep your carpets clean and looking good without using a bunch of chemicals. Here’s some ideas

Floor mats

  • Put floor mats at the entrances to your home. As people walk in, any dirt on their feet will come off on the mats and won’t make it to your carpets. Inexpensive and attractive floor mats are available at most department and home store and as an added bonus, many of them are washable, so you can easily keep them clean.

Use the carpet cleaners you’ve already got in your home

  • Regular vacuuming will prevent dirt and pet dander from settling in your carpet fibers. Experts suggest vacuuming twice a week will extend the life of a carpet and keep it looking good for years.

Freshen your carpets while vacuuming

  • Sprinkling some baking soda on your carpet before vacuuming will help eliminate potential odors before you even notice them. Want to add a little ‘spice’ to the air in your home, put some cinnamon or cloves in the baking soda before you spread it. Plain or scented, let the baking soda sit on your carpets for at least ten minutes before vacuuming and when you do, you carpets will be totally freshened.

Spill something? Here’s some environmentally safe ways to get that spot out

  • First use a clean dry cloth or paper towels to absorb as much of the spill as possible. Be sure to ‘blot’ the original stain, don’t rub it or you’ll just spread and fix the stain into the carpet fibers. Once you’ve blotted the stain, apply club soda or soda water to help bring out the stain then blot up the liquid. Alternatively, you can use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar mixed with water or rubbing alcohol in the same way to lift stains.
  • You can even make your own ‘spot cleaner’ be mixing a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent with one to two cups of water.

Candle wax spill on your carpet?

  • Wait for the wax to cool then pick as much as you can off the carpet fibers using your fingers and a sharp pointed object like a toothpick. Work carefully and be sure not to damage the fibers themselves. Next spread a clean, dry white cloth over the wax spill and rub your iron (set on low) over it. The heat of the iron will melt the wax and it will stick to the cloth. Alternatively, you can use a plain, brown grocery bag (be sure to use a bag with no markings) on the wax and do the same thing.

A word of warning

  • Carpet fibers aren’t all the same and unfortunately what works well to clean one type of carpet may not work as well with another. For example, natural fibers react differently to cleaners than do synthetics. Always follow the manufacturer's directions for cleaning your carpets and to be safe, try out any ‘green’ cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area before using it where it can be seen.


Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer with over 500 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He can be contacted at [email protected].


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