Spills, stains, mold and soil on our rugs and carpets used to send us to our chemical stockpiles to find the most effective weapon with which to go to battle to keep the carpet looking new. Of course, now we know better. Carpet cleaning solutions made with chemicals aren’t really the best solution at all.
If you’re tired of the cost and fake odors of the chemical cleansers, or just enjoy thumbing your nose at the chemical manufacturers now and then, keep a few tried true natural carpet cleaning solutions in mind.
Quick and Easy Natural Carpet Cleaning Solutions
Natural cleaners are the healthier, safer alternative that’s not really an “alternative” at all. Many of these are the same great cleaning solutions that our grandmothers used—and her house was spotless!
The Universal Solvent
Water is the universal solvent. Hot water will dissolve almost any substance that finds its way to your floors and requires a carpet cleaning solution. A good home steam cleaner, whether tank or upright, is a nearly perfect carpet cleaning solution in many ways. Its primary agent, plain water, is the quintessential green cleanser, and the steam melts the full gamut of soils you routinely encounter.
To turbo charge your water based carpet cleaning solution, head to the kitchen. Pour a small amount of lemon juice or white vinegar into the steam cleaner’s tank.
Home Carpet Cleaning Starts in the Kitchen
Oddly, the cabinet in which we keep our baking ingredients also houses the staples of natural cleaning.
Spot Clean with White vinegar and Baking Soda
White vinegar and baking soda isn’t just great for making model volcano lava and rocket launches—it can clean just about anything via some geeky hypothermic reactions we’d rather think of as explosions blowing the dirt right out of your home carpet. Cleaning with “explosions” just might lure the kids to lend a hand, too!
Seriously, though, a solution of white vinegar and baking soda makes an excellent detergent. To spot clean home carpets, sprinkle the powder on the stain and drizzle the vinegar over the powder. It will foam and fizzle; after that subsides, scrub the area with an old towel rag. Let it dry, and vacuum it all up. To deodorize your rugs, skip the scented powders from the supermarket. Sprinkle baking soda over the whole carpet or rug; let it sit for half an hour (dry); come back later to vacuum. Presto! Clean and fresh.
Cleaning Carpets with a Cornmeal Concoction
Not many people realize this, but that box of cornmeal that’s been sitting in the cupboard half empty for longer than you’d care to remember can help carry out natural carpet cleaning, too. Concoct this: 1 cup borax, ½ a cup of baking soda and one cup of cornmeal. Sprinkle the blend over your carpet. Moisten a sponge mop, and lightly work the carpet. Let this dry overnight and, in the morning, vacuum the soil away.
Salt Scrub: A Natural Solution for Carpet Cleaning
Got a minor stain, but you’re plumb out of cornmeal and borax? Blend regular table salt with enough white vinegar to create a paste. Scrub, vacuum.
Oh, and don’t hesitate to experiment by squeezing some fresh lemon juice into your cleansing cocktails…and limes, grapefruit, and oranges are nice, too. Don’t fear creativity: mix in a few drops of your favorite essential oils.
Hit Carpet Stains and Mold with Hydrogen Peroxide
Now I know I watch too many forensics shows—I got a natural carpet cleaning tip from one last week. Apparently, hydrogen peroxide has done its share of cleaning up after crimes—including murder—because it powers away protein stains such as blood.
I hope that blood isn’t a common problem on your rugs. However, those of us who live in damp regions can unfortunately experience recurring mildew and mold troubles. When I do, I find that hydrogen peroxide, diluted 5 to 1 with water, can be effective.
Some rugs, especially if deeply colored, respond wonderfully to a solution of lemon juice and salt, too…but I guess that drags you back to the kitchen.
While you’re there, have some homemade oatmeal cookies. Natural cleaning and wholesome snacks make an awesome pair.