Yesterday, my room smelled of rotten eggs, and I couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from. A thorough investigation led me to a spot on my carpet where my cat had decided to pee to show her displeasure at not being given enough attention.
What can you do? These furballs bring you so much joy that you can forgive them their occasional slip-up, and just roll up your sleeve to get cleaning. But what should you clean your carpets with?
I strongly suggest that you avoid commercial cleaning products that use hazardous and unsustainable ingredients like phosphates and ammonia. Instead, open your kitchen cabinet to find easily available and safe cleaning products.
Here is a list of 4 amazing everyday items that actually work!
1. Distilled White Vinegar
No DIY cleaning recipe is complete without vinegar and with good reason! Vinegar is the all-natural magic ingredient in most of our cleaning hacks because of its acidic nature. In fact, with a pH of 2.4, vinegar is a pretty strong acid. The best part? It’s not harmful at all,as the acids in most commercial cleaners.
The Acetic acid in vinegar not only gives it the tanginess, which adds flavor to our food but also the strength to clean even the most stubborn of stains, whether its muddy paw prints or old urine stains, vinegar combined with a few household items can remove them effectively.
What is more, the deeply pungent fragrance of the vinegar keeps pets away from your carpets. So not is it a solution, but it also helps prevent future stains! Most cleaning recipes use distilled white vinegar because it is the strongest. However, if your carpet fabric is too delicate, it may cause discoloration. Therefore, its best to dilute white vinegar with water prior to use.
2. Baking Soda
Baking Soda is the second magical cleaning product that is present in every household. Although its main purpose is to provide leavening while baking bread and cakes, sodium bicarbonate also makes for a very efficient cleaning agent. This magical powder has a pH of 9, which makes it mildly alkaline, and good for cleaning your carpets and other household items.
Alkaline substances such as bleach (pH 12) and ammonia (pH 11) are commonly used as household cleaners. However, these substances are harmful to human health, and they should be avoided as much as possible. Additionally, bleach or ammonia can prove to be too strong for delicate materials such as your carpet. They can cause discoloration and may even burn your carpet.
Baking soda, on the other hand, is a natural and mildly alkaline substance that removes pet stains without damaging your carpet. It also absorbs odors, which makes it great for cleaning pet stains such as urine marks from carpets.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is a chemical compound consisting of water and hydrogen combined in various rations for various purposes. The Hydrogen Peroxide solution fit for home use is a 3% solution, which is easily available in most supermarkets, pharmacies, and dollar stores.
The Food and Drug Administration has categorized the 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution is safe for human consumption in low dosage. Therefore, it makes for a relatively safe household cleaner. Hydrogen Peroxide is a mild bleaching agent and an antiseptic, therefore its great for not only removing stains but also disinfecting your hard or soft surfaces.
Borax is a naturally occurring sodium compound that has been used as a cleaning agent for several decades. Borax is the white powdery substance used in most commercial detergents to get rid of stains and neutralize odors. However, unlike commercial detergents, Borax is free of chemical additives (chlorine or phosphates), and therefore its much safer for household use.
However, it could cause irritation and toxicity in large dosages and thus should be used with caution, especially around children and pets. In addition to being safe and environment friendly, Borax is extremely efficient in getting rid of all types of stains and odors from soft household surfaces like sofas and carpets.
Most households, especially those with children, keep Borax as a laundry detergent. If you haven’t purchased it before, you can buy it easily from any local store or supermarket.
3 Proven DIY Carpet Cleaning Recipes
Knowing the ingredients is not enough; you must also know the right way to use them. We talked to a carpet cleaning expert and picked their brain for the best cleaning methods using household ingredients. These are the tried and tested recipes they suggested:
1. White Vinegar + Baking Soda + Essential Oil
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup of warm water
- 4 tablespoon baking soda
- 3 drops of essential oil of your preference, preferably lemon or rosemary
- A spray bottle
- Old cloth/rags
Combine vinegar, warm water, and baking soda in the spray bottle and shake until the baking soda dissolves in the liquid. The liquid will bubble as the baking soda comes into contact with the acid, do not worry, it’s normal. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil for fragrance.
Once you have your mixture ready, spray it on the carpet stain generously and then blot with an old rag or cleaning towels. Do not rub the cleaning cloth, just gently blot to get as much of the urine or mud out as you can. After you have cleaned the surface, spray the mixture on the carpet, and leave for 2 – 4 hours. Vacuum afterward for a clean as new carpet!
2. Hydrogen Peroxide + Liquid Dishwashing Soap
- 1/2 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 2 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap
- ½ cup of warm water
- A tinted spray bottle or container
- Cleaning cloth
If your stain is particularly stubborn, use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing soap. If you are afraid of ruining your carpet, dilute the mixture with ½ cup of warm water. Hydrogen peroxide loses its potency when it comes into contact with sunlight; therefore, mix the ingredients in a tinted bottle or spray bottle.
Once you have made the solution, spray it on the stain generously and then blot with a cleaning towel, vacuum, and let the carpet air dry. You may repeat the process if the stain lightens but remains on your carpet. The fragrance in the dishwashing soap takes care of any odors, but if you want, you can even add a few drops of essential oil to this mixture as well.
3. Vinegar + Borax + Salt
- 2 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Borax
Combine the 3 ingredients to make a thick paste and then rub this paste on to the stain. Let it sit for 3 – 4 hours and vacuum the area when dry. You will be surprised at how effective this simple method is!
Nouman provides ghostwriting and copy writing services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for carpet cleaning London.