There’s nothing like a nice, clean carpet — it can be a perfect place for your children to play. Unfortunately, keeping that carpet clean can be difficult in a house filled with children and pets. Cleaning your carpet frequently may be necessary, but it can also be expensive and bad for your health. Instead, use a homemade carpet cleaning solution that is not only inexpensive, but also much safer for your health.
Clean but Toxic
Many commercial carpet cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can taint the air quality in your home. These chemicals range from perchloroethylene, which can affect the nervous system and cause nausea, to propylene glycol methyl ether, which is known to irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system.
Carpet Cleaning Machines
Steam-cleaning machines may be sold with an accompanying commercial solution, but you don’t have to use it. You can pour any nontoxic, homemade cleaning solution into the machine. You can even ask commercial cleaning companies to use a mixture of baking soda, club soda and hot water instead of their usual product. Just make sure they have cleaned out their machines so there is no chemical residue left in the unit. Do the same if you rent your own machine.
Make your own homemade carpet cleaning solution. Combine equal parts warm water with white distilled vinegar. Add 1 tsp. of liquid castile soap and mix thoroughly. Use this solution in a steam-cleaning machine, or fill a spray bottle with it and use it to treat small areas.
Homemade Deodorizing Solutions
Sometimes carpets look clean, but they don’t smell that way. Instead of purchasing a commercial carpet deodorizing product — many of which contain harsh perfumes — sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Leave it on overnight, then vacuum it up the next morning. The baking soda will absorb the offensive odor.
For tough carpet stains, create a paste made by mixing 1/4 cup borax, 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and 1/4 cup salt. Rub it into the stain and leave it there until it dries. Vacuum it up when it is thoroughly dry. Another spot cleaning solution that works equally well with synthetic and natural fiber carpets is made by adding 1 tsp. of clear liquid dishwashing detergent to 1 cup of warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it on a damp rag, then wipe up the stain.