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Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution

Carpet Cleaning, Rug Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning
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Retail stores will sell almost any carpet cleaning solution you could ask for, but nearly every commercial carpet cleaner is full of chemicals that are dangerous for kids, pets, and everyone else. These chemicals may trigger allergic symptoms in some people, and their poisonous residue can remain in the carpet for weeks after the cleaning itself is finished. A number of non-toxic, completely safe household items have proven themselves to be effective carpet cleaning solutions--without the health and environmental risks associated with chemical cleaners.

For stain removal or cleaning small area rugs, a simple combination of household ingredients will penetrate the carpet fibers to loosen embedded dirt and debris. To make this homemade carpet cleaner, create a paste by combining two parts baking soda with one part of any of these liquids:

  • warm water
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • vinegar

Each of these liquids has unique properties that will help it clean the carpet and remove stains. Water, of course, is the most gentle choice and should be used if other cleansers have faded a carpet's colors or caused other damage. Warm water works best to loosen tough soil, but some delicate fibers--like wool--cannot tolerate heat and should be cleaned with cool water only.

Hydrogen peroxide, because it contains pure oxygen molecules, acts much like the popular "oxy" type cleansers. The bubbling action penetrates deep into the carpet to loosen and lift dirt and residue from food or drink spills. Hydrogen peroxide also has a slight bleaching action which often causes the color from a recent stain to simply disappear. Blood and tomato sauce respond very well to hydrogen peroxide.

Vinegar is beneficial because, in addition to its cleaning abilities, it is antibacterial and antimicrobial. Any bacterial or fungal growth in the carpeting will be killed immediately when cleaned with the vinegar solution. Also, when combined, vinegar and baking soda undergo a chemical reaction that causes a bubbly fizzing. This reaction enables the paste to work its way deep into the carpet and into each individual fiber as well.

Along with providing the powder base for this cleaning paste, baking soda cleans and deodorizes carpeting. No matter what surface it touches, baking soda absorbs and neutralizes odors. Even if a spill doesn't smell bad right away, odors will begin to develop over time. The baking soda paste will counteract this effect before it can even begin.

To use this homemade carpet cleaning paste, simply apply the mixture to the area needing cleaned and rub gently with a clean cloth. It's important not to scrub because this can drive stains deeper into a carpet and may damage the fibers as well. With a gentle circular motion, the paste can be worked into the carpet and them allowed to sit for several hours. The liquid portion will evaporate, and then baking soda powder can be vacuumed away once the area is dry.

Homemade Steam Cleaning Solution

The simplest, safest, and most effective 'green' steam cleaning solution is plain white vinegar. This antibacterial cleansing agent can be substituted for a traditional cleaner in any steam cleaning machine. In whatever way the machine's instructions state to use a traditional cleaner, vinegar may be used instead.

Some people have reported that they achieve a good cleaning by using hot water alone with no separate cleaner.

Each carpet cleaning solution described here is perfectly safe and will not harm children or pets in any way. After all, water, baking soda, and vinegar are all used in foods that people eat everyday. They should each be tested on a hidden area of carpet before use, however, since some carpet textures or dyes may be negatively affected.

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