cleaning tips and tools

11 Carpet Cleaning Hacks for the Real World

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A carpet has the ability to transform a room and add personality. Keep your flooring looking brand new with these eleven cleaning hacks.

Remove Stains and Wax With an Iron.

Vacuum the area first, and spray with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, letting it sit for several minutes. Lay a light-colored cloth over the stain and iron the entire stained area to transfer the stain. For wax, simply lay a cloth over wax and iron. Just be sure not to put the iron directly on the carpet, as it could singe or melt the fibers.

Use an ice cube to remove furniture indentations or gum.

You might know that you can freeze gum to scrape it off of carpet (or fabric). But you might not know that you can fix an indent from furniture by leaving an ice cube to melt on the indented spot. After the ice has completely melted, blot the excess and ironing with a cloth until dry. Then fluff and vacuum.

Use area rugs strategically, and rotate like you flip your mattress.

Use area rugs and runners in high-traffic areas. Flipping your rugs around 180 degrees every few months will prolong the life of both the rug and the carpet. Find some without a rubber backing and you can throw them in the wash.

Eliminate odors with baking soda, or use to absorb oil stains.

Soak up an oil stain or freshen the room by shaking baking soda across the entire room, allowing it to sit, and then vacuuming up.

Roll the crumbs.

Need to freshen in a flash? Keep a lint roller by the door for a quick pass before company.

Squeegee pet hair.

Remove stubborn pet hairs from tiny fibers by running a squeegee across the top. This also works on fabric furniture and car seats!

Use rubbing alcohol, window cleaner or nail polish remover with acetone.

Apply one of these chemicals to a cloth, scrub in a circular motion, rinse with water and allow to dry completely then vacuum the area to fluff.

Apply shaving cream to high-traffic dirt stains.

Scrubbing this anti-aging treatment into the fibers will not only remove traffic stains from your carpet, it will soften it as well.

For shag, use the hose attachment

Generally, vacuum suction is too powerful on shag and will leave “shedding.” Your hose attachment can give them a deep clean while being gentle on the fibers.

Moving soon? Wear shoe caps.

The moving process is extra hard on floors, especially going in and out of the house with furniture. Covered shoes leave less of an imprint and keep the dirt out. This seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the busy moving process, so buy them in bulk ahead of time and leave them by the door with a small waste basket.

Use baking soda and a vacuum for fleas

Sprinkle and work in with a broom, and allow it to sit for a few hours before vacuuming. Salt or borax work too, but if you have pets, it’s best to stick to the baking soda. Continue to vacuum every day, cleaning the filter and disposing of its contents in a plastic bag outside in a can with a lid.

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