OMG! This may be your reaction after knocking over a glass of wine on your beige carpet. Then you may think, “It’s going to cost me a fortune” to have it cleaned. But wait! It won’t cost you a ton of money to clean your carpet. Not if you mix up one of our homemade carpet cleaners yourself.
Be aware that like floors, carpets will receive a lot of abuse over its years of use. Stains on a carpet are an eyesore. Dust, dirt, stains, spills, pet urine, and similar stuff are going to adversely affect the way your carpet looks. It will also determine how long it lasts before you have to replace it with an entirely new one.
In reality, many of the carpet accidents you’ll face are near impossible to avoid. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t do anything to keep your carpet clean, smelling good, and looking good.
How to Make Homemade Carpet Cleaners
These three recipes homemade carpet cleaners can be used for general cleaning of your carpets as needed.
Homemade Carpet Cleaner Made from Natural Ingredients
You can make this homemade carpet cleaner quite easily. All you need are the following ingredients:
- 1/2 pound baking powder
- 3.5 ounces corn flour
- Dried bay leaves
Then mix as follows:
- In a container, mix 1/2 pound of baking powder with up to 3.5 ounces of corn flour.
- Finely crumble the dried bay leaves before adding them to the mixture.
- Add a handful of potpourri to give your carpet cleaner a natural fresh smell.
- Cover the container and shake the mixture thoroughly.
How to use:
- Apply some of the powder onto the stained area and leave it overnight.
- Wipe off the powder the next day
- Vacuum to ensure no residue remains on the carpet.
Homemade Carpet Shampoo
To make this homemade carpet cleaner, the ingredients you need are:
- 1/2 cup translucent cleaner liquid (no bleach)
- 1/2 cup Downy fabric softener
- 1 cup ammonia
- 1 gallon of water
Then mix the ingredients together and use as follows:
- Scrub the solution over the stained areas of your carpet, using a clean absorbent sponge.
- Wipe off with a clean, dry, white cloth.
- If residues form overnight, vacuum over the area.
Homemade Spot Remover
You can easily and quickly remove small spots on your carpet with the help of this easy-to-make homemade spot remover. You need three ingredients, which you should already have in your kitchen:
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
Then mix the vinegar and baking soda. Dilute the vinegar-baking soda solution with some water before applying it to your carpet and use as follows:
- Scrub the solution over the spot using a small brush (g., an old toothbrush or an old fingernail scrubbing brush).
- The vinegar works to dissolve the stain while the baking soda works to clean up the stain.
How to Remove Coffee Stains
You crawl out of bed in the morning, still half asleep. A cup of coffee is the only thing that gives you the energy to the face the new day.
Unfortunately, while you are still dragging yourself around your home, trying to get ready for work or to run some errands, you spill some coffee, or maybe even the whole cup, before you’ve even had one sip.
Don’t panic! Even if you have a light-colored carpet, you can still remove coffee from carpet with a homemade carpet cleaner.
Follow the steps below to start removing coffee stains from your carpet.
Homemade Carpet Cleaner for Coffee Stains
- Get a paper towel or a clean white cloth.
- Quick pat the stained area to start the process of removing the coffee stain.
- Keep daubing the stain for maximum absorption into the cloth or paper towel. Never rub a stain as it can cause the liquid to be pushed deeper into the carpet fibers.
Important: Review the information given to you when you purchased the carpet. If you don’t have that information, do some research and try to find out what stain remover is best when removing coffee stains. Why? Different carpets are made of different materials. If you have a natural carpet (grass or wool) a stain remover can damage it. If you are unsure about what to do, a professional may be needed to do the job correctly.
- Fill a spray bottle with lukewarm water and spray a small amount on the stain.
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Wet an absorbent sponge and use it to pat the coffee stain.
- In a bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of a mild solution that won’t bleach your fibers. You can also use a carpet shampoo that does not contain toxic ingredients.
- Add the cleaning solution to 1 liter of warm (not hot) water.
- Blend the mixture until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Wet a clean, white cloth in the newly mixed solution and place it directly on the stain.
- Use the back of a spoon to apply slight pressure to the cloth and stain. Move the spoon around so that you have covered the entire cloth with the gentle massage.
- Remove the cloth from your carpet.
- Using a spray bottle, spray warm water on the stain.
- Pat the area with a damp sponge to remove any leftover coffee stains.
- Remove any excess liquid by daubing the wet spots with a clean rag or heavy duty paper towel.
- Do not rub the spot. Rubbing can cause more damage as you try to remove coffee from the carpet.
- To dry the carpet, cover the entire area with a fresh, clean white cloth or paper towels.
- Lay a plastic bag over the cloth or paper towels.
- Place a heavy object like a large book or statue on top of the plastic bag to apply pressure to the spot for a few hours or even overnight.
When you remove the object, you will find that you have effectively removed the stain.
Never, never let a stain sit for a long time.
If a stain is not cleaned up immediately, it may be difficult or impossible to remove unless you hire a professional. Although, a pro is likely to get the job done well, a carpet specialist will cost a lot of money. Therefore, you don’t want to hire them to clean one small area of your carpet when you can easily do it yourself.
Homemade Carpet Cleaner for Pet Urine
Carpets and indoor pets are a dangerous combination. You may love having your pet in the house, but you should be prepared to undertake the task of cleaning pet urine from carpet not just once, but many times.
Even if you have paid good money for a professional dog trainer to “potty” train your pet, there’ll still be times when your pet will urinate on your carpet. After all, if your pet needs to go, he’ll go wherever the urge catches him.
Whether it’s a cat, dog, hamster or some other pet that stains your carpet, pet urine is not something you’ll want to leave on your carpet. Pet urine has a potent odor, and it leaves a visible spot on a carpet.
Here’s a tip to remove pet odor from carpet with the help of baking soda and vinegar. The pet stain needs to be completely dry before applying baking soda. Take some paper towels and press them down against the urine on the carpet. When you have most of the urine out, dampen the area with clean water.
Next, sprinkle baking soda over it. Allow the baking soda to dry for several hours (even overnight). Vacuum over the area the next day.
Alternatively, you can use white vinegar.
- Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1/4 cup of warm water.
- Pour the solution over the stained area.
- Place a dry towel over the area and press it down with a heavy object.
- Keep the towel pressed over the area for at least 2 hours or even overnight.
- Later or the next morning, take off the towel and clean the area with a soft hairbrush (a baby’s hairbrush, for example).
Sometimes, you’ll see no visible stains on your carpet, but you could definitely smell them. It can be rather hard to get rid of pet odor from your carpet if you are unable to find where exactly on your carpet the odor is coming.
For those hard-to-see pet urine stains, use a black UV light. Close the blinds, turn off all the lights and turn on the UV black light. Pet urine stains glow under black UV light so you should be able to see where the pet odors are coming from and then you can take steps to remove them.
Removing Mold from Your Carpet
In a natural environment, you will usually encounter mold, which is a fungus. Mold lives, grows, and thrives in areas that are moist, damp or wet. In a forest, mold is easily found on the ground because it eats the decaying leaves that fall from the trees.
Mold easily digests anything it eats. And the more it eats, the larger it gets. Thus, if mold is in your home, it can wreak havoc, damaging everything in its path. It can even cause respiratory problems for those who reside in the home.
Mold has a variety of names: cladosporium, peniccilium, alternaria, mucor, and aspergillus. Indoor types of mold have a variety of colors, including red, black, orange, yellow, white, violet, brown and blue.
Indoor mold is dangerous. It lives and produces year round, especially in areas with a constant temperature that is humid or warm. You may notice a patch or shape that is speckled. That’s mold. It also releases a musty odor.
Before learning how to remove this bacterium from your home, let’s look at how to prevent it from forming in the first place.
Preventing Growth of Mold
You can stop mold growth in your carpet, in or on your walls, or under your appliances (e.g., refrigerator or dishwasher). Here are some preventative techniques:
- Keep your home at a constant 30 to 60 percent humidity. Purchase a dehumidifier, if necessary, to ensure a consistent humidity.
- Avoid placing carpets in wet or moist areas, like the bathroom and laundry room. Use tiles instead. These areas are likely to have a damp or wet floor often when someone showers or if there is a leak in a pipe or toilet.
- If an area of your home overflows with water, immediately dry out the area. Leaving the moisture in place provides an environment in which the mold can grow and survive.
- Check for leaks in plumbing or from a defective roof.
- Check air conditioner and heating vents. Ventilation from these units can spread mold bacteria through the air.
If you find a moldy area, measure its size. You will want to ensure that the problem is small enough to be fixed by you. If the mold areas are large, a professional should be called in to keep the mold from spreading.
How to Remove Mold
Vinegar is antimicrobial and will kill mold, and it is less expensive than some other methods. Numerous studies show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar – the kind you can buy in the supermarket – kills 82 percent of the mold. The pH of vinegar is around 2.5, and because it is acidic, it breaks up the structure of mold.
Always wear gloves and eye protective goggles when you clean mold and mildew.
As soon as you discover mold in your carpet, thoroughly vacuum the affected area. If possible, use a big, more powerful vacuum instead of a small hand vacuum. This will help remove even more dust and dirt from the affected area. Then, make a homemade carpet cleaner as follows:
- Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add a couple of drops of essential oil for a more pleasant scent.
- Pour the water-vinegar mix into a glass spray bottle and apply to the carpet.
- Pour a generous amount of baking soda directly onto the affected area of your carpet.
- Give the carpet some time to dry before thoroughly vacuuming the baking soda.
Always use a fan, heater, or open window to dry your carpets and rugs as quickly as possible. Remember that wet spots are the reason that you have mold in the first place.
Bonus Baking Soda Finish
Use baking soda, a natural disinfectant, to thoroughly finish the job. Spray the area with a mixture of 1/2 tsp baking soda and a cup of water. Scrub the area clean and rinse with water. If you finish with an additional application of baking soda, you’ll be sure to get all the mold with this double attack on it!
A Homemade Carpet Cleaner for Red Wine
The red wine spill is something that most homeowners fear the most. There you are enjoying a nice glass of delicious red wine when it falls out of your hand or sloshes over the side of your glass and onto your carpet.
Red wine stain does not mean the end of your carpets. A few easy steps will make your carpet look new again.
As with any spill, as soon as the wine hits your carpet, start the cleaning process. If you wait before cleaning the spot, it will be nearly impossible to remove at a later time.
Here are the immediate steps to follow:
Wet a soft, white cloth, then use it to pat the area. The wine will absorb into the cloth. Never rub a stain, it will push the stain deeper into the fibers or cause it to get bigger with each movement. Pat the stain until no more of it can be lifted by the cloth.
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Fill a glass with white wine and empty it directly onto the stain. A glass of white wine will make the red wine to disappear from your carpets completely. Pat the area dry.
– OR –
Make a solution of water and dish soap and place it in a spray bottle. Spray a small amount onto the red wine stain but do not soak the area of the spill. You just want to release enough of the soapy mixture to get the stain removed. Use a clean white towel to gently pat the spill until you have completely removed the stain.
Before vacuuming the rug, make sure that the carpet is completely dry. If a stain is still on the carpet, running the vacuum over the area may cause it to spread.
Besides the home remedies, you can find many stain removing products on the market. These cleaners can clean your carpets, but you should only buy and use them if the home remedies fail to get the job done. Many of these products are high in toxicity so you will want to avoid them for as long as you can. This is especially true for homes that have kids or pets in residence.
About the Author
Adapted from Niv Orlian’s articles on carpet cleaning. Mr. Orlian is an experienced Home Improvement Adviser who writes articles about flooring and carpet cleaning. He is co-founder of www.ChicagoCarpetCare.com
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