Soon we will be closing our homes up for the cooler weather, leaving us face-to-face with rugs and carpets that look and smell less than fresh: A wine spill here, a pet accident there—and you can end up with a real mess underfoot. But commercial carpet cleaners and fresheners can contain synthetic ingredients that can harm you and your pets.
Here are some great formulas that really work to remove grease stains, chewing gum, food and red wine stains, and even cat mistakes (Annie’s formula works better than expensive enzyme-based cleaners!). Find out how to have sweet-smelling, fresh-looking rugs, safely and naturally.
Always try these formulas on a bit of rug that is out of sight first, to be sure they won’t cause discoloration or fading.
Annie’s Fabulous Whipped Carpet-Cleaner:
This formula is fun to make and fun to use. Just mix equal parts water and liquid detergent and whip with a hand beater until it gets frothy. Use a sponge to scoop some onto a section of your rug, rub in gently, then wipe dry with a clean rag.
To Neutralize Pet Odors:
To Remove Red Wine Stains:
It’s easier to get rid of stains when they are fresh. First, blot, then dilute with warm water and blot again. Then:
Method 1: Pour on a bit of milk, white wine, or club soda. Blot and wash with warm water and liquid detergent.
Method 2: Mix equal parts liquid detergent and fresh hydrogen peroxide (it loses its effectiveness if it’s old) and apply to stain. Blot and reapply if necessary, then use warm water to rinse. Allow to dry.
To Remove Fruit Juice and Berry Stains:
Blot and dilute the stain, then apply straight white vinegar. Rinse with warm water.
To Remove Chewing Gum:
Remove as much of it as you can (some people swear by using a plastic bag to pick up the gum: evidently, the gum will adhere to the plastic). Then apply ice cubes to the gum still remaining on the carpet to freeze it: the gum becomes easy to pick out of the rug fibers.
To Remove Grease Stains:
First, blot away as much of the grease as you can. Then apply straight isopropyl alcohol to the stain. Blot, then wash with warm water and liquid detergent. If that doesn’t get it all, apply a few drops of fresh hydrogen peroxide and blot, then wash again with warm water and detergent.
Fragrant Carpet Freshener
Mix 2 cups of borax (in the laundry section of your grocery store) and 25 drops pure essential oil, making sure the oil is evenly distributed throughout the borax. Shake this mixture liberally over your carpet and allow to remain on for a few minutes, then vacuum.