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How to Remove Stains and Pet Odors from Rugs

How to Remove Stains and Pet Odors from Rugs

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 thereóand 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 (Annieís 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 wonít cause discoloration or fading.

Annieís 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:

See this great technique for cat mistakes and these general deodorizers for pet odors .

To Remove Red Wine Stains:

Itís 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 itís 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 doesnít 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.

Read more: Home, Everyday Pet Care, Household Hints, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , , , , ,

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Better Basics for the Home

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+ add your own
10:10PM PDT on Sep 11, 2015

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1:33AM PDT on Sep 11, 2015

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1:32AM PDT on Sep 11, 2015

thanks for the tips

12:56AM PDT on Sep 11, 2015

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10:47PM PDT on Aug 25, 2015

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11:50PM PDT on Jun 3, 2015

Pets are all adorable and that to if you keep teaching them the social etiquette then they will learn and one thing is they are quick learner. So if you teach them proper manners they wont make dirty the place. So give them proper grooming that will be helpful for achieving the right place in society.

4:09AM PDT on Apr 7, 2015

If the wood on your furniture, walls, baseboard or floor is discolored, the varnish or paint has reacted to the acid in the urine. You may need to remove and replace the layer of varnish or paint. If you do so, make sure the new product is safe for pets.
Employees at your local hardware or home improvement store can help you identify and match your needs with appropriate removers and replacements.
Washable enamel paints and some washable wallpapers may respond favorably to enzymatic cleaners. Read the instructions before you use these products. You should also test them in an invisible area.
Spring Cleaners Ltd.

4:04AM PDT on Apr 7, 2015

You know how it goes: Your pet decides that your new carpet's the perfect place to relieve himself. Or perhaps you walk into your bedroom and catch a whiff of something like ammonia, or worse.

Soak up as much of the urine as possible with a combination of newspaper and paper towels. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, especially from carpet, the easier it will be to remove the odor. Place a thick layer of paper towels on the wet spot, and cover that with a thick layer of newspaper. If possible, put newspaper under the soiled area as well. Stand on this padding for about a minute. Remove the padding, and repeat the process until the area is barely damp.
If possible, put the fresh, urine-soaked paper towel in the area where it belongs—your cat's litter box or your dog's designated outdoor "bathroom area." This will help remind your pet that eliminating isn't a "bad" behavior as long as it's done in the right place.
Rinse the "accident zone" thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting or by using a wet vac.

For stains that have already set:

Consider renting an extractor or wet vac to remove all traces of heavy stains in carpeting (get one from a local hardware store). This machine works much like a vacuum cleaner and is efficient and economical. Extracting/wet vac machines do the

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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