Cleaning carpet stains can be difficult for a multitude of reasons. Stains from red wine or coffee can be particularly problematic depending on the extent of the stain and the type of carpeting. To avoid acidic or chemically fragrant carpet cleaning solutions, many people choose to create their own cleaning product.
DIY Carpet Cleaner vs. Commercial Carpet Cleaners
Depending on the type, homemade or DIY carpet cleaners are just as strong as commercial brand carpet cleaners. In addition to a more natural cleaning solution, DIY cleaners do not have some of the unnecessary additives that brand cleaners provide.
Brand carpet cleaners can produce toxic fumes. The carcinogen, Naphthalene, can be particularly harmful to children or pets that may play on the carpet soon after its cleaned. To avoid potentially dangerous chemicals and fumes, there are a few time-tested ingredients for strong carpet cleaners that can be used in a homemade solution.
How To Make Your Own Carpet Cleaner
To make your own carpet cleaning solution, there are a few basic ingredients that should be used. Baking powder, lemons (preferably from meyer lemon trees), vinegar and window cleaner are key. These three ingredients will help thoroughly clean carpets while still smelling organic.
A Complete List of Ingredients:
- Baking powder
- Corn starch
- Window cleaner
- Laundry detergent
Three Easy Ways To Clean Carpets
1.) In a small mixing bowl stir 1 cup of baking powder and 1 cup of corn starch. While mixing, add a few lemon drops of lemon. Meyer lemon trees provide enough citrus to clean while still adding fragrance to the room.
2.) For tough stains, window cleaner may be necessary. Mixing window cleaner with warm water can help strip stains from upholstery as well as carpet. The recommended measurements are one cup of water and one cup of window cleaner.
3.) One of the most popular forms of DIY carpet cleaner is the non-toxic method. This solution is a mixture of white vinegar, lemon and salt. First add two cups of warm water to one cup of white vinegar. Stir in two teaspoons of salt and then add several drops of lemon. This can be applied with a sponge or cloth or it can be used in a spray bottle for direct stain removal.
How To Apply DIY Carpet Cleaner
There are a variety of methods to applying homemade carpet cleaner. Depending on why you’re cleaning, different applications may work better than others. Removing stains takes minimal time to accomplish while cleaning an entire carpet can require more cleaning solvent and time.
Carpets should be cleaned on a routine basis to keep a home hygienic and safe. This is especially true if you have small children or pets that may be used to playing on the carpet. If carpets are not routinely cleaned, bacteria and even small bugs or insects can hide inside the fiber. For a routine carpet cleaning, vacuuming is recommended.
To successfully vacuum carpet cleaner, first spray the carpet with cleaning solution and wait for approximately ten minutes. After the area is damp, then vacuum the entire carpet. The suction can lift dirt and stains while creating a lighter color to your carpet. For smaller carpets, a hand-held vacuum cleaner will get the job done.
For stains, the method of application can differ. Since the entire carpet does not need to be cleaned, spraying the carpet cleaner with a hand-held spray bottle can apply solution directly to the stain. You can also apply solution directly by dabbing the stain with a cloth dipped in cleaning solvent. If you decide to use a cloth, do not rub or drag the solution along the carpet as that can make the stain bigger.
Particularly difficult stains can be treated by adding a teaspoon of dish-washing detergent to one cup of hot water. Once the mixture has been dabbed to the stain, using an iron can help directly lift the stain. Make sure to use only medium heat on the cloth as you dab gently across the stained area.
Letting the carpet dry out is an important step. Once you are finished, make sure to open windows or run a fan to circulate the air. Even non-toxic cleaning solutions such as the lemon, oil and vinegar solvent, can cause headaches for some. In addition to getting rid of any lingering smells, drying the carpet will prevent future musty smells for occurring inside the home.
DIY carpet cleaners are an efficient way to get rid of stains. Not only are some DIY carpet cleaners a non-toxic, organic form of cleaning, but they are frequently less expensive than commercial brand cleaners. Mixing your own cleaning solution takes little time and can help your home to look and smell fresh.