Guest post from Kelli Shepherd, www.fooduciary.com
Many commercial carpet cleaners and fresheners use toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenols, pesticides, lye and phthalates (among others) in their ingredients. Using these products is not only dangerous for the environment and your health, but it can also make your carpet more resistant to cleanings. For example, soaps actually help carpets to collect and hold in the dirt.
Instead of using harsh commercial shampoos, consider making your own greener carpet cleaner.
These are a few great ways to remove stains, clean and deodorize your carpet for some of the common problems we all face at one time or another:
Bright Liquid Spills
Red wine, fruit juice and other liquids are some of the toughest to get out of carpet. The key is to clean up while the spot is still wet. First, blot up (do not rub—rubbing will only push it further into the carpet) as much liquid as you can with a clean cloth or paper towel, then generously pour table salt all over the area and allow to dry. Once dry, vacuum up and your would-be stain will be gone.
If your stain has already dried, you can use the same process but wet your affected area with club soda to re-wet the stain. Stains are easier to remove when wet. Then proceed with the directions above. Repeat process, if necessary.
Sprinkle baking soda over the carpet area and leave overnight. This allows the baking soda to absorb the smells. Then just vacuum it up.
Pet Stains & Odors
Pet stains and odors (urine or feces) can be a little harder to get rid of and may take a couple cleanings to cure. First, blot up (do not rub—this will only push it further into the carpet) the affected area with a clean cloth or paper towels, then soak the area with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Once this is almost dry, sprinkle baking soda over it and allow to fully dry. Be sure the vinegar is almost dry, because if you add the baking soda when it's too wet it will turn into a goopy paste that will be difficult to vacuum up.
A steam cleaner is a nice tool because it helps remove dirt and particles from your carpet with heat; although using the harsh chemical products recommended for steam cleaners often discourages people from using them. Not to worry, here's a safe alternative: Use plain old vinegar and water in a 1 to 10 ratio and your carpet will come out clean and deodorized.
An easy way to freshen your carpet and whole home is to make a simple essential oil spray. Use a spray bottle and add 4 drops essential oils per 1 cup water. Spray around your home on furniture, curtains and carpet for a refreshing clean smell.
Kelli was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease as a child and has always paid close attention to her health. But when that disease went beyond the care of traditional medicine, she found answers, and healing, through lifestyle improvements and working with a functional-medicine doctor.