Carpet Cleaning Tips

Guide To Homemade Cleaning Solutions Work

Do-It-Yourself solutions are all the rage at the moment.

 

 

 

A homemade cleaning solution can be a safe, easy to make, and a cost effective option for keeping your home clean. Here are a few things you should know about homemade cleaning solution before you dive in.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions Sanitize, but Don’t Disinfect.

homemade cleaning solution

A homemade cleaning solution is not going to disinfect your hard surfaces.  Disinfection refers to killing all organisms and bacteria on a flat surface. To do a true disinfection you’re going to have to break out the bleach. There are no approved methods of disinfecting a three dimensional surface (like carpet or upholstery). A homemade cleaning solution will help to sanitize your hard surfaces, like tile, stainless steel and glass. This means the amount of bacteria, fungi and viruses will be reduced, not eliminated.

Homemade Cleaning Solution

There are a variety of recipes available to make your own homemade cleaning solution.  What you should know is that vinegar and/or citrus are the main “workhorses” in a homemade cleaning solution. Don’t exclude them in your recipe. They offer acid which helps remove food spills and other substances on your hard surfaces – eliminating the places for bacteria to live. Other ingredients like rosemary or lavender can offer a pleasing scent.

Making your own homemade cleaning solution may save you a small amount of money, but not a lot. A basic recipe may include vinegar and lemons, costing less than $3.00 for all the ingredients. A regular bottle of Windex or Clorox Clean-Up will typically set you back $5.

Make Sure To Test Spot

homemade cleaning solution

Take the time to do a test spot. Generally speaking, a homemade cleaning solution is safe and non-toxic. However, you don’t always know how it will react with your hard surfaces. Always do a test spot in an inconspicuous location to ensure there will not be a reaction between your homemade cleaning solution and your hard surface.  Sometimes engineered wood or vinyl flooring may have a sealant coating that is sensitive to the acid in your cleaning solution. You should also know that natural stone can be permanently etched by acid. Always do a test spot. Always.

Carpet Cleaning and Homemade Cleaning Solution

A citrus-based homemade cleaning solution should NOT be used on upholstery or for carpet cleaning. In addition to acid, citrus also contains oil which will leave a residue in your carpet or upholstery. Try a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water for a homemade carpet cleaning solution.

Ready to make your own homemade cleaning solution? Try slicing up 2 lemons and 2 limes. Soak them in a large Mason jar for a month in a dark place.  After a month, strain the citrus out and pour the liquid into a spray bottle.  Throw a few chunks of the citrus into the garbage disposal to freshen it up. Remember, test spot first, then clean.

homemade cleaning solution

Use remaining citrus to freshen up your garbage disposal.

Simple Spring Cleaning Tips

Check out these simple Spring Cleaning tips. Two are great money and time savers, the other is just a fun and natural way to personalize your Spring Cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring Cleaning Tips

Three simple Spring Cleaning tips to make life easier.

Dusting Tip

Save a few dollars with this Spring Cleaning Tip. Don’t purchase a special duster to clean the higher levels in your home, like cabinet tops and crown molding. Instead, try using a broom, rubber band and microfiber cloth to dust those taller spots. Simply cover the bristles of your broom with a clean microfiber cloth and secure it with a rubber band.  Microfiber is an excellent dust catcher, and unlike some dusting products, it can be washed and reused time and time again.  Remember not to use fabric softener when washing your microfiber towels, over time fabric softener will make them less effective in catching dust.

spring cleaning tips

Use a broom, microfiber cloth and rubber band to make the ultimate cleaning tool for crown molding.

Citrus & Vinegar

Have you been thinking of making your own cleaning solution? It may not be easier, but it can certainly be rewarding.  It’s nice to know that your cleaning solution is safe for your family, your pets, and your home.  If you’re looking to experiment with a homemade cleaning solution, keep it simple and start vinegar and citrus.  Combine sliced citrus and vinegar in a large mason jar, seal and store in a dark place for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, strain the citrus out. Mix the citrus vinegar with equal parts water and pour into a spray bottle.  Clean cautiously at first, high concentrations of acid from the citrus can discolor fabric  and it’s not recommended for stone cleaning.  Some people just soak the citrus rinds in vinegar to keep the acid level lower.

spring cleaning tips

Use citrus and vinegar to make your own cleaning solution.

 

Unwanted Pet Hair

This next Spring Cleaning Tip is a true time saver, especially when you need to quickly freshen up upholstery.  Rather than pull out your vacuum, try using a rubber glove to remove pet hair.  Simply put on a clean, latex glove. The disposable kind is best, and it can certainly be reused for this type of cleaning. With medium pressure, move your gloved hand across the surface of microfiber cushions or standard upholstery.  The pet hair should stick to the glove and easily lift off the upholstery.  This is a great trick for dinette chairs, especially if you have a pet who likes to nap under the table.

Spring Cleaning Tip

Tidy up any room by quickly collecting pet hair with a rubber glove.

You can certainly save time and money with the right Spring Cleaning Tips. You can also personalize your cleaning with DIY cleaners. Enjoy the clean!

Avoid Using Carpet Spotters

avoid using carpet spotters, carpet cleaning tips, clean carpet

Avoid using carpet spotters

Thinking of cleaning some spots on your carpet?  Here’s why you should avoid using carpet spotters…

Spills happen, especially on carpet.  Someone knocks over a glass of juice, tracks in some mud, or worse.  We’ve all had to deal with carpet stains from time to time.  Here’s a simple tip that will keep your carpet looking better for longer – Avoid Using Carpet Spotters!  It seems like odd advice but your carpet will actually thank you.  Here’s why.

avoid using carpet spotters

Lack of extraction is the real problem with carpet spotters.  Carpet spotters are typically some form of soap that are designed help remove soil.  Most of the time carpet spotters assist in removing soil from your carpet but they leave something worse behind – soap.  Soap is an attractant.  Over time dirt will adhere to it and you’ll have a brown spot on your carpet.

Think of it this way, you spot clean your carpet by spraying on a solution then you scrub with a cloth until it looks better.  You’re probably lifting some of the stain, but the carpet spotter is never completely removed.  Over time, a brown spot will appear in the area that you originally “spot cleaned”.  This happens because soil attaches to the soapy residue that was left behind by the carpet spotter.  This is the number one reason to avoid using carpet spotters.

avoid using carpet spotters

avoid carpet spotters fine print

Look closely at the label of the carpet spotter you are considering.  The fine print probably says to “apply before extraction cleaning”.  Extraction cleaning is the process of using steam and vacuum to remove soil.  This type of extraction refers to a steam cleaner vacuum (similar to a Bissell), not a standard vacuum.  Steam is the mechanism that removes soil and carpet spotter soap during an extraction cleaning.

vinegar as a spotter

Honestly, a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water is the best cleaning solution to spot clean your carpet.  The vinegar won’t leave a soap residue and it is non-toxic.  Remember, dirt ends up sticking to soap residue.

To use the at-home carpet spotter, spray the soiled area and press dry with a clean, cotton towel.  Repeat until the spill lifts.  Keep a spray bottle of the simple vinegar solution with your cleaning supplies and reach for this residue-free mixture instead of carpet spotter.

Vacuum Cleaner Bag Deoderizer

Vacuum bag deodorizer tabs

Use vacuum bag deodorizer tabs to keep vacuum exhaust fresh.

vacuum bag deodorizer tab

This is a vacuum bag deodorizer tablet, about 2 inches in diameter.

vacuum bag deodorizer tab crumbled

Crumble the vacuum bag deodorizer tab between your fingers and sprinkle onto the carpet.

vacuum up deodorizer tab

Vacuum up the crumbled vacuum bag deodorizer tablet.

A vacuum cleaner bag deodorizer is a relatively new concept for an age old problem.  For those of us who still use a vacuum that requires a bag, this may be the new trick to solve a old problem.  Over time, vacuum cleaner bags can develop a musty smell that fills the room when you turn on your vacuum.  A vacuum cleaner bag deodorizer is easy to use, inexpensive and effective.  Here’s more information if you’ve ever wondered about these tiny little disks of fresh air.

vacuum cleaner bag deodorizer

Vacuum bag deodorizers are available at most retail locations that stock a variety of cleaning products, a vacuum repair shop and on-line. The deodorizers are individually wrapped, and sold in packs of 10 to 12 for around $10 per pack. Each tablet is designed to last the life of your vacuum cleaner bag under regular use.

The vacuum cleaner bag deodorizer itself is about 2 inches in diameter, and just a 1/8th of an inch thick. Do not open the individual package until ready for use. You can store the deodorizers in a cool, dry place like a closet.

It’s easy to use the vacuum cleaner bag deodorizer. Simply open on of the individually wrapped packs. You can either crumble the disk and vacuum it up, where it will remain until you change the vacuum bag. You can also insert the tab directly into the vacuum bag when you’re putting a new bag on the vacuum. Again, the deodorizer is designed to last the life of the bag under regular use.

Pet Proof Carpet Pad . . . Really?

There are few things more exciting than new carpet!  If you’re in the market and you have pets, be sure to expect to hear all about pet proof carpet pad.  Keep in mind that you’re purchasing more than just carpet, you’re also investing in carpet pad.  Carpet pad is a layer of dense foam that sits between your carpet and your sub-floor.  Just like carpet, you’ll have many choices ranging in quality and price.  The sales staff will likely offer you the latest and greatest in carpet pad.  Just do your homework to make sure you’re getting what you need.

pet proof carpet pad

Moisture proof or pet proof carpet pad has been on the market for several years.  This carpet pad is specifically designed to repel moisture, most commonly in the form of pet urine.  You can expect pet proof carpet pad to be more expensive than regular carpet padding.

Pet Proof Carpet Pad

Here’s what you should know.  Pet proof carpet pad DOES NOT stop your pet from having accidents on the carpet.

When carpet is exposed to pet urine, the liquid has to go somewhere.  Pet proof carpet pad does not make urine magically disappear or stop your pet from having accidents.  When the pet proof carpet pad is installed correctly, the urine stays on top of the padding and doesn’t soak into the pad.  What the urine does do is move across the top of the pad and the back of the carpet.  The urine ends up saturating the back of the carpet rather than the pet proof carpet pad.  This can result in a larger area of carpet being exposed to urine damage, but it also keep the urine out of the carpet pad.

pet proof carpet pad

Pet proof carpet pad can make urine removal easier for your carpet cleaner because the urine has not saturated into the pad.  However, it may be more widespread on the backing of your carpet.  Urine on the back of your carpet can cause delamination, which means the carpet begins to separate from it’s backing.   Basically, whatever is spilled on your carpet will remain on your carpet and spread out since it doesn’t have the option of being absorbed into the pad.

A word of caution, don’t be fooled by the words “pet proof”.  Pet proof carpet pad REPELS moisture.  When installed correctly, it will definitely keep moisture and urine from soaking into your carpet pad.  But remember any urine or liquid that is spilled on your carpet will go somewhere; either into your carpet pad or be absorbed by the carpet backing.  You have to decide what’s best for your home.

moisture proof carpet pad