Dogs and carpet don’t mix.
In fact, country living and carpet don’t mix either…
Unfortunately for me, when we purchased our house, it had brand-new, white Berber carpet. Me, being the frugal person that I am, wouldn’t dream of ripping out brand new carpet… So, here we are.
Our dogs have a knack of finding and eating the nastiest things. I would bet we are pushing a world record on how many times I have cleaned up various forms of nastiness in our house… I will spare you the details.
Let just say that the lastest escapade involved a porcupine. And the porcupine didn’t win.
Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of money trying different brands of carpet cleaners. Some worked better than others, but I go through large quantities.
Then one day out of pure desperation, I tried baking soda and vinegar. And… it worked! Baking soda and vinegar are good for many, many things, but I’ve rarely heard them recommended for carpet. I’ve purchased many different brands of spot cleaners over the years, but I always find myself coming back to this simple, frugal, and all-natural stand-by.
(If you are worried about discoloration, please test on a small, hidden area first. I’ve never had problems with that, but you never know…)
Natural Homemade Carpet Cleaner
- White vinegar
- Baking Soda (not baking powder– there is a difference!)
- Lemon essential oil (optional– where to get essential oils for wholesale prices)
- Old towels or rags
1. If using the lemon essential oil, mix it with the baking soda, then sprinkle the mixture on the spot. Allow it to sit on the stain for a little while– anywhere from an hour to overnight. Lemon is a wonderful all-around cleaner, and it helps to deodorize the carpet as well. If you aren’t using the lemon, then sprinkle plain baking soda over the stain.
2. Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water in a spray bottle (remember to repurpose!) Generously spray this mixture on the baking soda and allow it to fizz.
3. Lay a towel or rag over the wet spot and press on it to absorb the moisture. I’ve heard it’s not recommended to “scrub” carpet, since it can damage the fibers. However, you can bet I’ve definitely done some scrubbing at my house in moments of desperation… *ahem* Proceed at your own risk.
4. Depending on the severity and age of the stain, you may have to repeat this process more than once.
Well, if you will excuse me now, I’m off to pick porcupine quills out of my carpet….
Want more cleaning tips? You’re in luck!