Caring for Your Carpets

Winter is particularly hard on carpets, with boots and heavy shoes dragging in salt, sand, and mud. Help is on the way!

By FamilyTime


Considering that soil and dust can actually destroy carpet fiber, taking care of carpeting is economically efficient. Weekly vacuuming helps enormously, but beyond that, there are some simple things you can do to extend the life and beauty of your carpets.

Stain Removal
Remove stains with ordinary household products, most of which you probably already have.

Vinegar and water: Mix one-part white distilled vinegar with one-part water. Using firm strokes and a clean white cloth, rub carefully over the carpet stain.

Club soda: Pour just-opened club soda directly on a spot. Let it soak in for a few moments before dabbing with a clean white cloth. Club soda works best on food and drink stains.

Cornstarch: Sprinkle the stain with cornstarch before vacuuming to help lift out spots. Go lightly -- too much cornstarch can clog the vacuum cleaner.

After a winter of closed windows and doors, pets and children, your carpets need some refreshing. Here are some home remedies.

Cornstarch and baking soda: For dry carpet cleaning and deodorizing, mix one-third cup of cornstarch along with two cups baking soda and sprinkle this over the carpet. (Particularly large carpets may need more; smaller carpets less.) Let it sit for a few minutes and then vacuum. Don't pile this on the carpet; it can clog the vacuum cleaner.

Baking soda: Dust the carpet with a box of baking soda and let it sit for a few hours to neutralize any sour smells. Vacuum.

Crushed cloves and banking soda: Make a mixture of about two tablespoons of crushed cloves and five or six crushed bay leaves. Mix this with baking soda and dust it over the carpet. Let it sit for a few minutes and then vacuum.

When you move heavy furniture, you will notice indentations in the carpet.

To remove dents made by furniture, put an ice cube directly in the dent and allow it to melt completely. Blot up the moisture with a clean cloth and fluff up the indentation with a small brush.

Once dry, put a furniture coaster under the leg of the furniture to prevent future indentations.

Commercial Products and Professional Cleaning
Wonderful commercial products are available to remove stains, clean carpets, and refresh them. Look for them at the hardware, house supply, or local grocery store. Before using, always test them on a small section of carpet in an inconspicuous place.

Have your carpets professionally cleaned once or twice a year. This maintains them in peak condition. Ask friends or check the Yellow Pages for a qualified service.