Spring is almost here, but what I really need right now are some green carpet cleaning methods. We’re getting an appraisal this week (yikes!) and I really want the house to look and smell its best. No, it probably will not affect the house value – but it will make a good first impression and that can go a long way.
There are many methods to clean your carpet without chemicals. Why avoid chemicals? Uhm, to me that’s like asking “Why don’t you leave poison around your kids?” Common sense. Carpets are not necessarily non-toxic to begin with, so I would not want to use chemicals and create even more chemical reactions and fumes. Getting rid of carpets altogether is the best idea, they are the biggest contributor to indoor allergies. But since that’s not in the budget for many of us, cleaning is the next best thing. Here’s how.
Steam clean: Without using any chemicals you can steam clean your carpet by renting a machine, buying one (as little as $140), or hiring the professionals. Most machines can be operated without the detergent, just hot water. You could also use a little bit of Eco friendly dish soap if needed, but not too much so you don’t bury your carpet in suds or ruin the machine. This is best done in the spring when there is low humidity and the opportunity to air out the house. Steam cleaning in hot and humid environments is not recommended as you will have mold growing in your carpet.
Baking soda: To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda on dry carpet, wait 15 to 30 minutes and vacuum as usual. This will do a much better job than any fresheners or deodorizers that mask smells with toxic fragrances. It may also be sprinkled on greasy stains and left overnight do do its work.
Hydrogen Peroxide or Rubbing Alcohol: After testing for colorfastness first (!), apply to remove stubborn stains. First apply small amount to stain, then blot with clean white towel, repeat until you remove the stain.
Vinegar and Water: Mix ⅓ cup vinegar and ⅔ cup warm water, apply to stain, then blot with towel until removed.
Non-toxic Cleaners: There are many brands of non-toxic carpet cleaners, among them Biokleen, Citra-Solv, Earth Friendly Products, and Mystical Cleaner.