No matter how careful you are when it comes to entertaining, arts and crafts with the kids and keeping dirty shoes and dog paws off your pristine carpets, spills, stains and blotches are bound to rear their ugly heads once in a while. One solution to this problem could be to cover your whole house in easy-to-clean flooring, such as laminate. But that would mean you wouldn’t get that lovely cosy feeling from the soft pile of a beautiful carpet.
Fortunately there are some less dramatic solutions to this grubby gripe, with carpet cleaners available in all shapes, sizes and price tags. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you keep your carpets looking (almost) as fresh as the day they were laid.
- When flushing out a stain, avoid using anything but cold water. Even if you follow it up with an effective carpet cleaner, it’s possible that you will set the stain by heating it up, making it far more stubborn that it otherwise would have been.
- Giving it some elbow grease and scrubbing your carpet might seem like the best way to tackle stubborn stains, but this method could actually ruin the fibres, doing more damage than the stain alone. A better course of action is to gently dab the area before applying a good carpet cleaner, which needn’t cost the earth.
- Vinegar has been the trusty cleaning product of savvy housewives (and househusbands) since longer than most of us care to remember. For light stains, white vinegar works well as a carpet cleaner simply mixed with a little salt. Darker stains are best treated with two tablespoons of borax added to half a cup of white vinegar. And if that stain really won’t budge, mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with one tablespoon of corn starch, rub it in with a dry cloth, and leave it to set for a few days before vacuuming up the mess.
- If coffee’s the culprit, try blotting with a baby wipe or diluting with beer. An effective carpet cleaner for red wine is the old faithful, white wine. Simply dilute the red with the white, dab up the liquid and sprinkle over some salt. Wait for 10 minutes and then vacuum it all away. Removing stains from your beautiful carpets really can be that simple and cost-effective.
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