What makes a house a home? The answer differs depending on who you ask, but nearly everyone will recall of certain scents when thinking of home. That’s because scent and memory are closely linked, and a funky-smelling carpet can make memories of your home less than pleasant.
Cleaning and deodorizing carpets can be a chore, but the warm, welcoming scent of lavender or sweet orange is infinitely better than that of a damp rug.
There are quite a few natural cleaning techniques that can be used to freshen up a musty carpet and start making your house smell like a home.
*Be sure to test all cleaning products on a small, discreet patch of carpet to check for colorfastness.
Use Baking Soda For A Quick Refresh
Baking soda is one of the most versatile products in your pantry. It’s non-toxic and can be used for everything from baking to whitening your teeth.
Carpet Deodorizer Power
- 4 tablespoons baking soda
- 10-15 drops of essential oil
- Recycled sprinkle/spice container
To refresh a carpet that just won’t let go of a bad scent, in a small bowl mix four tablespoons baking soda with ten to fifteen drops of your favorite essential oil. Place into container.
To use: Sprinkle over the carpet and let it sit for at least thirty minutes before vacuuming. If you have pets, be sure to check with your veterinarian before using essential oils around them as some can be toxic to animals.
Peroxide For Large Spills
Large spills on a carpet are always groan-inducing, particularly if it’s a glass of red wine on a beige rug.
After blotting up the liquid, mix two tablespoons peroxide with one tablespoon dish soap. Rub the mixture into the carpet, and let it sit for awhile. Blot the rug with a towel and repeat until the stain disappears.
As peroxide loses its potency when exposed to light, discard any leftover solution. Some stains, however, are far too stubborn to be handled by homeowners and require professional assistance.
For those with a stain that will just not lift with DIY methods, there are quite a few eco-friendly professional cleaners. By making sure that whatever cleaning service you hire is green, you can have a pristine carpet without exposing your home to caustic chemicals.
Vinegar-Based Scented Spray
For a carpet that needs a little extra care, try crafting a quick and easy spray cleaner. Start by dissolving two teaspoons salt into two cups of warm water. Combine the salt water mixture with one cup of white vinegar and about 15 drops of any clear essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously to mix everything together, and spray over the soiled area. Once dry, vacuum the carpet to finish cleaning.
Alcohol Absorbs Grease
For greasy, oily stains that have set in, fill up a spray bottle with vodka or rubbing alcohol. Spray, then rub in some natural soap such as Tom’s of Maine. Blot with a damp towel to remove the soap. Add a few drops of essential oils to the alcohol to give the carpet a fresh, wholesome scent.
Cleaning and deodorizing carpets can be a challenge, but a little elbow grease and natural products will get the job done. The next time your carpet is smelling a little less than fresh, reach for natural products before picking up store-bought chemical cocktails to make sure that your clean home is also a green home.
Jacklyn Bell is first and foremost a mom to two daughters, and works as a writer. In a previous life she was a health and safety officer and is now a passionate advocate of environmentally sound/friendly methods of cleaning and living.
Here are some DIY Cleaning Recipes to try:
- DIY Fizzing Toilet Powder
- Scented Baking Soda (great for natural cleaning!)
- Bathroom Cleaning Recipes
- Thieves Oil Recipe (& homemade cleaning spray)
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