7 Tips for a Cleaner Carpet

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Carpet: is it ever really clean? I have a hard time believing mine is, but perhaps that's just because I need to rigorously and regularly implement these seven secrets for the cleanest-possible carpets...

Cornmeal + Borax: SF Gate suggests sprinkling a mixture of the two on the carpet and vacuuming it up an hour later to remove stains, mold, and odors.

Hydrogen Peroxide + Ammonia + Vinegar + Rubbing Alcohol: These are your superhero stain fighters, and Martha Stewart has a thorough list of which stains get which treatment. No mention of wine, however!

Rosemary + Cinnamon + Cloves + Baking Soda: The Learning Channel came up with this delicious-sounding recipe for a sprinkle-on, vacuum-off carpet freshener.

Vacuum Way More Thoroughly Than You Thought Necessary: Maybe it's because this is my first time living with carpets, but I had no idea you were supposed to make 8-12 passes with the vacuum over every inch of the carpet. Twelve?! Well, if Martha says...

Freestyle Vacuum: Real Simple wants to be sure you don't just vacuum the same way every time. Mix it up! Start at a different spot in a room, switch up directions, and don't forget to go crosswise!

Yearly Deep-Clean: According to Better Homes & Gardens, no matter how well you take care of your carpet, you should consider having it professionally deep-cleaned once a year.

DIY Deep-Clean: But if you prefer to rent or buy a carpet cleaner, there are just a few things you should know. The New York Times can help you decide which type of cleaner — hot water-extraction, dry-extraction, foam-extraction, rotary-shampoo, or absorbent-pad — is right for you and your carpet. The Family Handyman has great tips for being your own professional.

(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux)

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