3 Tips for Refreshing Old Carpet

published Jul 14, 2014
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(Image credit: Laure Joliet)

Carpet is a bit like upholstered furniture: it tends to hold on to dust, stains, and other marks of wear and tear. (Even after a professional cleaning, undesirables tend to resurface.) And those signs of other tenants’ lives are something you probably prefer to live without. Following are some tips for refreshing carpet that’s seen better days.

Fluff Dents with an Ice Cube.
Heavy furniture can leave dents in carpeting, and chances are your furniture won’t rest its legs in the same places as the previous inhabitants’. To make dents disappear, all you need is an ice cube — or a few, depending on the size of the impression. Place the ice cube over the dent, wait for them to melt, fluff the area with a fork or toothpick, and then dab up any excess moisture with a rag.

Tackle Stains.
Stains are probably the worst offenders of older carpet. They catch the eye and make the entire carpet look dingy. Though there are a myriad of commercial and DIY carpet stain removers out there, I swear by Folex. I have two cats, a dog, and three small children, so that’s saying something. It works. Just spray, let it sit a bit, and scrub with a rag.

Sprinkle with Baking Soda to Remove Odors and Pet Hair.
Baking soda sprinkled over the carpet and then vacuumed will help eliminate odors clinging to the carpet. It will also loosen any pet hair that might be stuck to carpet fibers. Sprinkle straight baking soda over carpeting and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or even overnight if you can. For a more intense cleaning, work the baking soda into the pile with a stiff-bristled brush. Then vacuum up, being sure to empty the bag or bin as it will fill quickly with the baking soda. Repeat as necessary.