Simple, Stressfree Rug & Carpet Cleaning Methods

Simple, Stressfree Rug & Carpet Cleaning Methods

Janel Laban
May 21, 2010

Over the years, the Apartment Therapy editorial team have investigated methods for getting all sorts of household tasks done; and around the house, as in life, some jobs are breezy and some kinda scary. We'd put rug and carpet cleaning and stain removal in the latter category - it's just one of those things that isn't always easy or successful. To help make it seem less daunting, we rounded up 3 simple methods that we've blogged about into this one post - its a mini-guide to cleaner carpets:

Cleaning Method from : How To Clean Food & Pet Stains From A Wool Rug

What You Need
Baking Soda (to cover spot)
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent
2 cups lukewarm water

1. Apply Baking Soda: Any pet or food spill should be blotted immediately to remove any extra icky bits. Once the bulk of it has been removed, sprinkle the area liberally with baking soda. It will soak down into the fibers and pull up a large portion of the wet that's started to sink into the rug. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and then vacuum up.
2. Mix Cleaning Solution: Add ingredient above to a small cup or bowl and stir together. You may use whatever dishwashing detergent you wish, though we suggest staying clear from ones with "extra bleaching powers" ... for obvious reasons. Dish soap will work in a pinch, but it doesn't pack the same punch.
3. Apply and Scrub: Blot liquid onto the area with a sponge or towel. Allow to soak into the fibers where the stain occurred. Scrub in small circles with a scrub brush (if you have it) and if not the corner of a clean towel pulled taut over a few fingers. If your rug has a pile to it (ours is old enough it doesn't) go easy on the rubbing so you don't make one area look like a hurricane, while the rest lays nice and neat.
4. Rinse: Using clean water and another clean towel, apply cold water to the area and absorb as much as possible with your towel. Laying a towel under the rug can help keep water out of your mattress pad or keep it from spreading to areas that don't need to be moistened.
5. Dry: Prop something under your rug to allow air flow to reach the spots that were previously dampened. If it's warm out, turn on a fan or if it's cold like it is here, a space heater comes in handy. Just make sure it keeps its distance so it doesn't cook the rug, it just helps dry it!

Cleaning Method from : How To Clean a Flokati Rug
• Check the tag first to make sure your rug doesn't have special care requirements.
• Take the rug outside and shake it regularly to remove dust.
• Every once in a while, you can rake the rug with a wooden garden rake to fluff it.
• All flokati rugs shed a little, especially during cleaning.
• Wash your flokati with a very mild wool soap.
• Wash small flokatis alone in the washing machine (unless the tag states otherwise).
• Air dry your rug out of direct sunlight.
• Don't use a vacuum on the rug or the strands will get caught.
• You can spot-vacuum with the upholstery attachment.

Cleaning Method from: How To Clean a Rug with Snow

What You Need
Materials at least 3-4" of clean, powdery snow
cold temperatures well below freezing
an area rug in need of a good cleaning
a place to hang the rug

1. Hang the rug outdoors for at least 30 minutes to acclimate it to the cold temperature (when we did this it was 8F outside). This will prevent snow from melting on the rug.
2. Lay the rug face down in snow.
3. Beat it thoroughly with a broom.
4. Flip the rug over and beat it again.
5. Sweep the snow from the rug.
6. The deep freeze kills smelly bacteria. Beating in the snow loosens dirt and grime. And sweeping the tiny snow crystals from the face of the rug removes any last particles from the surface. The result is a deodorized, bright and clean rug.

Have you tried any of the cleaning methods outlined above? Let us know how they worked for you...

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