If your vacuum cleaner struggles to pick up pet hair, try a squeegee for fur-free carpets every time.
If your vacuum cleaner struggles to pick up pet hair, try a squeegee for fur-free carpets every time. DmitriMaruta

11 carpet cleaning hacks we bet you’ve never heard of

IF YOU’VE got carpets, you’re going to want to read this.

1. Hair and crud? The lint roller rocks

There are some instances where it doesn’t matter how hard or regularly you have run the vacuum over your carpets, some things won’t move. This might be hair, pet hair or crumbs that your vacuum isn’t picking up. Remember vacuums don’t clean the fibres effectively, particularly when those carpets are long-haired ones. The solution? A lint roller, along with some attention to detail, should sort that.

2. Squeegee for pets

Pets and carpets are far from the best of friends and anyone with a pet will know how difficult it can be to remove pet hair with a vacuum cleaner. There is another solution: Get a squeegee, like you’d use to clean windows. This is most effective on short-haired carpets and the rubber blade allows you to dislodge and pull up every single hair on your floors.

3. For dirt

When your home is laid with lighter carpets, like yellow, white, beige or light pastels, you’ll notice dirt tends to accumulate. This is usually just from foot traffic but it can be from muddy accidents as well. Shaving cream is a great solution for these dirt stains. Rub it gently into the stain, let it sit and clean away. Along with removing dirt, shaving cream can fluff your carpets, making them look newer.

4. For oil

Oil stains can be difficult to get out of carpet because they spread and stick. There is a way to extract oil which is cheap and available everywhere. Spread baking soda liberally across the area where oil stain is present and leave it until the side forms a dry crust, which can be vacuumed. The stain may still be there but will be much lighter. Repeat if required, then work on dabbing away stain with a stain remover.

5. For nail polish

Spilling nail polish on your carpet is horrible and enough to make any home owner shiver. The solution is rubbing alcohol. Not everyone wants to risk putting rubbing alcohol on their carpets because it can damage the dye and cause bleaching however, in most cases, rubbing alcohol is not strong enough to bleach carpet. Chip off as much of the polish as you can with a butter knife, then dab with rubbing alcohol until the stain is absorbed.

6. For pet accidents

If Fido has done the unthinkable on your carpet, baking soda will take care of the smell and the liquid to allow you to take care of the stain. As with oil stains, spread a liberal amount of baking soda over the accident site, leave it to dry and then vacuum away. If the stain remains visible, blot it away with stain remover.

7. For gum

You don’t ever want gum to get on your carpets, but if you’ve got kids, it’s probably likely to happen at some point. Luckily, gum doesn’t spell the end of your lovely carpets. But you won’t be able to get it off if it’s soft. So, to harden it up, grab an ice cube and rub it gently over the gum to freeze it and make it easier to remove. Once it’s cold, you’ll be able to scrape it off with a spoon.

8. Iron it out

If you have a general stain, there are still solutions. One favourite is a simple three-step method we’ve had quite good results with. First, vacuum around the stained area to get rid of any hard sections of the stain. Then, treat the area with a 3:1 mixture of water and vinegar, allowing it to soak into the fibres. Last, pop a towel on top of the stain and apply a nice hot iron to the area. The pressure and heat can transfer the stain off your carpet and on to the towel.

9. Deodorise

Carpets can get smelly over time and should be treated regularly to deodorise them, especially when you have children or pets. Use baking soda to freshen them but, to give them a new lease on life, mix 1–2 tablespoons of borax with 10 drops of essential oil and 2 cups of baking soda. Spread on carpet, wait until it dries, then vacuum away.

10. High traffic

Carpets in high-traffic areas tend to get sad and worn out as time goes by. You can fix this with vinegar. Dilute vinegar in a spray bottle with equal parts water and spray on high-traffic areas. Once the liquid has been absorbed, take a spoon and run it sideways along the carpet to loosen up fibres and get it back to normal.

11. Furniture dents

If you’ve rearranged your furniture, you’ve probably noticed there are annoying and unsightly marks on the floor where furniture legs had sat. To get rid of dents, place an ice cube inside the dent and leave it to melt. Once it’s melted, blot away excess water and iron the area with a towel on top. Once the fibres are dry, fluff them by hand.

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: www.stayathomemum.com.au

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