The War is Over – Kids vs a Clean Home

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on October 19, 2009

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Ray La Point is the owner of Delight Cleaning, a residential cleaning company serving the Greater Sacramento Area.  He is coming tomorrow to scour my carpets in our high-traffic areas (boy, do they need it!) and has given me some tips for keeping them spotless once they’re clean.

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It often seems like having kids and a clean, beautiful home are at war with each other.  We love our families, but not the spills and spots they leave behind on our carpets and sofas.

Call a cease fire with these kid-safe, environmentally-friendly and economical tips to keep your carpets and sofas clean.  These cleaning tips utilize natural ingredients found around the house, so there is no need to buy yet another chemical.  In fact, buying consumer spot removal chemicals is not only a waste of money, but if used improperly, may not remove the stain at all and can make it harder for a professional to get the job done.

Here are some of the most common types of spills and the best way to treat them:

Blood – At some point, we all will experience blood on the carpet or sofa.  If you have light-colored carpet (tan or grey to white), take a Q-tip and dip it in a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide.  Dab the Q-tip on the blood spot until the color changes or the spot is gone.  Follow with a clean terry cloth or paper towel and blot dry.

If you have dark-colored carpet (blue, green, brown or dark grey), use a mixture of one teaspoon 3% hydrogen peroxide with four teaspoons warm water.  Follow the same steps as above.

Coffee or Tea – Make a mixture of ¼ teaspoon laundry soap and one cup warm water.  Soak your towel in the solution and dab at the carpet.  Continue dabbing for about five minutes and then switch to a mixture of vinegar and water (¼ cup white vinegar and one cup warm water).  Follow with a clean terry cloth or paper towel and blot dry.

Soda, Fruit Juice and Sports Drinks – These beverages can be tricky.  They have two components that need to be removed: the color, if it’s a cola or fruit beverage and the sugar, if it’s not a diet brand.  Blot up as much as the moisture with a dry terry cloth or paper towel.  Next, if there is color in the beverage, use vinegar and water (¼ cup white vinegar and one cup warm water) to blot area.  Soak your towel in the solution and then place the towel on the spill.  Do not pour directly on the carpet or sofa, as you may over saturate the area.  Follow with a clean terry cloth or paper towel and blot dry.

Urine or Vomit – Everyone gets sick.  Although urine and vomit can be some of the hardest to remove, it’s still possible to get the spots and sometimes the stains.  I recommend blotting up as much as the area with dry towels and as fast as you can.

  • If the area is small (less than 6 inches), try the above vinegar and water solution steps.
  • If the area is larger (more than 6 inches), dry as much of the area as you can and then sprinkle a small amount of baking power over the spot to absorb the odor.  This is one spot that you need to call the professionals in – Delight Cleaning.  If treated improperly, these stains have the ability to spread and may cause irreversible damage to both the carpet and the carpet pad.

©Delight Cleaning 2009.  All Rights Reserved.  Duplication not permitted without permission.

Ray provides monthly cleaning tips and how-to advice, for the entire house, on his blog at DelightCleaning.com. Check it out… I’m sure you will find some great ideas for keeping your home spic and span!

Do you have any special time-saving tips you can share with me? I’d love to hear about them!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

OHmommy October 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I found a melted Popsicle on my really fancy area rug today. Grrrr… thanks for the suggestions on how to remove common childhood mishaps on carpets!

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Brandie October 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I’m commenting because I hate when I get no comments. My mom has been preaching that vinegar thing for years. I use it to rinse my carpets after I clean them with my cleaner. They stay cleaner a lot longer and if I weren’t so lazy I would do it every time!!

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Ashley October 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm

I needed to know how to get coffee out of the carpet! I’ll try that tomorrow when my son is awake. I spilled my coffee on his floor while playing with him and thought getting it up with a wet cloth then dry would help… not so much. Thanks for the tips.

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Lorie October 20, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Someday I’m planning to compile all the home remedy cleaning tips together so they’re easy for me to find. These are great tips! Thanks!

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Gina October 20, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Christine – These are good tips. I’ll add one more…

We had friends over one night when the kids invited us upstairs for a puppet show. We decided to bring our glasses of red wine up to our cream colored carpeted room to enjoy the show which was the first mistake. I also had on some fuzzy socks which made coming down the stairs a little slippery and…woops! Lost my footing & almost an entire glass of wine went flying all over our carpeted stairs. I thought this was definitely my ticket for new carpet but my friend raced to my pantry and brought over all the salt she could find.

Turns out, the salt absorbs the liquid and literally lifted it right out. It was amazing. We ran out of salt before we got it all but a round of oxy-clean with our carpet shampoo/vac did the job.

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