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7 Carpet Cleaning Hacks You Need for Spring Cleaning

7 Carpet Cleaning Hacks You Need for Spring Cleaning

Spring is the quintessential time to spruce up your house. This means you’ll probably be knee-deep in scrubbers, scouring pads, brooms and sponges soon. While you’re making your home feel more like a glistening castle, don’t forget that your carpets took a beating this winter along with the rest of the house. Most carpet cleaning issues – stains, shagginess, padded-down spots – can be DIY projects using these clever and non-toxic carpet cleaning hacks.

how to remove carpet stains

    #1: Removing Stains with an Iron

    Don’t put that iron away after you starch the collars on the laundered button-down shirts that will go in your newly-organized closet. It can actually be carefully used to remove some stains.

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    First, vacuum the carpets so there aren’t any particles left on it. Then, dampen any spots or stains with a towel concentrated with a solution made of one part vinegar and three parts water (tap water is fine.)

    Put the moist towel over the stain and use the iron to heat the towel. As you move the iron over the towel, the stain should start to lift into the towel. Stop ironing when the stain is all – or as much as possible – removed.

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    carpet cleaning hacks

      #2: Baking Soda and Essential Oil Carpet Freshener

      Want your carpets to smell so fresh that you’ll feel like you’re walking in a field of daisies every time you step foot in your living room or bedroom? Make your own deodorizer by adding about 10-20 drops of any essential oil (I prefer lavender or wild orange) with about a 16-ounce box of baking soda. Mix it up well so the oils are completely absorbed and store in a glass container. When you want to use it, simply shake some of the perfumed baking soda on your carpet, wait 5 minutes and then vacuum it.

      #3: Homemade Deep Clean Carpet Cleaner

      Deep cleaning your carpets will help get rid of allergens and dust mites. Most people think you have to use the liquid chemical cleaner with your carpet-cleaning extractor, but you can actually make your own deep green cleaner. Mix the following ingredients together to make a non-toxic deep cleaner for your machine: ¾ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide, ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons dish soap, 5 drops of essential oils, 2 tablespoons of fabric softener and one gallon of hot (not boiling) water. Use this in your rug cleaning machine instead of expensive, chemical-filled store brand options.

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      homemade green carpet cleaner

        #4: Properly Cleaning a Shag Carpet

        Shag carpeting has come back into style with a vengeance, so if you have a shag carpet in your home, you’ll need to know how to clean it. Most vacuums have too much suction and can cause the shag to go frizzy or get caught in the machinery. If you notice that your carpet is “shedding” regularly, de-shag it by using the hose attachment of your vacuum. Yes, this will take longer, but will allow you to get deep into the fibers of the rug without hurting the strength or look of the shag.

        #5: Carpet Fluffing Technique I

        Does your carpet look like it’s been walked on my an army? Fluff it up by spraying any hardened, stained areas with a carpet stain remover of equal parts vinegar and water. Allow the agent to work, and then blot up the stain. At this point, run a spoon along the carpeting (hold the spoon on its side) to “fluff up” the fibers and encourage them to stand straight again.

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        how to fluff a carpet

          #6: Carpet Fluffing Technique II

          Tired of dented-in spots where your furniture put pressure on the carpet? Allow an ice cube to melt into the dents. After the water has completely dissolved, take a soft towel and blot up the excess moisture. Do not press hard; this will dent the carpet again. Lay the moist towel on top of the dented area and run an iron (on cotton setting) back and forth across the towel. When the fibers feel almost dry, stop ironing the spot. Allow the carpet to air dry, then use your hands to fluff up the spot.

          #7: Cleaning Different Types of Carpet

          Carpets differ in a number of ways. There are low loop carpets (think Berber) and more plush/shaggy carpets. These can come with or without stain protection, and may be made of anything from 100 percent wool to synthetic fibers.

          Let’s start with low-pile, looped carpets. While they are great for high-traffic areas, they may not be as apt to give up stains as plush carpets. You have to have patience when cleaning low-pile/looped carpeting; use a lot of elbow grease.

          With a little bit of patience, you can have the carpet you love back looking and smelling wonderful again. Plus, if you are saving money for new carpeting, this helps you extend the life of your current flooring a little longer. That means more dollars in your purse AND a beautiful, spring-clean home.

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          Last Updated on September 18, 2020

          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

          Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

          Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

          1. Exercise Daily

          It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

          If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

          Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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          If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

          2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

          Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

          One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

          This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

          3. Acknowledge Your Limits

          Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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          Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

          Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

          4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

          Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

          The basic nutritional advice includes:

          • Eat unprocessed foods
          • Eat more veggies
          • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
          • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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          Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

            5. Watch Out for Travel

            Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

            This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

            If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

            6. Start Slow

            Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

            If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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            7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

            Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

            My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

            If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

            I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

            Final Thoughts

            Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

            Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

            More Tips on Getting in Shape

            Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

            Reference

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