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How To Clean Your Carpets And Rugs Without Toxic Chemicals

How To Clean Your Carpets And Rugs Without Toxic Chemicals

Interior designers understand the integral part carpets and rugs play in decorating a house. They come in many patterns, allowing you to complete the look you were going for, break up existing dull colors and patterns, as well as being very practical in terms of providing insulation and making the floor much less slippery.

However, great as they may be, there is a lot of hassle involved with having a rug, and most of it boils down to not being able to keep it clean. It’s quite common for people, and particularly children, to bring in dirt from outside and spill things on the floor. Cleaning stains from rugs often involves the use of toxic chemicals. Although this is an easy way out, it doesn’t really address the cause of the problem and you can end up having to clean the carpet all over again in a short while if some preventive measures are not taken. Here are some useful tips on how to clean carpets and rugs without using dangerous chemicals.

1. Have people take off their shoes or wipe their feet when they enter the house.

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Doormat

    You can avoid a lot of persistent stains and cut down on your cleaning if you take these simple preventive measures. Place a nice big door mat at the front door where people can wipe their feet or even several door mats both outside and inside the house. You can also buy a bunch of inexpensive house slippers and have people take off their shoes and slip into a comfortable pair of slippers when they come into your home. Make sure that you thoroughly clean your pet’s feet and wipe him down before you let him into the house, so that he doesn’t make a huge mess.

    2. Vacuum regularly.

    Proper home maintenance is about much more than knowing how to clean carpets and deal with nasty stains. If you don’t pay attention to the state of your carpets on a regular basis you will have a much harder job keeping them clean. You shouldn’t have more than two days in between each vacuuming session, which equates to vacuuming three times a week. If you have pets that shed a lot, you should use a brush to get the hairs out and vacuum every other day. Wet/dry vacuums are a godsend, but you’ll need to act quickly before the liquids have time to set in. There are also specialized vacuums that can be used for removing dust mites that can cause allergic reactions.

    3. Use salt to soak to help soak up spills.

    If you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, you can sprinkle salt on a spill, let it soak up the liquid and then run a regular vacuum over it. You should use salt immediately after noticing the spill. If the spill was left to soak into the rug, then you’ll need to sprinkle some salt on it, vacuum and use some towels to help you blot out deeper stains.

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    4. Good ventilation

    Ventilating your rooms frequently, especially during and some 20 minutes after vacuuming, will help you deal with unpleasant smells and dust. Letting some clean air into the room at least a couple of times a day is also great way to reduce allergic reactions caused by dust mites, as well as to prevent staining caused by cigarette smoke.

    5. Choosing the right rug makes all the difference.

    While there are a lot of cheap rugs that look relatively nice, these may not be as cost-effective as you think in the long run. Viscose rugs won’t last nearly as long as traditional woolen rugs, as the fibers break and discolor easily. Wool carpets are great for people with allergies as they soak up common allergens and do not re-emit them into the air, so a quick vacuuming session takes care of all those pesky allergens. Wool carpets also help prevent mold spores from taking root, which can save you a ton of money on mold removal as well. A big, fluffy carpet is a bit more difficult to clean and synthetic carpets tend to grab hair and lint, requiring more effort to get them out than just going over them once with a vacuum cleaner, and they hold odors much more readily than other materials. Take the time to choose the right rug; it will be worth your investment.

    6. A towel, soap and water can take care of most small stains.

    It’s important to act fast and deal with stains as soon as the mess has been made. A plain old white towel can be thrown on liquid spills to soak up most of it before it soaks into the rug or dries out. After you blot up the stain, you can wash it with some warm soapy water, rubbing it lightly with the towel and then leaving it to dry out. Soapy water will also do wonders for small dirt-stained patches.

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    7. Use carbonated water for persistent stains.

    Household carpet cleaners

      Carbonated water is great for taking out red wine stains, even if they have been left to soak into the carpet for a while. Some people even recommend mixing carbonated water with a bit of white wine for more persistent red wine stains.

      8. Use lemon juice on light-colored rugs.

      If the stains are on a light-colored carpet, mix lemon juice (from 1-2 squeezed lemons) with salt and apply it to the stain, leave it for about 20–30 minutes and blot it out with a towel. Lemon juice will also give that nice, fresh, citrus smell to your rugs, which is great for dealing with light odors.

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      9. Baking soda and aromatic oil keeps things fresh.

      Baking soda is great for soaking up odors, so if you have pets or small children you can mix a cup of baking soda with a bit of aromatic oil, sprinkle it all over the carpet and vacuum it up after about half an hour. Your carpets will smell as fresh as a beautiful spring morning

      10. White vinegar can be used to deal with strong odors.

      For pee stains and other odorous spills, white vinegar is the best solution. You’ll need to soak up the stain with a towel and then mix half a cup of white vinegar with 4–5 cups of water in a spray bottle and spray it on the stain. Just leave a window open for about an hour and then blot it up with a towel to get rid of the odor. Put a couple of towels over the area, put some weight on them and leave them for a few hours to soak up liquid that has gotten deep into the rug.

       

      There are a lot of things that can go wrong around the house, particularly when you have pets and kids or have friends over all the time. Someone is bound to spill something or make a bit of a mess on your rug, but it’s not the end of the world. In most cases you don’t have to take it to the cleaners or use toxic chemicals to remove stains. All you need in order to keep your carpets and rugs clean is to set some house rules and to learn how to clean carpets with a few proven tricks. These will cover most stains, but there are tons of other home cleaning tricks you can use.

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

      Boundaries are limits

      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
      • When do you feel disrespected?
      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
      • When do you want to be alone?
      • How much space do you need?

      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

      Sample language:

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      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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      Final Thoughts

      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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