Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s that time of year again: Time to scour the Internet for spring cleaning tips as fresh as we want our homes to be – and in my case, my carpets are looking a little dull. (Okay, a lot dull.) Keeping carpets clean and stain free is a challenge, especially in high traffic areas that become the stomping ground for winter’s mix of slush and sand.
Before you know it, your carpets are shades darker than they were just one season ago. Here are my favorite natural spring cleaning tips to liven up your carpeting:

1.) Always vacuum first

It is important to vacuum regularly which keeps deeply embedded dirt, sand and dander to a minimum. Use the changing seasons to do a thorough, detailed vacuum of the nooks and crannies: Under furniture, around furniture legs and across your baseboards.

2.) Get rid of stains

While we all do our best to deal with carpet stains as they happen, there are always those pesky spots we didn’t have time to tackle or that take several treatments.
One of the coolest spring cleaning tips I came across last year helped me remove stains I thought I was stuck with forever – and all you need is an iron.
  • Throw a solution of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water into a spray bottle and spray the stain.
  • Place a damp rag on top of the spot.
  • With your iron on the steam setting, iron the rag for about 30 seconds.
  • Voila!
Depending on how long the stain has been there, you might have to repeat these steps, but it’s an impressive transformation!

3.) Bust out the steam cleaner

Mix equal parts water and vinegar and add to your steam cleaner just like you would any cleaning solution. Add a few drops of your favorite oil if you’re concerned your carpet’s going to smell like salad dressing. For high traffic areas that need more power, use a higher ratio of vinegar to water.

4.) Keep your carpets fresh

Between deep cleans, you can prolong the freshness of your carpet by creating your own carpet freshener. Mix the below ingredients and store in a shaker:
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil
  • If you have pets, add ½ cup of borax to keep fleas at bay
Before your subsequent vacuuming sessions, lightly sprinkle the mix onto your carpet, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and vacuum as per usual. (Just make sure to do this on a dry day so the baking soda doesn’t pick up any moisture.)
Who knows? After taking these spring cleaning tips for a spin, you might even enjoy cleaning your carpets! (Okay, that’s probably a stretch.)

Courtesy of: Organic Authority

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Allergies and Carpets- The Facts

Health professionals sometimes recommend that allergy and asthma patients remove carpet from their homes. But those recommendations are generally based on faulty assumptions. In fact, clean, dry, well-maintained carpet actually improves air quality.

Carpet acts as a trap for airborne particles grounded through natural gravity.

Professional Testing Labs studied the distribution of airborne dust associated with normal activities on hard and soft flooring surfaces. Their findings showed that walking on hard surfaces disturbed more particles. These particles became airborne and entered the breathing zone. In contrast, carpeted surfaces trapped more particles so that walking disturbed fewer particles. Result: less dust in the breathing zone over carpeted floors.

Here are two articles that provide more information on the relationship between carpet and allergy symptoms:

1.) Click here to learn about the Swedish study that showed an increase in allergy cases as carpet use declined.

2.) Click here to read the results of a Solutia study on airborne allergens.

Courtesy of: The Carpet and Rug Institute